Uzbekistan - annual report 2016

Moot Court on civil law and civil procedure law for students of the State Law University of Tashkent with Esemurat Kanyazov (front, 5th from right), Chancellor of the University and former First Deputy Minister of Justice

Moot Court on civil law and civil procedure law for students of the State Law University of Tashkent with Esemurat Kanyazov (front, 5th from right), Chancellor of the University and former First Deputy Minister of Justice

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

As a result of numerous legislative amendments and personnel changes, the interaction between the state organs of Uzbekistan has to be realigned on a regular basis. The country’s leaders are implementing a development model which initiates political and economic reforms whilst maintaining internal political stability. Consultative support in the legal sphere encompasses various projects in the legislative field and the judicial system. In this context, German commitment aims to promote the development of a legal system which follows principles of the rule of law in all spheres. One of the country’s greatest strengths is its young population, which has grown steadily in recent years, so that the extension and improvement of education opportunities and the promotion of young people – including in the field of the courts and the judicial system – is particularly important.

Overall Concept

Bilateral cooperation with the Presidential Institute for Monitoring of Legislation continued in the reporting year in an atmosphere of mutual trust.

The focus of advice was on investment law and arbitration. Specialist dialogue originating from the previous year was deepened during a locally organised event and a study trip to Germany in 2016. The discussions locally once again focused on the ICSID (International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes) proceedings, in which Uzbekistan participates. In particular, the ICSID was grateful for the practical recommendations from the German experts on the preparation and implementation of proceedings before the ICSID. The study trip to Germany offered the representatives from the Uzbek Ministry of Justice the opportunity to exchange experience with internationally experienced lawyers and the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), which in turn is very interested in the establishment of Germany as an arbitration forum and the strengthening of international contacts. Overall, Uzbekistan needs more appropriately trained lawyers for its development as a place for investment and the handling of investment projects.

In the field of legal training, the IRZ organised a civil law moot court together with the professors and students of the Tashkent State Law University. The application of procedural law and substantive regulations were taught within the framework of simulated proceedings before a civil court. Here, the roles of judge, lawyers and parties were allocated amongst the German and Uzbek participants and prepared in advance. The excellent motivation and commitment of the Uzbek students is particularly noteworthy here. The exercise was successful in demonstrating the course of proceedings, in particular the hearing of and evaluation of the evidence in a comprehensible way and subsequently discussing it with a comparison of laws.

Advice on the notarial system, which has been given for several years, was continued with an event in Bukhara. The continuity of the specialist contacts and endeavours by the Uzbek side to also involve colleagues from remote regions in the international exchange can be assessed very positively. The impression was that the Uzbek side wishes to use German standards as a yardstick in particular for the introduction of electronic registers in the notary system.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office in Kiel organised a one-week internship in cooperation with the IRZ for a delegation of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan, thereby enabling participants to gain an insight into the work of a German investigative authority and the criminal investigation department of a federal state. The specialist discussions offered a forum for exchange about highly topical cross-border problem constellations such as the fight against terrorism and cybercrime. In addition, experience in preventing and fighting corruption were discussed with great interest. At the same time, the Uzbek public prosecutors saw the daily work of a German public prosecutor. In this context, particular attention was paid to the use of modern information and communication technology, including internal software for file management and other electronic instruments used in investigative proceedings.

Foci of Activity 2016

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Seminar in Tashkent on “Issues of the improvement of the law to promote private and smaller enterprises” with the Presidential Institute for Monitoring of Legislation
  • Roundtable in Tashkent on “Investment law and arbitration: Practical exchange of experience” with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Study trip to Germany on “Investment law and arbitration: Practical exchange of experience”
  • Moot court on civil law and civil procedure law at the Tashkent State Law University

Administration of Justice

  • Conference in Bukhara on “Notaries’ work in Germany and Uzbekistan: Exchange of experience on legislation and practice” with the support of the Federal Chamber of Notaries and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Study trip to/internship at the Kiel Public Prosecutor’s Office by representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan on “International standards in the field of criminal law and criminal procedure law”

Outlook

The IRZ will continue to coordinate the main focal topics with the Presidential Institute for Monitoring of Legislation in 2017. The existing cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, including its structural unit of the State Law University, will be involved in the joint planning Investment protection law, arbitration and legal basic and further training remain highly relevant topics and will be developed further, in particular with reference to practical experience. The fruitful cooperation with the General Public Prosecutor’s Office will be continued with the support of the Kiel Public Prosecutor’s Office by a practice-oriented one-week internship for another delegation.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.

Uzbekistan - annual report 2014

Discussions with the Institute for Monitoring of Legislation in Tashkent with Farrukh Mukhamedov, Head of the Institute (3rd from right), and Birgit Grundmann, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, ret. (2nd from right)

Discussions with the Institute for Monitoring of Legislation in Tashkent with Farrukh Mukhamedov, Head of the Institute (3rd from right), and Birgit Grundmann, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, ret. (2nd from right)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

The Strategy for Central Asia, launched by the EU in 2007, forms the foundation for the work of the IRZ in Uzbekistan, one of the most important states in the region. The most meaningful domestic policy events to take place in Uzbekistan in 2014 were the parliamentary elections, which were held in December. Despite some criticism by international election observers as to the implementation of electoral legislation, some positive changes can be observed. Efforts to strengthen Parliament have been seen, for instance to consolidate the scope of responsibility of the Members and their competences. There are furthermore efforts to advance the democratisation of state power through the institution of parliamentary review. In this context, the rising voter turnout is an unmistakeable sign of increasing political and societal maturity in Uzbekistan.

