Improving Criminal Justice System:
Uzbek Forensic Laboratories Prepare to Obtain International Accreditation

Forensic services play an essential role in an effective and fair criminal justice system. From the crime scene to the courtroom, forensic services are an integral part of investigations. The ultimate objective of forensic science is to contribute to finding the truth, more precisely to provide the criminal justice system with answers, using objective evidence, and by questions aimed at determining the guilt or innocence of an offender. It is therefore essential that forensic services are provided by a highly qualified and impartial entity.

Law enforcement authorities and other clients of forensic laboratories, for example, police, customs, prosecutors and defence solicitors, need results that are: reliable, valid, based on standard procedures, compatible with results in other laboratories, compliant with the evidentiary standards of the respective judicial, administrative and legal systems, obtained in an effective and efficient manner in the required timescale, value for money.

The quality of the analyses and results of forensic laboratories have significant implications for the justice system, law enforcement, crime prevention and health policy, as well as for the international harmonization and worldwide exchange and coordination of drug and crime information and data.

The compatibility and acceptance of the laboratory results between countries is facilitated by their compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, the international quality standard for testing and calibration laboratories, and the associated ILAC recommendations G19:08/2014 for forensic science laboratories.

UNODC supports forensic laboratories of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan to strengthen their capacities and help them prepare for obtaining international ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.

"External accreditation to ISO 17025 is the process by which an authorized accreditation body formally recognizes that a laboratory is competent to carry out specific tasks. In the accreditation process, the laboratory demonstrates that its management, operations, personnel, procedures, equipment, accommodation, security, and health and safety procedures meet established quality standards. While it may require a significant investment of resources, it would provide laboratory management, law enforcement authorities and other clients with added confidence in the performance of the laboratory. External accreditation is therefore an appropriate goal in the development of a quality management system in the forensic laboratories." - said Mr. Mirzakhid Sultanov, the National Programme Officer of the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia.

Within the framework of its activities to strengthen capacity of forensic laboratories of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, UNODC facilitated technical assistance mission of three international forensic experts from Lithuania to Tashkent from 21 May to 1 June 2018. The consultants have provided on-site technical assistance to the experts of the Main Forensic Centre of the Ministry of Interior and the National Centre of Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice with an aim to develop and apply quality management systems, standard operating and technical procedures in line with the requirements of the ISO 17025. During the mission the consultants have also delivered on-the-job training workshops on Validation and Verification of Methods, Traceability in Measurements, Good Laboratory Practice, Uncertainty of Measures, Corrective Actions Control and Top Management Review for the experts of both laboratories.

This technical assistance mission to Tashkent was a third step towards preparation of both laboratories for the ISO/IEC 17025 international accreditation application process. As a first step UNODC completed comprehensive needs and gaps assessment to audit the compliance of the 2 Uzbek forensic laboratories with the ISO 17025 requirements in November 2017.

Earlier this year, on 26-30 March, Uzbek specialists of abovementioned centres visited Vilnius to study the experience of the Police Forensic Science Centre and other forensic services of the health and justice sectors of the Republic of Lithuania in development and implementation of quality management system in compliance with the ISO/IEC 17025 requirements.

Technical assistance and consultations, as well as on-the-job training sessions delivered by the UNODC consultants have been greatly appreciated by the Uzbek forensic laboratories and contributed to the capacity improvement of these labs to meet the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025.

"The visit of the international experts organized with the support of the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia was extremely useful for the specialists of the Main Forensic Centre of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The consultants provided methodological and practical assistance which will have a direct impact on the process of preparation of the Main Forensic Centre for further steps to receiving international accreditation", - stated Mr. Nail Galipshin, Head of the Main Forensic Centre pf the Ministry of Interior.

"Experts of our centre found the visit of the Lithuanian experts and all conducted training sessions very helpful and informative", - shared his views Mr. Uchkun Uzakov, Director of the Republican Centre of Forensic Expertise named after Kh. Suleymanova under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Activities to strengthen the capacities of the forensic laboratories of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan are implemented in the framework of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia with financial support of the U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).


For more information

Please, contact Ms. Dariya Kudabaeva

UNODC ROCA Communication and External Relations Officer

E-mail: dariya.kudabaeva[at]

Tel.: 998 (71)-120-80-50