Case D-358/2009

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Exercising its obligatory preliminary control powers, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus considered the constitutionality of the Law of the Republic of Belarus on Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Social Protection of the Disabled People (the Law). The law made amendments and additions to previous laws the Republic of Belarus on Social Protection of the Disabled People, the Labour Code, and the law on the Prevention of Disability and Rehabilitation of the Disabled People. It also stipulated instructions to Council of Ministers of the Republic to bring the acts of the legislation in conformity with the Law, to take other necessary measures for the implementation of its provisions. Specific to the healthcare services, the Law created a state obligation to provide social security, treatment and rehabilitation for disabled people. However, the state would be released from this obligation should a disabled person or their representative  voluntarily renounce their rehabilitation programme, provided that the voluntary renunciation was substantiated with proofs.

The Constitutional Court considered that the Law was in conformity with the Constitution, because it furthered the constitutional obligation to provide social security for those unable to work due to old age or disability, and ensured the full participation of the disabled in society as required under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  It held that the Law also respected the autonomy of disabled persons and prevented their abuse, by creating a means for them to withdraw their consent to rehabilitation. Therefore, the amendments and additions the law has made to the laws of the Republic of Belarus concerning social protection of the disabled people do not conflict with the Constitution. They rather aim at the further development of the norms and principles in them, among which are their equal rights with other citizens to health protection, education and a free choice of labour activity as well as those that provide for legal regulation of relations in the health services they receive.

"As it follows from the preamble of the Law «On Social Protection of the Disabled People in the Republic of Belarus» it aims at carrying out the effective measures of the disabled people social protection, securing of their equality and full participation in a social life" Page 2.

"The carried out individual rehabilitation program of a disabled person depends not merely on state bodies, organisations and persons specialising on rehabilitation but on a disabled person himself/herself (his/her legal representative) as well as on their willingness and readiness to perform all the programmed rehabilitation measures. Therefore a firm renunciation of a disabled person (his/her legal representative) from the carrying out of a program in full or in part may not be imposed as the mentioned bodies, organisations and persons charge and is the ground to release them from responsibility for the failed rehabilitation program." Page 3.