Screenshot of the website encouraging public participation in draft legislation in Kyrgyzstan
Screenshot of the website encouraging public participation in draft legislation in Kyrgyzstan

Strategic Framework 

Legal Policy Starting Point 

In 2010, Kyrgyzstan established a parliamentary democracy in its constitution for which it received considerable recognition; however, the transformation thus initiated also presented the country with many challenges. The development of a stable political order and of economic growth has been inadequate. Parliamentary elections in October 2020 triggered demonstrations that turned into violent unrest. The White House, seat of parliament and the president, was stormed during the riots. Events spilled over, and imprisoned politicians were freed in the subsequent power vacuum. The parliamentary elections were declared void due to obvious electoral fraud.

Sadyr Japarov, an opposition politician who had been legally convicted and freed, suddenly and unexpectedly had himself appointed prime minister and also took over the office of acting president. He stepped down from both posts to run in the presidential election in early 2021, from which he emerged victorious. A referendum was held at the same time as the elections, in which the electorate decided to install a presidential government system – which had been abolished more than ten years before. Changes to the constitution and the state organisations should be anticipated as a result.

Overall Concept

The events that unfolded during the political turmoil in autumn showed that the Kyrgyz judiciary, under intense political pressure, was responsible for acts of questionable legal legitimacy. For example, high-ranking government positions were hastily filled. In light of this, the advice projects that IRZ engages in with the aim of developing the rule of law must be readjusted. This is currently limited to participation in a comprehensive EU Grant. Even though IRZ has made considerable progress at the working level on its own components within this EU project, the political upheavals have created great uncertainties among the project partners. These must be addressed constructively so that rule-of-law advice can continue to be provided.

Project funded by the European Union

EU Grant Project: “The Rule of Law Programme in the Kyrgyz Republic 2 nd phase (ROLPRO2)”

Project objectives have been expanded in the second phase of the project to promote the rule of law. The project has been running since May 2018 and now also includes strengthening the Public Prosecutor’s Office as a further priority, in addition to the consolidation of a judiciary and court system based on the rule of law and promotion of the legislative procedure. Implementation of the project is in the hands of a European consortium under the auspices of GIZ (Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH). IRZ is involved in the project with two longterm experts whose advisory services are supported by the provision of additional specialised short-term expertise.

The project components are as follows:

  • Component 1: Modernisation of the legislative process 
  • Component 2: Support for the judiciary/the court system 
  • Component 3: Support for the Public Prosecutor’s Office

IRZ and GIZ are predominantly active in the first two components.

In the area of legislation, the Internet portal for public consultation on draft legislation has gone live and was officially presented by the Minister of Justice in an online event. In the future, the Kyrgyz legislative bodies will publish all draft legislation on this website, where citizens, associations and other representatives of civil society can then post their comments. This will add transparency to the overall legislative procedure, as the legislative bodies are obliged to respond to these comments.

Progress has also been made in the digital support of the legislative procedure, in which the developed software records legislation in a predefined form and according to a specific structure. However, a planned study trip to promote cooperation with the EU Commission on a similar European project (“Legislation Editing Open Software”) had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

In the area of e-justice, the electronic court information system “AIS Suda” has been installed at some courts of second instance – although the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to complete the roll-out at all courts. “AIS Suda” was continuously developed and optimised in 2020 following its nationwide roll-out at first-instance level. There are plans to develop an e-learning tool for users as well. Progress was also made in the further development of the IT interface between the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the judiciary. In the area of court administration, a draft for a new business audit model in courts (“Court Audit”) is currently under discussion by the Judicial Council.

The outcomes of this work make an important contribution to increasing effectiveness in judicial administration, as well as to creating transparency and credibility within the judiciary.


IRZ will continue the EU project in consultation with its project partners and on the basis of the results achieved thus far. It will particularly focus on user-friendly tools and on their proper application.