- Published: July 10, 2019
Legal Policy Starting Point
The second smallest country in Central Asia continues to face the challenge of transitioning into a state under the rule of law. Introduced 2010, the Constitution defines Kyrgyzstan as a parliamentary democracy. A constitutional amendment in 2016 strengthened the rights of parliament and government. The free and peaceful election of the State President in 2017 – by no means a self-evidence in the region contributed to political stability. Many inadequacies in the legal reality persist nevertheless. The separation of powers has not been embraced in the fullest sense, while deeply entrenched power structures, inadequate efficiency of state institutions and attempts to influence the judiciary present obstacles to the country‘s emergence as a modern state that grants constitutional guarantees.
Many bi- and multilateral stakeholders are assisting in stabilising the country, among them the EU, which in 2019 will start implementation of its Strategy for Central Asia in the legal and judicial fields, also.
The IRZ began its work in Kyrgyzstan in 2010 and since then has conducted advisory measures with the Ministry of Justice, parliament, the relatively young Kyrgyz Bar and the General Prosecutor´s Office. Its activities aim to professionalise capacities, discuss best practices and to provide advice on various prioritised legal areas.
The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan celebrated its 25th anniversary in the reporting year and marked the occasion by hosting an international conference. On the request of the Chair of the Chamber, the IRZ sent the former President of the Regional Constitutional Court of Saxony-Anhalt and the Higher Regional Court of Saxony-Anhalt, as a speaker. It was pleasing to note that the conference provided plenty of opportunity for discussions between Constitutional Court judges from eleven countries, as well as representatives of the Venice Commission. These talks addressed current national issues relating to the different constitutions and the role of the Constitutional Court. German constitutional law, the Federal Constitutional Court and its rulings were significant topics of discussion. A lecture on the independence of the judiciary to students at the Kyrgyzstan State Law Academy reflected this interest further more.
The IRZ fulfilled a request from the Ministry of Justice by holding an expert discussion on international contract design, especially for loans from development banks. The German representatives communicated relevant standards and empirical findings acquired in Germany and offered advice on contract design and negotiation strategies for the preservation of state interests.
In addition to the bilateral projects, the IRZ also acts as junior partner in the EU Grant “Promotion of Rule of Law in the Kyrgyz Republic“, which will continue for another four and a half years.
Foci of Activity in 2018
Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability
- Dispatch to Bishkek of an expert on constitutional law to the Anniversary Conference of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court
- Lecture on constitutional law at the Kyrgyzstan State Law Academy in Bishkek
Civil and Commercial Law
- Round table and workshop on international contract law with the Ministry of Justice in Bishkek
Project funded by the European Union
EU Grant project: The Rule of Law Programme in the Kyrgyz Republic – 2nd phase (ROLPRO2)
The EU has funded a large-scale project to promote the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan since 2014. The project entered its second phase in May 2018 and, now scheduled to run until 2022, was elevated to a higher programme level; the content areas were also widened. In the consortium led by GIZ and including other consortium partners, the IRZ continues to participate with two long-term experts who receive support from short-term experts in order to address specific technical issues.
The consortium partners have divided the extensive areas of responsibility into three components: modernisation of the legislative procedure (component 1), support for the judiciary/court system (component 2) and support for the Public Prosecutor‘s Office (component 3). Within this framework, the German organisations GIZ and IRZ have mainly been assigned priority areas belonging to the 1st and 2nd components, which also involve sweeping reforms of administrative law. The reform efforts of the Kyrgyz Government and the state institutions, which are supported by the project, are directed towards increasing the effectiveness of judicial administration, creating transparency and credibility within judicial and court structures as well as fighting corruption.
The IRZ will continue to implement advisory measures that build on efforts within the EU project and in doing so will apply proven formats that prioritise the transfer of know-how and practical utility.
The second phase of the EU project will widen the programme objectives and will now, as a separate priority field, seek to strengthen the Public Prosecutor‘s Office, in addition to promoting the rule of law within the judiciary and court system and providing support within the area of legislative procedure. Three pilot projects for the introduction of an electronic court file administration system deserve special mention in the wider area of e-justice. There are plans to offer programme support during the 2nd phase of the project, which will involve successive implementation of the system at all courts. In addition, the project team has commenced preparations for digitisation of the legislative procedure.