- Published: May 5, 2014
Legal policy starting pointThe domestic situation of Kyrgyzstan has not changed very much in comparison to the previous year, and remains fragile. Having said that, after several years of unrest and outbreaks of violence, a tentative stabilisation of the new parliamentary democracy could be observed. The most important political event of the year was the election of the new Prime Minister Otorbaev following the collapse of the previous governmental coalition in March 2014. In view of its size and location, the Kyrgyz Republic remains dependent on foreign-policy stability and good relations with its neighbours. Membership of international and regional fora is becoming more important. In April 2014, Kyrgyzstan was the first country in Central Asia
to which the European Parliament awarded the status of a “Partnership for Democracy”, which is a major confirmation that Kyrgyzstan has made a certain amount of progress on its path towards democratisation. 2015’s parliamentary elections are being awaited with bated breath, and will place the first achievements of parliamentary democracy on the testbed. Kyrgyzstan however continues to face many practical difficulties when it comes to implementing reforms. An urgent need continues to exist with regard to international support and consultation in the judiciary and in the field of legislation, in the fight against corruption, the implementation of international human rights standards and in consolidating civil society
Cooperation in the legal field has taken place in close coordination with the Ministry of Justice in recent years. The expert dialogue has particularly focused on legislation and the state structure. It has also focused on the professionalisation of organisational structures in the Ministry of Justice, as well as on freedom of information, data protection and access to the law. These topics were dealt with in detail, also focussing on practical aspects, both during the local events and in the study visits to Germany. There was also initial consultation by the IRZ in administrative and criminal law.
A major step towards consolidating the independence of bodies of the administration of justice was constituted by the modernisation of the Kyrgyz legal profession which was carried out in 2014. The adoption of the new “Act on the Legal Profession” in July 2014 and the establishment of the new self-administration bodies of the legal profession formed a focus of the IRZ’s consultation in the bilateral field. A study visit by Kyrgyz lawyers to Germany, as well as the two-day conference in Bishkek organised by the IRZ, addressed questions related to the newly-founded Kyrgyz legal profession, as well as the reforms in lawyers’ training. The specialist discussions focused on the following:
- strengthening the legal profession and its independence
- application and interpretation of the new statutory provisions,
- first practical steps on the path towards self-administration
A special focus was placed on the question as to how the quality of lawyers’ training and the examinations procedure can be assured.
The activity of the IRZ is also very much characterised by its engagement as a junior partner in the EU grant with the “Promotion of Rule of Law in the Kyrgyz Republic”. This project aims to professionalise resources in the justice sector and within the supervisory mechanisms, and is to run from August 2014 to November 2017.
Foci of activity in 2014
Administration of justice
- Support for the study visit to Berlin by Kyrgyz lawyers
- Seminar in Bishkek on the implementation of the new “Act on the Legal Profession” and the establishment of the self-administration bodies of the legal profession for the Ministry of Justice and the Lawyers’ Council Promotion of Rule of Law in the Kyrgyz Republic (EU Grant)
Criminal law and the law on the prison system
- Seminar and workshop in Bishkek on criminal law for the Office of the Public Prosecutor General in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the training centre at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General
The IRZ will continue the trust-based bilateral cooperation with the Ministry of Justice in 2015. It intends to focus on the implementation of the new Act on the Legal Profession and on consolidating the newlyformed professional bodies of the legal profession. Events are planned to take place for this both in Kyrgyzstan and in Germany. The cooperation with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General and the FES is also to be intensified by the IRZ promoting the exchange of practice between the lawyers of the public prosecution office. Furthermore, the IRZ is involved in the EU grant by virtue of its deployment of long-term and short-term experts in the fields of court organisation, electronic legal transactions, as well as legislative technique and legislative strategy.