Judicial Strengthening Program (2011-2018)

Duration: September 2011 - March 2018

Budget: $6.6 million

Implementing Partner: International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Key Partners: The Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, Constitutional Chamber, Council of Judges, Court Department, High Justice Training Center, Disciplinary Commission.

Activity Locations: Nationwide

The program provided targeted assistance to improve independence, capacity, and integrity of Kyrgyzstan’s judiciary.

MAJOR FOCUS AREAS

  1. Support for reforms improving judicial independence;
  2. Improving the human resource capacity of the judiciary;
  3. Improving judicial integrity.

EXPECTED IMPACT AND RESULTS

  • Since 2016, all allowable court decisions must be published on www.sot.kg, a result of the program’s assistance in advancing the law on Access to Judicial Information. The program also equipped courts throughout the country with technology, software and training to enable them publish the information. By the end of the program over fifty percent of equipped courts published their decisions online.
  • The program assisted in development of the National Target Program for Development of the Judiciary of the Kyrgyz Republic 2014-2017 (“NTP”) adopted by the Government in 2014. The program has helped to more than double the Judiciary’s budget, underpinning improved judicial training, e-justice efforts, wages and infrastructure. An updated program requesting further increases and support for the judiciary for the years 2018-2022 is currently under development. 
  • A Law on Conflicts of Interest, the drafting of which was initiated during the first year of the program, and which essential for both improved independence and for anti-corruption efforts throughout the Government, including the Judiciary, was signed into law on December 15, 2017 and will enter into force in June of 2018. 
  • A Law on Courtroom Security, a Law on Access to Judicial Decisions, an Ethics Code, and several other key pieces of legislation aimed at increasing both the independence of the Judiciary and its accountability to Kyrgyz citizens, were adopted and or signed into force during 2016. The program supports implementation of these new laws by, for example, helping the Court Department create a 300-member Courtroom Security Division.  
  • The program produced and aired 12 episodes of a court-TV program “Achyk Aikyn” on KTRK in 2016-2017, Kyrgyzstan’s main public national television network, in Kyrgyz and Russian languages. The show seeks to demonstrate the role and value of a truly independent judiciary and to educate the Kyrgyz public on court procedure and their rights and responsibilities in judicial proceedings. 
  • The program helped elevate the status of the Judicial Training Center under the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, which was transformed into the High Justice Training Center in 2016. Further, the center’s state funding increased ten-fold, while the number of staff tripled. The program also helped to substantially strengthen the center’s capacity to independently develop and deliver judicial training, contributing to its sustainability. 
  • The program helped to introduce and mainstream, for the first time in Kyrgyz history, a mandatory training program for sitting judges, newly appointed judges, candidates for judgeships and other court personnel. Since 2015, over 500 judges and court personnel completed the training courses. 
  • The program helped to develop and disseminate more than 8,500 copies of publications such as handbooks, sample court orders, guidelines, manuals, and commentaries for judges and other legal professionals. Electronic versions of the publications are available on the Supreme Court website (www.jogorku.sot.kg).
  • New methodology to analyze judicial decisions, developed by judges and legal professionals with support from the program, is helping the judiciary address and correct inconsistent decision-making. The program continues to support the expanded use of the methodology by the Supreme Court.
  • The program supported introduction of several IT solutions in the judiciary: specialized software to publish court decisions online; a document-management system for the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court to improve court management and speed up processes, an electronic system for testing judge-candidates; an automated case assignment system of the Supreme Court to improve integrity and fairness in case allocations among judges. Moreover, with the program’s support, the Supreme Court has now a specialized IT unit, “Adilet Sot,” to independently maintain and advance IT use within the courts.
  • Mock court courses in three universities provide hands-on training for law students in both civil and criminal procedure, with experienced trial judges participating as instructors (between 2014 and late 2017). The program supported competitions among students of law schools on preparation of judicial decisions, and trial practice to stimulate efforts of students to improve their skillset and capacities.  

Last updated: July 31, 2018

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