UNODC Promotes Decriminalization and Alternatives to Imprisonment in Uzbekistan

On 11 March 2020, UNODC partnered with the Tashkent State University of Law to organize a roundtable discussion on the draft new Criminal Code of Uzbekistan. The event was aimed at supporting the development of new criminal legislation in Uzbekistan based on a strategic concept endorsed by the President in 2018.

“Uzbekistan has embarked on a reform of its criminal justice system, which focuses on human rights and international standards. Interagency expert groups have developed first drafts of new Criminal, Criminal Procedure and Criminal Executive Codes. We are glad to partner with international organizations, such as UNODC, to make sure that the new Codes that will be adopted  meet all international standards” – said Mr. Rakhimjon Khakimov, Deputy Minister of Justice, Rector of Tashkent State University of Law, opening the event. 

The roundtable brought together 45 participants representing the President’s Administration, law enforcement agencies, judicial bodies, lawyers and academic institutions to discuss the classification of crimes and system of punishment. The definition of specific crimes, such as those related to cybercrime, were also discussed.

“One of the aims of the current debate is to consider the possibility of decriminalizing certain types of offences or reclassifying them so that they do not result in penalties entailing the deprivation of liberty” – noted Mr. Koen Marquering, UNODC International Program Coordinator. “In line with the country’s strategic concept for the new criminal legislation, the application of increased alternatives to incarceration are foreseen as a way to promote social reintegration of offenders and prevention of recidivism”.

The roundtable was one in a series of public discussions held since 2019 to discuss the draft Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure and Criminal Executive Code with participation of UNODC experts.

The event was funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).