19 January 2018, Friday, 0:22

Officers of court do not speak Belarusian


A Minsk-based lawyer told about glaring illiteracy of officials of the Economic Court of the capital.

A member of Minsk city Bar association Alyaksandr Danilevich has shared an incident from his practice with charter97.org website:

“I work in Minsk and from time to time I file petitions in courts in Belarusian. Sometimes there are no problems with that, but more often we meet problems. As a rule, I draw up documents in Belarusian, when my clients are foreigners, as it does not matter for them,” he noted.

The lawyer stressed that today it has happened so that the Economic Court of Minsk could not try the case in Belarusian, as the secretary of the court was unacquainted with Belarusian.

“It’s a shame, as a state servant should master two state languages: Belarusian and Russian. Despite of the fact that the documents I completed where in Belarusian, the secretary made them in Russian, though according to the law clerical work should be conducted in the language in which petition had been filed. I observed that it is a violation, and formally the today’s court ruling could be found illegal because of that. But when I told that, the judge said that allegedly it is so according to the law, but the problem was that their secretary did not know mother tongue, and nothing could be done about that.

Finally, for my client from Ukraine not to be delayed, I agreed to read the documents in Russian. I was to translate into Russian just on the spot. And all of that was to be done just because the secretary, a young man, did not know Belarusian. It’s a stinking shame!” Danilevich said resentfully.

It should be noted that it is by no means the first time when Belarusian officials demonstrate their unfamiliarity with their native language. The most common case is when answers to written addresses of Belarusian-speaking citizens to “deputies” are made exclusively in Russian.