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The Human Rights Project rolls out its results

A roll–out of results of the project  “Promotion of a wider application of the international human rights standards in the administration of justice in Belarus” took place yesterday in Minsk. The project, funded by the European Union, was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund and the Ministry of Justice of Belarus between April 2007 and September 2009.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation provided additional co–financing of the project component related to the promotion of juvenile justice. Total project expenditures comprised US$ 850,000. Major national project partners were the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, General–Prosecutor’s Office and National Bar Association.

The aim of the project was to contribute to the improvement of the administration of justice in Belarus through better access for justice sector professionals to information about international human rights standards and relevant case–law, familiarization with best international practices, and development of recommendations to further improve the national legislation and law enforcement in the area of administration of justice.

The project allowed justice sector professionals, scientists and practitioners to discuss most pertinent issues and to observe best practices of European countries. Within the project a team of national and international experts developed a set of recommendations how to improve national legislation and law enforcement in 11 areas, such as “Judicial system and the status of judges”, “Controversy in the criminal process”, “Guarantees of implementation of the constitutional right to judicial protection”, “Alternative sentencing”, and others.

Additionally, a 4–volume compendium of the international human rights standards and case–law of the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee was prepared and published under the project. The 3,200–page compendium issued in 8,000 copies was distributed among judges, lawyers, prosecutors, legislators and representatives of executive government authorities, libraries, law universities and NGOs.

Finally, an electronic CD–based and Internet–based database of the documents included in the compendium was presented. Available on CDs (10,000 copies have been distributed) and soon to be posted on the Internet in free access, the database will enable anyone to have access to most important international human rights documents, and its comprehensive search engine will make working with it effective and easy.

“The United Nations – and I am sure the donors as well – are looking forward to see the positive impact of the project on the administration of justice in Belarus where – like in any other country – there is always room for improvement. We will therefore be very interested in continuing our cooperation in this sphere”, noted UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Mr. Antonius Broek at the final conference.

The event was also attended by the Minister of Justice of Belarus Mr. Victor Golovanov, Chargé d'Affaires of the Delegation of the European Commission to BelarusMr. Jean–Eric Holzapfel, as well as representatives of other project partner organizations, NGOs and academia.

For more information please contact Uladzimir Shcherbau, Adviser to the UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, at +375 17 227 48 76, e–mail:

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