Uzbekistan: Support to Criminal Judicial Reforms in Uzbekistan

Project team with team leader Tom Patterson (front, centre)

Project team with team leader Tom Patterson (front, centre)

EU grant

Team Leader: Dr Ingo Risch, Tom Patterson
Responsible at the IRZ: Nathalie Herbeck, Anastasia Schmieder

Between October 2011 and August 2015, the IRZimplemented the EU-funded project in Uzbekistan entitled "Support to Criminal Judicial Reforms" as the lead contractor. The project had a budget of roughly Euro 9.7 million. The junior partners were GIZ, JCI (France), as well as NI-CO (United Kingdom). The large IT component, put on hold because of an unexpected change of experts for which the consortium was not responsible, was extended for a further year to August 2015 at the request of the EU delegation in Tashkent and of the beneficiaries, and has now been brought to a successful conclusion in cooperation with GIZ.

In the last year of the project, amongst other activities a distance learning system was implemented within the IT component for the main beneficiaries, namely the Uzbek Ministry of Justice, the office of the General Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of the Interior. It is a welcome development that the evaluation of the project by the European Commission towards the end of the project revealed that the Uzbek partners expressed their satisfaction with regard to the objectives that had been reached.

The beneficiary institutions of the consulting project, which was highly complex and tasked with capacity building, were the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior (Police and Prisons), the General Prosecutor's Office , as well as the Research Centre for Liberalisation and Democratisation at the Supreme Court. Each of these four institutions was supported with advice within its own tailored component.

All the components were provided with cross-cutting training and PR components.

Results were achieved in the individual components which complied with the Financing Agreement which the European Commission and the Uzbek Government had concluded for the implementation of the project. The following was also implemented, amongst other things, during the term of the project:

Research Centre for Liberalisation and Democratisation at the Supreme Court

  • Legal analyses and comparisons on topics related to criminal procedure, e.g. consideration and taking of evidence
  • Consultation on the role of counsel in criminal proceedings: rights of the accused and of defence counsel
  • Analysis and recommendations on improving the sanctions system: alternative sanctions
  • Overview of practical cases in EU Member States on Habeas Corpus issues
  • Conceptualisation and further development of training curricula for judges
  • Implementation of workshops on relevant topics: techniques for writing rulings, international standards in criminal proceedings, the fight against corruption in the judiciary, the role of preliminary proceedings and witness protection

General Prosecutor's Office

  • Consultation on Habeas Corpus and anti-corruption issues
  • Consultation on the fight against terrorism and the funding of terrorism
  • Consultation on international mutual assistance in criminal matters and on extradition proceedings
  • Conclusion of a memorandum between the Bar and the General Prosecutor's Office
  • Establishment of a performance management system for the General Prosecutor's Office

Ministry of Justice

  • Legislation consultation, amongst other things on the following laws: Anti-Corruption Law, Code of Criminal Procedure (the "deal" in criminal proceedings, Habeas Corpus)
  • Advice on alternative criminal sentencing
  • Support for the training facility of the Ministry of Justice
  • Establishment of an electronic legal library and an extensive manual on legal formalities

Ministry of the Interior (Police and Prisons):

  • Highlighting the relevance of human rights in the day-to-day work of the police and in prisons
  • Consultation on dealing with female and juvenile offenders
  • Drafting a plan for the establishment of a department for human rights in the Ministry of the Interior
  • Regional training courses for officials of the Ministry of the Interior on conflict management, human rights and psychological support for police officers

We remain hopeful that the initiatives which have been launched by the project can be implemented in order to guarantee that the remaining reforms that are needed in the Uzbek criminal law system will be sustainably anchored.

 

Funded by the European Union

Ukraine: Harmonisation of Competition and Public Procurement Systems in Ukraine with EU Standards

