Legislation for Non-Profit Organizations

Case Notes: Newly Independent States

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 2, Issue 2, December 1999


Belorussian Republican Club of Electors

On November 15 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) of Belarus lost a case in court on the claim on registration of a public association. The Supreme Court obligated the MoJ to register the public association “Belorussian Republican Club of Electors”.

The Belorussian Republican Club of Electors is a transformed All-Belorussian Club of Electors, the re-registration of which had been rejected by the the MoJ.

The MoJ rejected to register the Belorussian Republican Club of Electors based on three reasons: (1) the name of the association is calling for temporary character of activities of the association and this temporary character is not indicated in the charter and application for registration; (2) the charter does not contain provisions, that each citizen has the direct right to participate in elections and the organization needs a power of attorney from a citizen in order to represent his interests in elections; and (3) the charter claims that the association is authorized to carry out activities which are in the competence of the state electoral commissions and, partially, political parties.

At the court proceedings the public association Independent Society of Legal Research, Olessia Vidruk, represented the Club as a public counsel for the defense. Mr. Andrushko represented the Ministry of Justice. The public defender requested the Supreme Court to obligate the MoJ to register the Belorussian Republican Club of Electors. This was the first time since after the re-registration campaign was started (January 1999) that the MoJ lost a case on registration (re-registration) of a public association.

The state prosecutor disagreed with the decision of the Supreme Court. It is not clear yet if he will appeal the court’s decision.

For more information regarding the re-registration of NGOs in Belarus, please contact Natalia Bourjaily, ICNL Program Director for NIS. E-mail: nbourj@icnl.org, In Washington: tel. (202)624-0766 ; fax: (202)624-0767, or Elena Tonkacheva, Director of the Independent Society for Legal Research. In Minsk: tel. (0172) 365517, fax: (1072) 853999.