Sixth Expert Forum on Criminal Justice for Central Asia

On 17-18 November in Tashkent the Sixth expert forum on criminal justice for Central Asia brings together leading experts and policy makers to discuss the latest reforms, trends and initiatives in the criminal justice sector in the countries of Central Asia. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes and its partners Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE and Penal Reform International continue to engage in promoting exchange of experiences and expertise in strengthening the rule of law and providing assistance to promote more effective, humane and fair criminal justice systems.

Participants of the Expert Forum emphasized the essential characteristics of a criminal justice system in a democratic society, including fairness, efficiency and adherence to human rights standards. In addition, side events provided an opportunity to highlight key issues, including countering institutional incentives for torture and judicial ethics organized respectively by Penal Reform International and the International Commission of Jurists.

As the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, Ms. Asita Mittal emphasized: "This forum is an excellent example of our joint work in promoting international standards in crime prevention and criminal justice. We all agree that 'reform of the criminal procedure legislation' is an important entry point and a prerequisite for the establishment of a democratically accountable criminal justice system that protects human rights."

"Conclusions and recommendations of national and foreign experts and guests of the today's event will serve as a basis for further improvement of criminal justice systems as well as strengthen the independence of the judiciary in Uzbekistan and other countries of the Central-Asian region", said Shayunus Gaziev, Chairperson of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Expert Forum is a leading regional platform in Central Asia for expert  discussions on criminal justice reforms, human rights, and the harmonization of national legislation with the international standards in line with UNODC commitments.