Our Perspective

      • Sustainable development: is there a place for women?

        08 Jul 2014


        Onol lives in the village with her younger daughter and her husband who drinks from the first days of their family life and hasn’t worked anywhere for the last 15 years. At the age of 50 she weighs 45 kilos, has a thyroid disease, heart and renal failure. Despite poor health, she still works on the family farm land and runs the house. The biggest problem for Onol in summer is watering the field, since irrigation water is reducing each year. During irrigation season one has to reserve a spot in line for water at 3 am and it’s managed mostly by men. Onol and other women who manage irrigation themselves are usually last which leads to a poor harvest. She does not keep livestock, because she does not have the money to feed it in winter. Kymbat was kidnapped by her ex-husband at the age of 18 after two days of dating and was taken to a distant pasture where there was no electricity. Kymbat had to do the hardest work – milking cows and horses, cook food over a campfire, take care of children and in-laws. Every year the amount of grass on the pasture was diminishing so Kymbat’sRead More

      • FaceJustice: innovating rule of law

        01 Jul 2014

        Having worked for over 13 years on issues related to the rule of law, I have often wondered how we can make the justice system more open and accessible to citizens, which would ultimately make it fairer. In this regard, modern technologies, whatever we mean for such a general expression, give us new horizons to explore. Our commitment, as professionals in this sector, should be to find a way to link these technologies with the justice system, which, by and large, operates with methods inherited from previous centuries.  With this idea in mind, I have developed a proposal to create a social network for monitoring trial activities. The idea is simple: any interested person, lawyers and non-lawyers, can share trial monitoring observations through a website that would become a worldwide hub and platform in the sector. The vast majority of trials are public – anyone can attend them. This is a great opportunity to show how the legal system works on a daily basis to promote justice via mass crowdsourcing. It would open the doors of trials to whoever is interested across the globe, making the legal system more transparent, visible and understandable. It would also become a fantastic learning toolRead More

      • Governments can save money by spending more on free legal aid

        28 May 2014

        One of my first activities, once I started my assignment as Chief Technical Adviser on Rule of Law in the Kyrgyz Republic has been to look at sustainable and effective methods in increasing the access to justice. The project Widening Access to Justice for Legal Empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic , financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has given a perfect opportunity to look at this fundamental matter in a systematic manner with a special focus on rural women, children and people with disabilities. In this context I have participated to several meetings and working groups tasked to draft the new Law on Free Legal Aid. One of my observations relates to the often forgotten economic argument. Comparative studies on the cost of the justice systems often show how countries that spend the most on free legal aid services have lower expenditures in the justice system as a whole. For example, quality free legal aid services can help resolve cases faster through mediation, when applicable, or through abbreviated proceedings, which saves time and money that otherwise will be spent on long legal procedures. This means that money spent on the provision of free legal aid can become aRead More