Status of members of the Council of the Republic
Members of the Council of the Republic exercise their mandate in the Parliament either on a full-time basis (7 members: Chairperson, his/her deputy and chairpersons of the Standing Committees) or concurrently with their permanent office. During exercise of their mandate members of the Council of the Republic are relieved of their duties at the place of their permanent office.
The President of the Republic of Belarus, deputies of the House of Representatives and working judges may not be members of the Council of the Republic.
Members of the Council of the Republic enjoy parliamentary immunity when making statements or exercising their mandate except for cases when their statements are slanderous or insulting. During the whole term of their office members of the Council of the Republic may be arrested or otherwise deprived of their personal liberty only upon a prior consent of their chamber, except for cases when they commit high treason or other grave crime, or if they are caught flagrante delicto.
A criminal case in relation to a member of the Council of the Republic may be initiated only by the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus and considered by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus.
Members of the Council of the Republic have the right to a deciding vote on all the issues considered in the chamber. They also have the right to elect and to be elected to the bodies of the chambers of the National Assembly, move proposals for subject items to be considered by the chambers of the Parliament, put forward proposals and remarks concerning the agenda of the session, the procedure of consideration of items under discussion and their essence, submit proposals and express ideas on the personal composition of the bodies, formed by the chambers of the Parliament and candidatures of the officials to be elected, appointed or approved by the chambers of the Parliament. They have the right to participate in the debate, carry out inquiries, ask questions, issue references, bring their viewpoints and those of their voters to the notice of the MPs, fulfill other functions envisaged by the Constitution and regulations of the chambers of the National Assembly.
While deputies of the House of Representatives have the right to a legislative initiative, members of the Council of the Republic do not possess this right, but pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus the power of legislative initiative belongs to the Council of the Republic as a whole.
To make the best of their performance members of the Council of the Republic have the right to place their queries with the Prime Minister of the country, members of Government and heads of administrative bodies established or elected by the Parliament. A response to such queries is to be given within 20 session days.