EU service contract

Team Leader: Heinrich Hölzler
Responsible at the IRZ: Teresa Thalhammer

The IRZ carried out this project from January 2009 in an international consortium. The project was headed by the GIZ; further partners were the PM Group (Ireland) and EIPA (Netherlands). The project, which had a budget of 4.3 million Euro, was originally set to last 30 months. It was already extended for the third time in December 2012, and ultimately ran until May 2013. During the total of 52 months, finally, a budget of more than 5.3 million Euro was dispensed. The content of the project, which comprised the three components of competition law, state aid and public procurement law, was to modernise the market economy of Ukraine towards the legal standards of the EU. The project work revolved around supporting the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) in the shape of assessment of the consequences of statutes and further training, particularly in competition law. The AMCU was to be expanded to become a modern competition authority. The competences of the AMCU currently include the enforcement of the competition laws, as well as working out implementation guidelines. Additionally, the authority is mandated to hear appeals in public procurement procedures. Both the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade, as well as the Finance Ministry, were beneficiaries of the project. In the public procure award law component, the adoption of the Ukrainian Act on Public Procurement was regarded as the most important success, which was materially deliberated on by project experts, and which came into force in August 2010. Some of the Act's initial shortcomings have been remedied after a minor legal amendment in May 2011, so that the Act can be regarded as a major step in the legal approximation of contract award law towards European standards. Accordingly, Ukraine has also already been included in the EU's official public procurement database (SIMAP). The project work in the state aid component consisted of the adoption of a Ukrainian State Aid Act, which had already been prepared in the draft stage.

 

Funded by the European Union

Kosovo: Strengthening International Legal Cooperation

zz kosovo legal coop

Delegation from the Kosovo Ministry of Justice visiting Bonn on the occasion of specialist discussions at the Federal Office of Justice

Project Leader:: Dr. Thomas Hackner
RTA: Joachim Stollberg
Responsible at the IRZ: Petra Fortuna, Christian Schuster

This project was closed on 12 October 2014 with a formal ceremony. The objective of the project was to support the Kosovo judiciary in its legislative reforms and in increasing its administrative capacities in the fields of international legal cooperation in criminal matters and civil law aspects of international child abduction cases.

Twenty experts from Germany, as well as one expert from Scotland, undertook the basic and further training of a large number of judges, as well as public prosecutors. They supported the Ministry of Justice in reforming draft laws, guidelines and sample rulings. In 34 workshops within a total of ten activities, they achieved lasting progress in the field of international cooperation in terms of criminal and civil law in international child abduction cases.

The project’s initial activities focussed on the complete revision of the set of statutory provisions on international mutual assistance in criminal matters. The result was a draft law in accordance with European Standards, which was adopted by Parliament with hardly any changes. The law came into force in September 2013.

On the basis of this work, experts drew up guidelines, a manual and a large number of documents to provide the Kosovo judiciary with the basis for an efficient, effective application of the law.

Further activities with staff members of the Ministry, as well as of the judiciary and the police, focussed on the negotiation strategy related to bilateral agreements on mutual legal assistance. Furthermore, there were presentations on the establishment of an electronic international criminal information system.

One of the most important results of the project is the selection, as well as the basic and further training, of seven judges and eight public prosecutors from all parts of the country to create a network operating in a similar way to the European Judicial Network (EJN). The judges will from now on work in special departments within their respective authorities and at the same time serve as contact persons for international cooperation in criminal law. They have been familiarised with various aspects of this cooperation and with the EU institutions such as EUROJUST, EJN, Europol and OLAF.

Further relevant training units related to handling modern methods of international mutual assistance, cross-border skimming-off of profits, as well as the modus operandi of a joint investigation group. Experts furthermore drew up the “Rules for Governing the Network of Focal Points”, which are intended to regulate internal cooperation.

The Hague Convention on Child Abduction and proven procedures in international child abduction cases were topics for the last ten months of the project. On this topic several workshops took place for members of the Ministry of Justice, the judiciary and the police, as well as for social workers. A team of experts from Germany and Scotland revised the Kosovo Act on Civil Law Aspects of International Child Abduction in close cooperation with practitioners from the substantive area. The result was a completely new draft which meets international standards.

Using case studies, and in the exchange of experience, cooperation was built up and intensified between the Ministry, judges at first and second instance, as well as the police and social workers.

A further focus was placed on training mediators in international child abduction. Three workshops took place on this topic encompassing role plays, case studies and presentations in which mediators were able to prepare to proceed professionally in difficult situations occurring after child abduction.

Ausblick

The sustainability of the project is guaranteed given that the Kosovo practitioners were well prepared for the special requirements of international legal cooperation. They are furthermore able at any time to use a variety of guidelines which were drawn up within the project by the German experts. These guidelines now form part of the curriculum of the Kosovo Judicial Institute.

 

Funded by the European Union