- Published: June 1, 2017
Legal Policy Starting Poin
Kyrgyzstan is a relatively young parliamentary republic which continues to face serious challenges characterised by political, regional, ethnic and economic tensions. The state has a constitution, a parliament, a president and a coalition government. In spite of the difficulties which exist, these institutions to a large extent fulfil their functions. The Kyrgyz Republic received special attention from the German Government in the reporting year through visits by the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Foreign Minister. However, the parliamentary democracy cannot yet be considered stable. Internal power struggles concerning political influence continue.
Amendments to the Constitution, which was last re-enacted in 2010 following a referendum, became a subject for public debate in July of the reporting year. These amendments relate to the powers of the Prime Minister and to provisions of the Constitution with regard to the judicial system and constitutional jurisdiction. After months of tension concerning the constitutional reform project, the government party SDPK decided to dissolve the governing coalition. At the start of November, Parliament confirmed a newly formed government.
The constitutional reform process has in the meantime continued further through the passing of an Act on the Holding of a Referendum on Constitutional Amendments for December 2016. The intended reforms amongst other things affect the establishment of a disciplinary committee for judges and the extension of the competences granted to the public prosecution service, and contain numerous references to provisions of simple statutes or constitutional law provisions still to be passed for certain areas (e.g. restrictions for entry to the profession of judge). It remains to be seen how the new regulations will take effect and are compatible with the principles of the rule of law
In the reporting year, cooperation mainly concentrated on the reform of the Kyrgyz lawyer system. Cooperation with the new Bar, which was newly formed in 2014, continues constructively in a spirit of trust.
The role of the lawyer as an independent organ for the administration of justice for the judiciary and society, the enhancement of the independence of the Kyrgyz lawyers and improvements in professionalism remain current topics in need of international support. Two events took place on these issues in Kyrgyzstan: A seminar on strengthening capacities and optimising training methods in the sphere of further training for lawyers, and a seminar on professionalism in public relations work and strengthening the Bar’s autonomous self-administration.
The Bar of the Kyrgyz Republic endeavours to regulate and standardise the entire field of further training for lawyers. The issue of further training for lawyers appears particularly important because basic training and the regulation of entry to the lawyers profession have hitherto been subject to relatively low requirements. The aim of further training for lawyers is the maintenance and improvement of quality. During a “train the trainer” course, experts from the German Bar Academy and the German Bar Institute focused attention on a wider range of methods and successfully advocated flexible further training opportunities.
A further event organised locally on the issue of public relations work and autonomous self-administration by the IRZ together with the German Federal Bar dealt with the following subjects in detail: Position and status of lawyers, lawyers’ monopoly and forms of lawyers’ work, work for the Bar including financial organisation, digitalisation and the handling of complaints, lawyers’ ethics, tax privileges of lawyers’ work, public relations work and the specialisation of lawyers.
Supporting the establishment of autonomous self-administration and passing on German expertise to the Bar and the further training centre continues to be of major importance.
Foci of Activity 2016
Administration of Justice
- Seminar in Bishkek to strengthen capacities and optimise training methods in the field of further training for lawyers
- Seminar at Issyk-Kul on increasing the professionalism of public relations work and strengthening the self-administration of the Bar
Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law
- Two workshops in Bishkek on juvenile criminal law and criminal procedure law for the General Prosecutor’s Office in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the training centre at the General Prosecutor’s Office
The IRZ intends to continue the cooperation with the Bar Council and the training centre in 2017. The IRZ likewise intends to continue its cooperation with the Ministry of Justice under new leadership. Consultation support will be provided in the already well-established form of events held locally and in Germany. Specialist discussions will continue to focus on strengthening the Kyrgyz Bar with the use of new statutory regulations and further practical steps in the development of the chamber system, as well as the improvement of the quality of basic and further training for Kyrgyz lawyers.
Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.