- Published: July 25, 2019
Team leader: Dr. Stefanos Kareklas
Responsible at the IRZ: Angela Schmeink, Angela Lummel
Since 2014, the EU has funded a large-scale project for the promotion of the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan.
Whilst the first phase until the end of April 2018 was funded with EUR 9.5 million, phase 2 from May 2018 will seamlessly continue the project until 2022 with a total volume of EUR 12.2 million and lift it to a higher programme level. As in phase 1, the programme is being implemented by a consortium led by the GIZ. The IRZ as the second-largest partner makes a major contribution with two long-term experts. These long-term experts cover the topics of court organisation, e-justice and legislation and are supported in their work by short-term experts from Germany and other countries.
In phase 2, the objectives of the programme have been extended. As well as the reinforcement of a justice and court system governed by the rule of law and support in the field of legislative procedures, they now also focus in particular on strengthening public prosecutors' offices. The reform efforts introduced by the Kyrgyz government and state institutions and supported by the project are directed towards increasing the effectiveness of judicial administration, creating transparency and credibility within judicial and court structures and fighting corruption. The main areas of focus of the IRZ component cover the modernisation of the way courts operate, including the introduction of a system of electronic files and court information and court management (e-justice), as well as legislative reforms.
As far as the legislation element is concerned, a pilot version of the website for public consultation of draft legislation should be available online by the end of 2019. With the aim of developing a transparent legislative process, citizens, associations and other representatives of civil society will be able to comment on the draft legislation published on this website. The IRZ is providing the necessary hardware, training and advertising campaigns throughout the country.
The IRZ is also involved in providing digital support for the legislative process. By the end of 2020, software will be developed to record legal provisions in the correct format and structure, similar to the eNorm software in Germany. There are plans to increase the level of cooperation in this area with German experts and with the European Commission, which is running a similar European project called LEOS. The second phase of the work in this area involves the digitalisation of operating procedures in the legislative process. The IRZ is also supporting the Kyrgyz government with the organisation of training events and the development of handbooks on legislation.
In the area of court management, the work that began last year on establishing a model for the “auditing” of courts has been intensified. A working group from the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan is working on a handbook for the auditing procedure. This handbook will include general principles and specific instructions for carrying out these audits, including checklists: By introducing regular audits of Kyrgyz courts, the judiciary is expecting to see a long-term increase in the efficiency and quality of the courts. There is currently no such model in Kyrgyzstan for monitoring the administration of the courts.
The IRZ component supports conceptual work on the overhaul of the statistics system in the judiciary at the level of Supreme Court management. Thanks to new access to the collection of court statistics using the new AIS Suda electronic files and court information system, in future the judiciary is expecting to see more detailed information on their workload, the duration of cases and concluded proceedings. This information can then be used to support the political decision-making process at all levels.
During the first half of 2019, e-justice was a key focus of the IRZ component. This area was given a special boost after the President declared this year to be the year of digitalisation. The judiciary carried out the transition from the pilot phase of the AIS Suda electronic files and court information system at three courts to the introduction of the system at all courts of first instance. These courts have been connected to the system since the beginning of the year and court personnel have been trained in how to record court cases in detail. Since March, all new court cases at courts of first instance have been recorded in AIS Suda. In a second phase, comprehensive AIS Suda training courses for users began in July. These three-day seminars will be organised until the middle of September to train all employees in charge in the use of the AIS Suda software.
In addition, AIS Suda was integrated with the national register of residents of Kyrgyzstan during the first half of the year via Tunduk, the official state electronic interface. Based on the Estonian X-Road system, Tunduk allows the exchange of data between various state IT systems. By linking the two systems, it is now possible to compare data on individuals in AIS Suda with the national register of residents and thereby increase the quality of data in AIS Suda.
Another milestone was the opening of the data centre for the judiciary. In March 2019, the Kyrgyz justice system opened its own centre for the safe operation of essential applications for the justice system. AIS Suda was the first application to go live in the new data centre. It had initially been operated from a private data centre. Since March 2019, the Kyrgyz justice system has no longer had to rely on private system providers and now manages everything from a single source.