Tajikistan

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.

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Key Initiatives

  • The judiciary in Tajikistan, despite ongoing structural reform, continues to suffer from limited financing and capacity. Mediation could dramatically ease the burden of judges and the formal courts, but there is currently no law on mediation in the country. The concept is strongly linked to peace building and community conflict resolution rather than an alternative dispute resolution mechanism as mediation was introduced to resolve post-conflict situations after Tajikistan’s civil war.

  • 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.

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