Promotion of the Rule of Law in Central Asia

Project description

Title: Promotion of the Rule of Law in Central Asia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Lead executing agency: Justice ministries, supreme courts in Central Asia
Overall term: 2018 to 2022

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Context

The governments of Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have each adopted a law on administrative procedure; in Kazakhstan, adoption is scheduled. A similar law has been in force in Tajikistan for several years, but applying it is proving extremely difficult. With these legislative initiatives, all the Central Asian republics aim to boost their national economies and improve the climate for business and investment. However, the fact that the legal requirements placed on administrative agencies have not yet led to actual improvements for private sector actors is problematic. They face risks arising from arbitrary decisions and corruption on the one hand and a lack of well-trained legal practitioners in state agencies on the other. Generally speaking, the administrative and legal decisions concerning private sector actors frequently fail to follow the legal rules of procedure laid down in the reformed administrative law.

Objective

Decisions concerning private sector actors are increasingly in line with the procedural rules of the reformed administrative law.

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Approach

The project supports the Central Asian countries in their efforts to improve government and public administration compliance with the legal requirements of the reformed administrative law. This is done first and foremost by providing organisational advisory services to administrative agencies and training courses to administration employees and the judges at administrative courts. 

In Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the project is working to establish a functioning system of civil and commercial law as regards the enforcement of decisions taken by the civil and commercial courts. Similarly, support is being provided to improve the bailiff system.

The project’s capacity development strategy takes into account all four levels: First, the project supports cooperation primarily between the government agencies that are especially relevant to economic development in implementing the applicable administrative procedures act, particularly the ministries of economic affairs, home affairs, and justice. Second, in view of the harmonisation of administrative procedures such as business registration, operating licences for production plants and the use of agricultural land, the project underpins efforts to align several special procedures with the procedural and legal standards laid down in the administrative procedures act. Third, advisory services are provided to administrative courts and licensing bodies on how to adapt their internal administrative procedures to the new legal standards, and on rules for implementation. Fourth, training measures are conducted so that staff are able to apply the new standards when making administrative decisions.

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Results

In Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan the laws on administrative procedures and processes advocated by the project have already been adopted. In Tajikistan, similar rules on administrative procedures already exist in civil law. In Kazakhstan, the draft law on administrative procedures and processes has been launched in the country’s legislative process. Over 1,000 judges, civil servants and lawyers have undergone training in the new administrative procedures acts in Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Several yearbooks and journals with contributions from experts from all over Central Asia have been published on legal topics relevant to the Central Asian countries.

The project contributes to building trust and cooperation in citizen-state relationships, thereby promoting good governance. It not only strengthens the legal positions of domestic and foreign private sector actors while addressing the issue of improving the relationship between the state and the private sector, but also contributes indirectly to providing better access to justice for all citizens. This has the additional indirect effect of alleviating the risk of internal conflict within the states. Regional cooperation also helps build trust and cooperation within regional legal networks.