Was the Belarusian legal system first developed in the Soviet Union?
Published: 04 April 2011
The legal tradition in Belarus is a long one. The Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania,
the third edition of which was published in 1588, determined the legal system of the Duchy for about 250 years until they were abolished by a Russian Tsar. The Statutes were a comprehensive and elaborate state code of laws on state, civil, criminal and procedural rules of the Grand Duchy, which had the highest legal force in the territory of the country. Written in the old Belarusian language, the Statutes were the only full code of laws in Europe since Roman law until the Napoleonic Code adopted in 1804.