Once the poorest of the former Soviet republics, Tajikistan still lags behind its neighbors, with the sole exception of Afghanistan. The country recently became a full-fledged member of the WTO and the government is eager to attract more investments from abroad. However, labyrinthine bureaucracy, weak rule of law and corruption have done little to encourage foreign investors.
Rome, July 9, 2013 – Today, the International Development Law Organization welcomed a delegation of 16 members of the Tajik judiciary to Italy. The delegation, consisting of 15 judges and the Head of the Judicial Training Centre of Tajikistan, is attending a 10 day apprenticeship at the Scuola Superiore della Magistratura and Italian courts.
Tajikistan’s enforcement framework and practice is considered to be the poorest in the region according to an assessment by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Non-enforcement and lengthy delays of court decisions, particularly with regards to commercial matters, is a significant problem which affects investor confidence and, as a result, economic indicators.
Access to judicial decisions, including commercial law decisions, whether for Tajik judges, lawyers, or representatives of international investors, is currently highly limited, due to a lack of a publicly accessible database. This impacts the ability of all parties to refer to past case law in making decisions — whether judicial or commercial.
As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report): “Implementation of a Commercial Law Judicial Training Program in Tajikistan” (2011-2014). The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Impact Assessment Unit. This exercise utilized a theory-driven, mixed-method approach, in line with the IDLO Evaluation Guidelines and OECD DAC standards.
In 2011, IDLO opened an office in Dushanbe, with the stated aim of giving the entire Tajik judiciary a grounding in commercial law. To this end, we have partnered with the Supreme Court of Tajikistan, the Council of Justice and the Judicial Training Centre (JTC). The country, which is negotiating access to the World Trade Organization, has received minimal foreign investment to date. We are building the capacity of Tajik judges on topics including property rights, land contract and privatization disputes, creditor rights and secured assets, and corporate governance.
The Bishkek Forum, held in the Kyrgyz capital in March 2013, was an international conference organized by IDLO to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and improve the administration of justice across much of the former Soviet space. The Forum drew chief justices from host nation Kyrgyzstan, neighbors Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, as well as regional superpower Russia, Georgia and Ukraine to discuss the effective and transparent management of courts.