Legal Policy Situation

Tajikistan, struggling with stagnation, continues to face major economic and political challenges. Despite many resources including water, gas, precious metals and natural resources, the country is still among the poorest countries in the world. Thus, it is fighting massive waves of emigration, particularly of the young generation, which is plagued by unemployment.

As Tajikistan lies in a persistently fragile region, sharing a border of more than 1,000 kilometres with Afghanistan, it also finds itself in a rather isolated spot in terms of security policy. Following the death of the Uzbek President, however, relations with the neighbouring country of Uzbekistan have improved considerably: the two countries took their first steps towards defining and marking the border and promoting trade.

The legal and judicial reform projects that have been initiated, however, are only progressing slowly. The transformation process continues to focus on the fight against corruption as well as on endeavours to apply legal protection vigorously, to implement effective administrative and judicial structures and to align human rights with international standards. The EU remains the most important partner of Central Asian countries, also in terms of trade. Initiatives to promote market economy structures and to improve the investment climate are particularly significant to the region and continue to be highly topical.

Overall Concept

In the year under review, the IRZ’s measures focussing on investment law were implemented with the International Arbitration Tribunal of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Tajikistan, which was founded in 2016. These included two events in Dushanbe and a study trip to Germany.

In the last two years, the experts of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), who were appointed by the IRZ, collaborating with the extremely committed Tajik Arbitration Working Group, developed arbitration rules and other regulations that both meet international standards as well as taking into account the conditions in a post-Soviet state.

In particular, the new arbitration rules for the International Arbitration Tribunal were completed successfully in terms of content and editorial work in the year under review, as were the rules on fees of the International Arbitration Tribunal, the rules for rapporteurs and the secretariat of the International Arbitration Tribunal.

They managed to examine critically many elements characteristic of postSoviet countries and to remove them from the draft arbitration rules. One example of this is the separation of national and international arbitration proceedings. The arbitration rules now cover both domestic and international disputes without limitations. This is in line with international practice and ensures uniform access to arbitration for different parties and extends the Arbitration Tribunal’s competence.

Furthermore, the IRZ assisted the Arbitration Tribunal in translating the arbitration rules into English. The English version is indispensable in arbitration proceedings with foreign participation. It contributes clearly to the international orientation of the new Tajik arbitration authority even in its early stages of activity.

The very young Tajik arbitration was built on a foundation of solid regulations complying with international standards in close cooperation between their ambitious leadership and German experts. It requires further regional and international ties, professionalisation of practical procedures and further training of staff employed in the field in order to be developed further and to earn recognition.

Foci of Activity 2017

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Participation in the third national forum on the rule of law to determine the further development regarding legal policy in Dushanbe

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Workshops to develop arbitration rules and accompanying regulations with the working group of the International Arbitration Tribunal at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan in Dushanbe
  • Study trip by the delegation of the International Arbitration Tribunal to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan to Berlin and Hamburg on the topic of “Practice of Arbitration Law and Administration of Arbitration”

Outlook

The plan for 2018 is to keep providing support in the area of arbitration. The cooperation will focus on training courses for arbitrators and arbitration staff.

Furthermore, the Tajik law on arbitration, which falls short on many levels, is to be revised, specifically by including the contents of the UNCITRAL Model Law. It seems sensible to consider supporting the relevant working group, which has already been established for this purpose, through international consultations.