Trusted Judiciary

The Program aims to increase public trust in the Judiciary as an independent branch of power that protects citizens’ rights and upholds the rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic. 

Duration: Mar 2018 - May 2020

Budget: $2.4 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

MAJOR FOCUS AREAS 

  1. Encourage a learning approach within the Judiciary by the adoption of performance measurement mechanisms, including court user surveys and judicial self-assessment;
  2. Engage civil society and other branches of Government in constructive efforts to improve trust in the Judiciary;
  3. Increase transparency and establish or modify business processes within the Judiciary to increase its professionalism, independence and consistency of judicial decision making; and
  4. Strengthen public outreach capacities and activities of the Judiciary.

IMPACT AND RESULTS

  • The program contributed to the development and adoption of the II National Targeted Program for the Development of the Judicial System of the Kyrgyz Republic (NTP 2) as a solid basis for sustainable and expanded funding of the judiciary. The NTP-2 also increases the financial and operational capacity of the Judiciary to scale the introduction of the Audio-Video transcription systems across all courtrooms, helping the court-users to protect their rights and the courts to increase their transparency and accountability. Kyrgyzstan’s national parliament, the Jogorku Kenesh, adopted NTP-2 on February 26, 2020. 
  • The program assisted the judiciary in implementing several digital solutions in order to increase public trust through transparency and quality of decisions. Nearly 90% of all decisions are now published on the website www.act.sot.kg, which allows the public to see the quality and reasoning of decisions being made in the courts. The Supreme Court has converted its work from hard copy to digital format with an automatic electronic case distribution system, audio-video transcription (installed in 77 courtrooms) and digital document workflow. 
  • The Program is actively advancing the Judiciary’s performance assessment processes. Over 4,400 people participated in the nationwide court-users’ satisfaction survey conducted with the Program’s support in 2019. The survey covered 25 courts throughout the country and assessed five components: accessibility, awareness, business processes, professionalism and safety. The Judiciary plans to use the results of this research to improve satisfaction levels in all courts of the country.
  • The Program supports efforts to unify judicial practices and increase the consistency of judicial decisions to make sure that interpretation of laws and court rulings on similar issues do not differ across the country. With the support of the Program, legal experts and judges developed summaries of judicial decisions concerning selected categories of civil and criminal cases and provided recommendations to improve and unify practices. After public discussions, they were published on www.sot.kg.
  • The Supreme Court and the Court Department(CD), which is responsible for enforcement of decisions, have undertaken major re-structuring and will almost double staffing of the CD to enforce court decisions more effectively. These reforms were carried out as a result of a self-assessment supported by the Program. Other bodies of the judiciary are in the process of self-assessment in line with Program recommendations. 
  • The Program has helped the Disciplinary Commission – a body responsible for increasing the quality and accountability of the Judiciary - in its outreach efforts to improve public understanding of its role. As a result of these efforts, the number of improper complaints beyond the DC’s competency decreased by 20% in 2019. 
  • To improve the system of legal education and contribute to building the capacity of future legal professionals, the Program supported five law faculties in implementation of mock trial courses for students on civil and criminal cases as well as competitions on best judicial acts and trials.
  • Improving the Judiciary’s public outreach is a critical component of the Program. The Program supported various initiatives that have opened the Judiciary to the public including a tour on the use of digital tools by the Judiciary for media representatives and training of judges on media relations. As part of these efforts, 40 journalists were accredited by the Supreme Court, allowing them an easier and more direct access to judges and the Judiciary overall to report on trials and ongoing reforms. The Judiciary has also developed its communications strategy with the Program’s support and the number of staff at the Press Office of the Supreme Court has tripled in order to revamp its communications efforts. The press service has taken the lead on organizing Expert Cafés, regular meetings of the judiciary with journalists started by the Program. These meetings have become an effective outreach tool for the Supreme Court.

Last updated: May 22, 2020

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