Participation in the 4th National Rule-of-Law Forum in Dushanbe: Isrofil Bobodzhonzoda (centre), Chairman of the International Arbitration Tribunal in the Republic of Tajikistan, and Angela Schmeink (on the right), Head of Section at the IRZ
Participation in the 4th National Rule-of-Law Forum in Dushanbe: Isrofil Bobodzhonzoda (centre), Chairman of the International Arbitration Tribunal in the Republic of Tajikistan, and Angela Schmeink (on the right), Head of Section at the IRZ

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

Tajikistan continues to face numerous political, socio-economic, societal and ethnic problems that present obstacles to the country‘s sustained stabilisation. The political system is strongly characterised by personal influence. Institutional structures and the judiciary do not operate independently and enjoy little trust in the population; accusations of corruption overshadow their work. A plethora of control mechanisms are applied to maintain domestic stability.

Stronger governance, comprehensive legal protection and the fight against bureaucracy are declared objectives but will only be achieved through consistent implementation of reforms in these areas. Despite the noticeable stagnation, Germany continues to trust in ongoing dialogue as a means of working toward democratic change and the development of rule of law.

During the reporting year, the political and economic liberalisation of the neighbouring state of Uzbekistan led to perceptible rapprochement between the two countries. Both sides signed a large number of cooperation agreements in the areas of trade, investment, agricultural, security and elsewhere during a Central Asia Conference in Dushanbe in March 2018. The positive developments in neighbouring Uzbekistan feed the hope that a sustainable reform process may be initiated, which might have positive knock-on effects for the whole region.

Overall Concept

Within its cooperation, the IRZ continued to prioritise the provision of advice on international arbitration in close collaboration with the dedicated team from the International Arbitration Tribunal at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Tajikistan.

It has become apparent within the framework of the support provided thus far that the law “On international commercial arbitration“ that was introduced in 2015 in the Republic of Tajikistan requires revision, as it adopted provisions from a variety of different sources, without applying a systematic approach based on international best practices. The law therefore contained loopholes, ambiguities and contradictory provisions. Moreover, it was not consistent with the new arbitration rules established by the International Arbitration Tribunal, for which the IRZ had provided intense counselling. These rules reflect both international standards, as well as Tajik perceptions from a post-Soviet perspective.

The competent Tajik working group continued to show interest in receiving legal advice from – and sharing practical experience with – German experts. It has therefore been possible to build on the results achieved so far and to maintain the trusting collaboration with the same partners.

Measures included meetings of the working group with German experts in Dushanbe and Berlin. The provisions of the UNCITRAL Model Law of 1985 were used as a basis to revise the provisions. It was worked through in detail and discussed at length in regard to the Tajik context.

In addition, a legal comparison was also carried out on standards and practices applied in other countries and in the Russian Federation especially. The individual provisions were formulated in a final stage to reflect Tajik practice, bringing the content and editorial work on a new version of the law to a successful conclusion.

The new version of the Law on International Commercial Arbitration will be presented to the Tajik Parliament once it has been approved by the Cabinet.

This intense dialogue at technical level yielded a completely revised normative basis for commercial arbitration in the Republic of Tajikistan.

Foci of Activity in 2018

Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Participation in the 4th National Rule-of-Law Forum in Dushanbe to explore further developments in legal policies

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Workshops in Berlin and Dushanbe with the working group to draft a new version of the Law on International Commercial Arbitration in the Republic of Tajikistan

Outlook

During 2019, the IRZ will continue to cooperate in the area of international arbitration. Support in the coming year will prioritise legal counselling with a practical relevance. Besides training courses for arbitrators, arbitration staff at the Arbitration Tribunal will be given the opportunity to engage in an international exchange of experience on application of the law as a means of professionalising their work.