An Eastern European country bordered by Latvia, Poland, the Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania, Belarus (officially the Republic of Belarus) declared its sovereignty in 1990 when the former Soviet Union dissolved and Germany became unified. Belarus ranks last among European countries on the Democracy Index rating because of president Alexander Lukasheno's authoritarian style of leadership. Labeled as "repressed" and "not free" by the Index of Economic Freedom and Freedom House, Belarus is frequently called "The Last Dictatorship in Europe".

Interesting Facts about Belarus

• Russian and Belarussian are its two official languages. Belarus also has a small minority of Polish speaker. • The majority of Belarussians follow the Eastern Orthodox Christianity religion, with about 20 percent of the population adhering to the Roman Catholic faith.Catholic and Orthodox versions of Easter and Christmas are both considered national holidays. • The capital of Belarus is Minsk (pop. nearly two million) and is governed by an executive committee allowed to engage in self-ruling policies. • Although President Lukashenko was elected to his position in 1994, the U.S. refuses to recognize election results due to evidence that Lukashenko's engaged in fraudulent voting activities. • Belarus economy is referred to by the international community as "state-run" or "Soviet-style" in nature. Over hald of Belarusians work at state-controlled businesses. • The Belarusian ruble is the country's currency (similar to the Russian ruble).

Legal System in Belarus

Legal traditions in Belarus were established with creation of the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1588 and remained unchanged until a Russian Tsar effected changes almost 250 years later. Currently, the court system is based on specialization and territorial principles and includes a Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and economic courts for protecting the rights of individuals and corporations,

Lawyers in Belarus provide legal assistance to organizations and citizens involved in all kinds of litigation. Obtaining employment as a qualified lawyer in Belarus requires a higher education degree, a license and membership in the Bar Association.

The primary law enforcement entity s the State's Prosecutor Office, which executes control of conformity and legality to the law regarding all judicial decisions involving criminal, tax and civil cases.