“I try to start my training with short talks using simple language.
Landlocked and traditionally isolated, Mongolia possesses a great wealth of under-exploited natural resources, including gold, silver and copper, as well as 10% of the world's known coal reserves. Although the country is peaceful and politically stable, corruption, insufficient transparency in government affairs, and an ambiguous foreign investment legal framework have undermined its capacity to fully capitalize on its economic potential.
On December 6, 2019 IDLO teamed up with the School of Law and Social Sciences of the University of Internal Affairs of Mongolia to organize a prize debating competition where more than 300 students came together to compete in teams presenting arguments around common misconceptions about gender-based violence (GBV).
Legal reform and institutional capacity building have been priorities for the Government of Mongolia since 2005, when a specific Government Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection was established. However, the Government Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection still has institutional weaknesses and has not always been able to effectively implement changes of the legal framework.
The Government of Mongolia has taken a number of legislative and policy steps aimed at tackling domestic violence. While the new legal framework undeniably offers an improved, holistic and more victim-centered approach, its practical implementation and adherence to ensuring the needs of victims requires significant technical assistance, ongoing monitoring, and effective coordination among all the relevant actors.
While years of economic development have propelled Mongolia forward in wealth and investment, its limited experience with the market economy - counting only 30 years after transitioning from a centralized communist model -has prevented the country from fully capitalizing gains and sustaining growth.
By Michel Nussbaumer, Director, Legal Transition Team, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Margarita Milikh, Regional Program Manager, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, International Development Law Organization. This piece originally appeared in the ALIFDO Gazette Winter 2018 Edition.
Home to around 2,600 Mongolian Americans, the city of Arlington, Virginia has one of the largest Mongolian populations in the United States, to the point that Mongolian is the third-most widely spoken language in the local school system.
As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report): “Strengthening Enforcement of Court Decisions in Mongolia - Phase I and II”. The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit.
With domestic violence only recently classified as a crime in Mongolia, police officers, judges and other justice professionals initially had to navigate unfamiliar territory. Capacity building programs are helping them to support victims in line with the new legislation and resolve cases through coordinated response mechanisms.
Strengthening the domestic violence response in Mongolia
IDLO is implementing a project in Mongolia that aims to strengthen the response to domestic violence and increase access to justice for survivors.
Strengthening the domestic violence response in Mongolia IDLO is implementing a project in Mongolia that aims to strengthen the response to domestic violence and increase access to justice for survivors.
Domestic violence in Mongolia is increasingly recognized as a significant problem. Law enforcement officials report that in 2016 domestic violence cases increased by 25 per cent in the first seven months of the year compared to the previous year. In response, the Government of Mongolia has begun to take legislative and policy steps to improve its response to the issue. While important steps continue to be taken, significant challenges remain.
In recent years, following a growth spur which made it the fastest growing economy in the world, Mongolia has experienced rapid economic and social downturn. Although the years of growth yielded wealth and investment, the country was unable to prepare for a recession due to corruption, inflation, distortion of the local economy and environmental degradation. One of the key obstacles to sustainable growth and development is the weak and poorly prepared judiciary.
Mongolia’s rapid economic and social growth over the last few years is threatened by low-quality and unenforced court decisions. Despite a series of judicial reforms launched by the Government, Mongolia still lacks the legislative framework necessary to enforce court decisions or a strategy to address a growing caseload. Moreover, bailiffs’ inadequate legal knowledge and skills weaken the credibility and efficiency of the judiciary system and impede its proper functioning.
Despite having reached satisfactory standards of democracy and improved the respect for human rights, Mongolia faces some serious issues in addressing high levels of domestic violence against women. Mechanisms and services for protection of and support to victims of domestic violence are still very limited. A lack of training, procedural guidelines and inter-agency coordination between justice sector actors often creates obstacles for victims and hinders an efficient response to domestic abuse.
Mongolia has formally joined IDLO, the latest stage in an expanding partnership for the advancement the rule of law. The first communist-ruled nation outside the Soviet Union, Mongolia has over the last two decades built a democracy that is untypical of its region. But for all the efforts of its political class and civil society, it has some way to go to improve governance, enhance access to justice, and reduce inequality.
Many national and foreign businesses seeking dispute resolution are still unaware that Mongolia offers faster, more cost-effective options than the courts. To promote these options, IDLO has helped establish Mongolia's first private mediation center and assisted in creating the first Mongolian corps of world-class commercial mediators. Established at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with main premises in Ulaanbaatar and a branch office in the second largest city of Darkhan, the center benefits from close proximity to Mongolia's business community.
Unless it boosts capacity in commercial law, Mongolia risks discouraging inward investment, not least in the vital mining sector. To avoid this happening, IDLO has been working with Mongolia's Supreme Court and Judicial General Council to improve the courts' ability to apply commercial law. In particular, we have ensured that 24 Mongolian judges are equipped to train their peers in areas such as mining disputes, intellectual property and competition law.
Mongolia’s investment climate is chronically undermined by poor enforcement of rulings. In an effort to improve the enforcement rate, IDLO has been helping strengthen the Mongolian General Executive Agency of Court Decisions by building the capacity of more than 200 bailiffs (12 of them bailiffs-trainers) in areas including sale and seizure of property, mediation and international arbitration, and conflict management.
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.