Expert Commentary on the Draft Strategic Concept to Strengthen Independence of Lawyers and Facilitate Reform of the Bar in Uzbekistan Now Online

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has published a paper with “Recommendations on the Concept for the Development of the Bar in the Republic of Uzbekistan”.

The expert commentary offers recommendations for steps to ensure the independence of lawyers in the Republic of Uzbekistan, the institutional and functional independence of the Chamber of Advocates, as well as the right of the accused to an effective defense in criminal proceedings.

Discussions on possible legislative changes that provide for autonomy of the Chamber of Advocates and improvement of its management capacity to independently regulate the legal profession and protect human rights have been going on for some time in Uzbekistan as part of the country’s efforts to strengthen the rule of law.

UNODC has been supporting an expert working group tasked with developing a strategic concept for the development of the bar association. In partnership with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), UNODC provided expert advice during the development of this strategy and jointly produced the expert commentary.

The strategic concept for the development of the bar association is awaiting government approval. Further work on the law on the Defense Bar is also envisaged.

UNODC assists the government of Uzbekistan in implementing criminal justice reform through expert advice and capacity development for national law enforcement and judicial bodies with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).


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