UNESCO Chair in Information Technologies and Law
Description and Mandate of the Chair
A legal system is the basis of a state, the framework, which determines the stability of the social and political system, called a state. Information can be compared with the circulatory system, which supports the vital activity of a whole organism. In this respect, legal information is the most important one, because it guarantees the functioning of the state as a system.
Legal informatization is a process of providing all entities of the society with uniform, reliable, valid and complete information, i. e. it constitutes a basis for adequate perception of the information component of legal rules that is very urgent for the reformation of civil society and the formation of a democratic, constitutional and social state in the Republic of Belarus.
One of the important components of legal informatization is education as a basis for acquiring new knowledge and the creation of new technologies. In the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Teaching, Research and Education in the Field of Law and Technology (19 October 1992), it is noted that “the development of information technologies provide a lawyer with new instruments, promotes changes in business practice and government and enhances the efficiency of law”. Thus, legal informatization as a process of enhancing the efficiency of the informational impact of law on social relations through the application of new information technologies in the sphere of law, is one of the necessary conditions for the harmonious development of the society and state and the improvement of the national legislation system.
One can say that the effectiveness of law is founded on the legal culture. First of all, on the legal culture of the authorities which need the law as a basic principal of their activity, and on the legal culture of business organizations and citizens that address the legal rules for settling conflicts. In order to ensure such a legal culture in society, it is necessary to first possess legal knowledge, i. e. the knowledge of rights, duties and other legal rules. The source of such knowledge is legal information and the instrument, which guarantees the completeness, actuality and availability of legal information, is legal informatization. Hence, it is clear that education in this sphere is one of the most important tasks of the National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus (NCLI) from the moment of its foundation in 1997.
The conclusion of the Agreement between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus concerning the establishment of a UNESCO Chair in Information Technologies and Law at the NCLI, can be considered as appreciation of the achievements of the NCLI in this sphere. The Director-General of UNESCO and the Director of the NCLI signed this agreement in April 2003. UNESCO Chairs have been founded under the UNITWIN Programme since 1992, according to the Resolution, adopted at the 26th UNESCO session. The programme aims to promote inter-governmental cooperation, contribute to the exchange of knowledge between higher education institutions and to strengthen academic solidarity in the world. As of today, more than 500 Chairs have been founded under the UNITWIN Programme in 113 countries around the world, including 6 Chairs founded in Belarus. One of the activities carried out by the UNESCO Chairs is the organization of research and education in the field of information technologies.
The UNESCO Chair in Information Technologies and Law is a scientific and methodological center. It operates on the basis of Regulations, adopted by the NCLI and agreed upon by leading structures of the Republic of Belarus in the field of law and informatization. The activity of the Chair is carried out in the form of seminars, national and international conferences, educational programmes and the publication of scientific and methodological materials.
The activity of the UNESCO Chair will cover the most important aspects of social development related to the problems of informatization and legal informatization in particular, such as:
scientific, educational, methodological and propaganda activity in the field of law and information technologies, preparation and publication of methodological and study aids on legal informatization, computer science, legal informatics and information law;
coordinating and summarizing scientific and educational activity carried out in the field of law and information technologies, legal informatization, information law in the Republic of Belarus and the organization of collaboration with similar UNESCO Chairs around the world, researchers and research institutions in this sphere;
analysizing existing problems and preparing of proposals concerning the improvement of legislation in the sphere of forming a single information and legal information space;
scientific and practical research in the field of legal informatization and formatting a single legal information space in the Republic of Belarus and
scientific and practical research in the sphere of information law.
(UNESCO No. 2003BY0617)
(Ver. PBe 03-2023)
Mr. Andrei Matelsky
Mr. Evgeny Kovalenko
Chairholders, UNESCO Chair in Information Technologies and Law
Head of the State Legal Department of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Belarus
National Centre of Legal Information