Country Profile: Belarus

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Belarus (Respublika Belarus), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Belarus’ Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.

Country Background

Belarus is located in Eastern Europe. It is bounded by Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. The capital of Belarus is Minsk. The official languages are Russian and Belarusian. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 9.5 million. About 48% of the population is Orthodox, while 41% is non-religious. Belarus requested observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in 2010.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Belarus is referred to as a presidential republic. It is a civil law system and most of the major codes (civil, civil procedure, criminal, criminal procedure, family, and labor) have been revised and reenacted to come in force since 1999. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Belarus.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Belarus.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Belarus has no official school of Islamic law. 

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

 Unofficial Databases

  • FAOLEX: Belarus (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) database of national laws and regulations on food, agriculture, and renewable natural resources.
  • NATLEX: Belarus (International Labour Organization) database of national laws on labor, social security, and related human rights.
  • RefWorld Legal Information: Belarus (UNHCR)
  • WIPO Lex: Belarus (World Intellectual Property Organization)


For an extended list of legal resources for this country, see the Library of Congress’s Research Guide, and for a narrative review, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law Research Guide (most updated version, where available). The Constitution is available in the LOC Guide in its original language and at Constitute in English translation. For full versions of past constitutions, amendments, and related legislation, see HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated or Oxford Constitutions of the World [subscription required for each].