International Development Law Organization

Boosting East-East Cooperation in Central Asia

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.

Earlier this month, IDLO brought two former Kyrgyz Supreme Court judges, Judge Aibek Davletov and Judge Madina Davletbayeva, to Tajikistan to conduct a training on company law and bankruptcy.

The Tajik judges, who usually receive training from international experts who bring experience from developed nations, were at first skeptical of the Kyrgyz trainers. International experts often have a hard time understanding the obstacles Tajikistan’s judiciary faces. But throughout the course, their attitudes changed as they realized the benefits of training with experts from the region., The trainers from Kyrgyzstan could relate and provide anecdotal advice. As the Tajik judges realized how many common issues the two judiciaries shared, the training became more interactive and the Tajik judges were able to better understand commercial law, which is a virtually new concept in the country. 

Judge Davletov also presented the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan website, a portal for publishing judicial decisions that was launched with help from IDLO last year. Impressed by the system, the Tajik judiciary agreed on the need for a similar database in Tajikistan. 

This example of East to East cooperation between two Central Asian countries with common challenges in judiciary reform showcases how internal barriers can be overcome by bringing in external, yet like-minded expertise, and how sharing success stories from neighboring countries can be a beneficial training tool.