Ensuring the Rule of Law and Judicial System Reform in Uzbekistan

In the end of 2017, the Government of Uzbekistan defined further reform of the judicial and legal system as one of the key priorities of its new Programme for 2018. The topics covered in the State Programme on Implementing the Action Strategy for Five Priority Areas of Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 during the "Year of Supporting Active Entrepreneurship, Innovative Ideas and Technologies" highly correlate with the mandate of the UNODC in Central Asia.

On 7 February 2018, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan hosted a round-table meeting to discuss reforms in the judicial and legal sphere covered by the State Programme. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Kozimdjon Komilov, the Chairman of the Supreme Court. Mr. Akmal Saidov, the Director of the National Human Rights Center of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Akmal Burhanov, the Executive Director of the Development Strategy Center, as well as Ms. Helena Fraser the UN Regional Coordinator, Mr. John MacGregor, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, and Ms. Ashita Mittal, the UNODC Regional Representative in Central Asia were present at the meeting along with the representatives of other international organizations and diplomatic missions, and the Supreme Court and Oliy Majlis (the Parliament) of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

In his opening address, Mr. Kozimdjon Komilov noted that "the Action Strategy for strengthening the courts of Uzbekistan is being implemented. In particular, during 2017 complex measures have been taken to ensure the real independence of the judges, and a democratic and transparent mechanism for personnel selection. Judicial board on administrative cases of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as 207 administrative courts were established in the regions, districts and cities of Uzbekistan. The implemented tasks made it possible to improve the effective protection of rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens, and to increase people's trust in justice."

"Last year, more than 50 legislative documents related to the judicial system were adopted and can now serve as a solid legal basis for transformation. In 2018, this work will not only continue, but also deepen. Our center will take an active part in the implementation of the tasks outlined. We will conduct regular monitoring, and timely inform the population. We also plan to build close cooperation with international partners and attract foreign experts in order to increase the effectiveness of measures taken by the Government" - said Mr. Akmal Burhanov, the Executive Director of the Development Strategy Center.  

"The Supreme court and its role is the one of highest level of faith that a citizen and the system has in the interpretation and application of the law that ensures that the justice is delivered and seen to be delivered.  UNODC is deeply appreciative of the work underway and that the people are at the heart of the response, and access to justice is ensured for the most vulnerable populations including women and children." - highlighted Ms. Ashita Mittal, the UNODC Regional Representative in Central Asia.