top of page

Against the formal approach — for the fairness of justice

Artsiom Praskalovich
Artsiom Praskalovich

Lawyer of NAM Artsiom Praskalovich told about the active work of the organization for the last 5 months in the field of universal jurisdiction. The report was delivered at the specialized conference "Mechanisms of universal jurisdiction in European countries", organized by the National's Anticrisis Management in Warsaw.

For incomplete six months the experts of the NAM:

Studied the legal systems of 12 countries in terms of precedents and practice of application of universal jurisdiction mechanisms, including Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, USA, Great Britain and Norway. NAM experts organized 5 round tables and held a large number of official and private meetings with politicians, lawyers and human rights activists in Europe.

In the mentioned countries the NAM experts selected about 200 applications, the most suitable for processing — specific stories, where one can already identify the accused person or the reasons to bring claims against the heads of correctional institutions. As a result of the secondary selection and fifty interviews with victims, lawyers and psychologists, the NAM specialists selected the 5 most promising cases for the initiation of criminal proceedings under the UJ:

- Lithuania. The country is loyal to the idea of punishing Lukashenko and his entourage for the crimes committed — they are ready to accept applications from victims, regardless of their location (which is important). At the same time, the general prosecutor's office seems to be poorly acquainted with the position of their government on Belarus, and some human rights defenders and lawyers refuse to work on such cases (personal connections/interests in the country, fears for the safety of relatives, etc.)

- Poland. Two major law firms "lead" a number of cases. Among the pluses: there are Polish citizens among the victims in 2020 (the interests of the country are affected). On the downside: there are refusals for non-legal reasons.

- "Insurmountable" bureaucratic reasons become the reason for refusals in the Czech Republic as well, despite the activity of the local Belarusian diaspora and the considerable number of applications. Pavel Latushka at a meeting with the Minister of Justice of the country sharply raised the issue of the formal approach to the cases of the victims of Lukashenko's dictatorship. We will make progress in this direction.

- Switzerland. A citizen of the country is among the victims in Minsk in 2020. The General Prosecutor's Office is loyal to work with such cases; there is a large human rights organization on the side of the victim. Unfortunately, the application for filing a case under the UJ can not be filed until the end of the year, there may also be problems with the required documents from the "law enforcement system" of Belarus. Still, the Swiss case is among the most promising.

If you have suffered violence at the hands of the Lukashenko regime and live in Norway or any other country, contact us via the NAU chat-bot: @nau_by_bot.

* The NAM team would like to thank our diaspora Belarusians and partners for their help in organizing meetings and further work.


bottom of page