IDLO has been working with the Kyrgyz Judiciary to support the establishment of a functional, credible and transparent legal system, since the adoption of the 2010 Constitution. Despite many positive developments, the rule of law sector has faced a number of problems – chief among them inadequate financing, which risks undermining judicial independence and makes access to justice a challenge, as well as transparency and accountability.
Under the USAID-IDLO Judicial Strengthening Program, IDLO is working to develop the capacity of the Judiciary and restore judicial integrity, supporting the reforms towards judicial independence, including financial independence. IDLO has supported the development and adoption of a National Target Program (NTP) for the Development of the Judiciary, which has doubled budgetary allocations for the judiciary for the first time since the country’s independence, and is currently supporting the development of the NTP for the next four-year cycle, 2018-2022.
IDLO has also provided technical support in the drafting of a number of key pieces of legislation, on issues such as court security, access to judicial information and strengthening the training center for the Judiciary, all of which were recently passed. To further enhance transparency, IDLO is supporting the publication of court decisions through a publicly accessible portal, www.sot.kg and assisting the court system in improving its technological capacity and IT systems to utilize this and other IT tools designed to make the Judiciary more efficient and transparent.
IDLO has also been working to strengthen judicial capacity, assisting with the development and adoption of a mandatory comprehensive continuing legal education requirement for judges and developing benchbooks and a methodology of analysis of judicial decisions that can be used by judges as up-to-date legal resources. To help strengthen the legal education system and build the skills of future legal professionals, IDLO is supporting the creation and implementation of practical mock court courses in both civil and criminal law at three universities in Kyrgyzstan, with some making these disciplines required elements of the law school curriculum. This academic work is set to be expanded through cooperation with the Association of Legal Clinics in Kyrgyzstan.
As a partner to an EU-funded Rule of Law consortium led by GIZ, IDLO is also working on e-justice and the rollout of an electronic case management system in pilot courts, which will contribute to the overall quality of court operations, accountability and publicity of trials.