New software for automated distribution of civil, economic and administrative cases is being tested by the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, aimed at simplifying case assignment among judges, reducing corruption and facilitating fairer, more efficient case handling.
Among the least developed economies in Asia, Kyrgyzstan has been hampered by weak state institutions and a security environment that is not immune to ethnic tensions and social unrest. The judiciary, which had been hindered by political influence and corruption, is now undergoing a process of modernization, supported by IDLO.
IDLO works to empower rural women by enhancing legal knowledge and rights awareness, giving them tools to promote justice in their local communities, and promoting their professional participation in the justice sector. Many women living in rural communities are excluded from decision-making processes and unable to access formal justice structures.
Forty legal professionals striving to become judges in courts of the Kyrgyz Republic have successfully graduated from pre-service preparatory training, paving the way for them to put forward their candidacies. The specialized training program is provided by the USAID-IDLO Kyrgyzstan Judicial Str
Using the skills acquired during an advanced training of trainers course, Kyrgyz judges have independently designed and led a two-day seminar for the High Justice Training Center (HJTC) of Kyrgyzstan in June 2017, showing how judicial capacity building is helping to advance key reforms of the justice sector.
Investment climate to improve through creation of transparent and predictable legal environment
In Kyrgyzstan, members of Aksakal courts (Elders courts) expressed an interest in receiving training on their legal jurisdiction and on carrying out their mandate from members of the formal justice system. In April 2017, IDLO facilitated a training program for members from the Chui region (oblast).
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Fred Huston, Country Director. Our work in the justice and rule of law arena in Kyrgyzstan in 2016 took place against a backdrop of ongoing public dissatisfaction with the performance of the judiciary. Many people here still try to blame the judiciary for the ills of the country.
‘Each country faces its own challenges and has its own particularities. But when we join together despite the distances, there emerges an understanding of the fact that we are not alone.
Until recently, court processes in the Kyrgyz Republic have not been automated. Manual or paper systems still are required and are the norm although automating all processes has started very actively. According the country’s National Target Program for Development of the Judiciary, automated information systems need to be expanded and rolled out to the whole judicial system, not only within all first instance courts, but also second and third instance courts.
The Kyrgyz Republic has made significant strides in working toward improvements to a justice system shaken to the core following the 2010 Revolution. While a wholesale reselection process of judges changed the landscape and provided hope for real change, it also created a judiciary staffed with many inexperienced, under-skilled first-time judges who are more easily exposed to negative influences - both perceived and real. Consequently, the public mistrusts the judiciary and holds a negative perception of it being corrupt, inefficient and dependent on other branches of government.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and in particular mediation, is well established in developed economies and becoming increasingly popular in transition countries. For any court system, mediation can substantially reduce caseload burdens, improve clearance rates, and raise efficiency in the administration of justice.
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.
The Kyrgyz judiciary is not favorably viewed by the public and, at the same time, the public is not well-informed about the functions and duties of the courts. To assist the judiciary in strengthening communications with the public, IDLO under the USAID-IDLO Judicial Strengthening Program, has been providing assistance in the development of a communications strategy for the judiciary and training of new press secretaries of local courts taking up their duties for the first time in the history of the Kyrgyz Republic.