Large numbers of economic and legal projects are taking place in Uzbekistan with international partners, and with Germany in particular. The dialogue with Uzbekistan focuses on the circumstances for trade and investment, which have been difficult for years, and regularly also on the sustainability of the democratic and rule-of-law changes, as well as human rights issues. Germany is committed to specifically promoting sustainable economic development in Uzbekistan. German and EU projects in the judiciary and in the court system are complementary in terms of their objectives. For instance, the implementation of the large-scale EU project on the modernisation of the administration of criminal law “Support to Criminal Judicial Reforms”, managed by the IRZ, made a major contribution towards achieving this. Apart from the IT component, which was extended by one year, the project was completed in 2014.

Overall concept

The IRZ has been working bilaterally with the Ministry of Justice in recent years, and since 2013 with the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation under the President. The IRZ has been able to expand the exchange with the latter to include academics. Support in data analysis and academic support within the legislative procedure formed the central topic of a twoday conference in Tashkent. Representatives from the legislature, Academia and education took part in the debate on the optimum preparation and processing of research data while making use of modern communication technologies at all stages of the legislative procedure. At the first joint conference organised with the State University of Law of Tashkent, the lectures and discussions focussed on improving legal training by making it more practical, as well as expanding students’ scientific analysis skills. The conference made a constructive contribution towards the topical debate on qualifying human resources.

Foci of activity in 2014

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Conference in Tashkent with the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation on the role of academic services, in particular in legislative projects

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Study visit to Berlin, Wiesbaden and Dresden on forensic investigation for staff of the Ministry of Justice Conference on legislation in the field of criminal and criminal procedure law in Tashkent together with the State University of Law
  • Support to Criminal Judicial reforms in Uzbekistan (EU Grant)

Basic and further training

  • Seminar on legal training in Tashkent with the State University of Law

Ausblick

The IRZ will continue to work closely with the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation under the President, as well as with the Ministry of Justice, in 2015. In addition to the continuation of the cooperation on the previous key topics, joint activities are planned to take place in the field of civil and commercial law, in particular on the law on investment and on arbitration jurisdiction. In view of several sets of international arbitration proceedings that are pending with participation of Uzbekistan, the focus will be particularly placed on consultation services with a practical relevance.

The IRZ would furthermore like to involve the legal profession in the German-Uzbek expert dialogue. Strengthening the role and the independence of the lawyers and the further development of the professional law related thereto is indispensable for a rule-of-law-orientated legal system and an effective judiciary. There are still some shortcomings in this regard in Uzbekistan, so that there is a need for exchange with experienced experts from home and abroad.

Uzbekistan - annual report 2013

Conference on social legislation in Tashkent

Conference on social legislation in Tashkent

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

Large numbers of reform processes are continuing to be launched in Uzbekistan in the legal field. For this reason, the expert dialogue with the Uzbek partners focuses on rule-of-law topics, on effective legal protection as well as on well-functioning administrative and judicial structures, and above all on human rights issues. Uzbekistan is endeavouring to consolidate cooperation with international partners. Germany is one of the most important partners of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the EU, and this expresses itself in the large numbers of cooperation projects in the legal and commercials fields. In the implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, Uzbekistan takes on a major role in the region. Germany continues to be in favour of the continuation of a critical dialogue with the objective of continuing sustainable democratic change and improving the human rights situation. A contribution is made by the EU project entitled "Support to Criminal Judicial Reforms", a complex project to modernise the administration of criminal law which has been implemented with other European consortium partners under the leadership of the IRZ since 2011.

Cooperation to date

The IRZ continued the successful cooperation with the Ministry of Justice in 2013, intensified the contacts with the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation under the President. The topics of the notary system and court experts' report-writing were dealt with in some depth by intensively discussing issues arising in practice at the relevant events. The Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation under the President, which has been operating since 2005, sees itself as a research facility, and is responsible for the evaluation of the reform projects and for drawing up legal reports for all bodies, ministries and judicial institutions in Uzbekistan which are involved in legislation. Closer cooperation has therefore helped specifically turn attention towards dealing with academic aspects, as well as towards the interplay between various players in order to ensure the quality of legislation and the effectiveness of the judiciary. A "Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation" was signed in July 2013 between the IRZ and the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation under the President, which will form the basis for the future systematised, comprehensive legal exchange in the judicial field and in the court system, with the involvement of Parliament, Academia and training facilities.

Major partners

  • Ministry of Justice
  • Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation under the President

Strategy and method

The IRZ will continue to support Uzbekistan on its ambitious path towards the rule of law and democracy as well as in the implementation of international legal standards with the objective of providing sustainable consultation, in particular in the reform of statutes. The interest in legal consultation by German experts and in a practical exchange pertains uninterrupted, so that the IRZ is following on from the results that have been achieved here and is continuing the trust-based modus operandi with the previous partners.

Foci of activity in 2013

Administration of justice

  • Study visit on the topic of "Academic research in the field of legislation" to Berlin and Munich with representatives of the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation
  • Two-day seminar on the topic of the law on public notaries and on registers in Tashkent and Samarkand with the support of the notaries department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Public law

  • Seminar on the topic of "Completion of legislation: German and foreign experience" for representatives of various Uzbek institutions dealing with social law issues, in Tashkent

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • EU project "Support to Criminal Judicial Reforms"
  • Two-day international conference "Current developments in court expert report-writing: German and Uzbek experience", together with the Sulaimanova Centre for Court Reports at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Tashkent

Outlook

The IRZ will coordinate the strategic foci for the joint measures in concord with the Institute for Monitoring of Current Legislation under the President. The existing cooperation with the Ministry of Justice will be incorporated into this structure. The IRZ will focus on the quality of legislation and expand consultation in this field. Furthermore, it will include current topics, such as the law on investment protection and judicial basic and further training. Moreover, German experts are to help draft the new provisions on administrative procedure. The IRZ will make the results of the legal dialogue accessible to a broader public through publications and a specialist journal.