"The judiciary in Tajikistan should be open and clear as a mirror," Head of the country's Supreme Economic Court Naim Mansurzoda has said. "The EBRD/IDLO project will help us improve transparency."
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.
One of the key elements of IDLO’s Commercial Law Judicial Training Program in Tajikistan is the establishment of a commercial law section at the Judicial Training Center (JTC) library in Dushanbe.
For the past ten years, both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have been working toward judicial reform, sharing common challenges along the way. Yet while Kyrgyzstan has opened up to the international community and shown positive change, Tajikistan has been more reluctant.
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.
Recruiting for: court judges.
Remuneration: $300 to $600/month.
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.
Alternative dispute resolution, and in particular mediation, is finally gaining momentum in Tajikistan. Previous attempt to introduce law on mediation in Tajikistan have not been successful and consequently there is currently no formal legal framework for mediation. In the first phase of the project, the International Development Law Organization worked to promote commercial mediation and build momentum for its expansion. However, there is still the need to provide assistance to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mediation Center and improve its effectiveness.
The economy and banking sectors of Tajikistan face a number of factors affecting the country’s business environment, including high interest rates and weak enforcement. At the core of the banking crisis is the fact that banks do not use the judiciary to support the enforcement of contracts. This in turn affects the construction sector, which, despite the challenging banking environment, is experiencing considerable growth. The justice system in its current condition is not able to address the construction sector disputes that inevitably surface as the sector expands.
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.