In 2015 EU and UNDP shall continue providing expert and technical assistance to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic

Dec 11, 2014

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – International development partners and the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic had a Steering Committee meeting for the projects aimed at supporting constitutional justice. The participants discussed the results of cooperation, listened to the presentations of project managers, the findings of the mid-term evaluation and discussed plans for 2015. The projects are funded by the European Union and implemented by the Venice Commission and UNDP.

The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Constitutional Chamber Mr. Mukambet Kasymaliev, judges of the Chamber Ms. Chinara Aidarbekova, Ms. Klara Sooronkulova and Ms. Meergul Bobukeeva, UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Alexander Avanessov, EU project manager and Attaché Ms. Claudia Hock as well as project staff. Ms. Svetlana Anisimova, project manager from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, participated in the meeting through an internet-based video-conference link.

The Chairman of the Constitutional Chamber Mr. Mukambet Kasymaliev highlighted the importance and timeliness of support provided by international partners. This support was offered to the Chamber since the very first months of its operation and facilitated in short time period the adoption and even partially introduced international experience of world constitutional justice practice. He also stressed that the projects are properly linked to the national content; they take into account specific needs of the Chamber and produced good results within one year.

The Chamber enjoys better transparency through the operation of the website and publication of the bulletin with its decisions. One of the achievements of the Chamber was the research of internal operation of the institution, arranging trainings for judges, staff, NGOs, journalists, organization of conferences, workshops, introduction of new procedures and business processes. “This is important for us, as it allows the exchange of experience with a large number of experts consequently resulting in positive changes in the work of the Constitutional Chamber. The outcomes of these workshops were reflected in the draft law “On amendments to the Law on the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic”, Mr. Kasymaliev said.

He also said that these new trends in the operation of the Chamber are aimed at increased efficiency and transparency to better meet the expectations of the public. These activities will be continued. One of the problems which still require solution is the enforcement of judicial decisions. This will determine the efficiency of justice in general.

Ms. Chynara Aidarbekova, the secretary judge of the Chamber stressed the importance of exploring the experience of the European courts, availability of international expertise – more specifically of the Council of Europe, including its Venice Commission. She also informed the participants on the drafting of the first programmatic budget of the judicial system as well as the initiative to design the mid-term development strategy for the Chamber.

According to UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Alexander Avanessov the institution has just started working therefore this period is important to provide assistance to its operationalization and development. “Communications with the population, non-governmental organizations, journalists alongside with professional communications within the judicial community are of great relevance in terms of being result – oriented”, Mr. Avanessov said.

A series of events were arranged to explain the role and functions of the Chamber, but there still seems to be insufficient knowledge of the institution and the necessity to enforce its decisions. Currently there is an on-going and very important sociological survey on the role of the Chamber and the level of public trust. According to Ms. Gulmira Mamatkerimova, the project manager, this is the first sociological analysis conducted at the request of the Constitutional Chamber in order to explore the public opinion and improve the communication with the public, with the creation of a feedback mechanism.

Ms. Svetlana Anisimova from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe stressed mentioned some of the capacity building events organized as part of the project including workshops in the field of constitutional justice with participation of experts from various countries, training courses on internal organization of court operation, study tours to European countries, legal opinion on draft legislation. “The project has achieved significant results and currently we are at the peak of project implementation. We would like to continue providing our expert knowledge and support to the Constitutional Chamber” said Ms. Svetlana Anisimova.

The following joint activities are planned for the next year: an intensive training program for judges and staff, a series of roundtables with the participation of international experts to discuss court-related topics such as the system of separation of powers etc. The development strategy of the Chamber will be finalized, in addition, there will be other researches and summary of case law practices, implementation of various elements of electronic court, including the electronic format for the petition, the data base of judicial decisions, the creation of a service of audio and video recording of court sessions as well as other small and effective legal and electronic instruments, though not significant in scale.

The projects to support the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic are funded by the European Union and implemented by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and UNDP. The objective of the project is strengthened stability and the rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic. Main components include international standards, ensuring enabling environment for the operation of the Chamber, enhanced cooperation of the Chamber with the society, better confidence, institutional development and capacity building.

The role of the Steering Committee is to ensure the accountability of the projects, increase the effectiveness of donor assistance and timely managerial decision making important for successful implementation.

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