A training on the rights of people with disabilities. 2020. Photo: Motinov / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, October 2021 - A new draft law on State-Guaranteed Legal Aid (SGLA) will ensure expanded access of citizens to legal aid at the district level. The initiators of the bill in the Jogorku Kenesh were deputies A. Koduranova, K. Kerezbekov, N. Nikitenko, T. Tillaev, J. Tursunkulov, U. Primov, G. Moldobekova, M. Jeenchoroev, K. Ryspaev, Ch. Urumkalieva, A. Mamasheva, A. Nurbaev, N. Sydygaliev, D. Bekeshev, B. Amanova, U. Ismailov.

The draft law defines new categories of the most vulnerable individuals, such as victims of domestic violence or human trafficking and outlines the mechanisms for the provision of legal aid in civil and administrative cases.

The working group was established on 14th May 2019 by the decision of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation, State Structure, Judicial and Legal Issues and Regulations of the Jogorku Kenesh. UNDP is supporting this initiative within the project “Towards a sustainable access to justice for legal empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic” with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

The key novelties of the new Law are:

1.The draft Law provides mechanisms for the provision of qualified legal assistance in civil and administrative proceedings. In particular, it provides for the categories of cases in which citizens can receive state-guaranteed legal aid.

2.The mechanism for providing legal advice has been defined - bureaus for providing free (primary) legal aid to the population will be available at the district level.

3. The draft law expanded the range of recipients of qualified (secondary) legal aid. In particular, refugees and victims of domestic violence were included in the list of people entitled to state-guaranteed legal aid.

4. The structure of the law has been completely revised and the gaps identified in the course of law enforcement practice have been eliminated.

“Over a short period of time, practice has shown that legislation norms have some gaps impeding effective implementation of the law. These are issues regarding the implementation mechanism, determining the scope of eligible people to receive assistance, as well as the interaction of the SGLA system entities, particularly for criminal cases with law enforcement and judicial authorities. There is a separate issue with the mechanism for legal aid provision in civil and administrative cases, since the main emphasis has been placed on criminal cases. Based on the practice analysis, we first proposed to make amendments to this law. Since these amendments have exceeded over 50% of the law’s articles and norms, according to the law on regulatory documents, in this case, a new version of the law should be developed. Therefore, the working group decided not to make amendments but instead develop a new draft law with the main emphasis on the regulation of aid provision in civil and administrative matters” - explained the director of the SGLA Coordination Center Akjol Kalbekov.

In order to promote the draft law in parliament, the UNDP and the Finnish MFA project "Towards a Sustainable Access to Justice for Legal Empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic" established a Working Group and undertook a number of efforts such as:

-expert support of the law drafting process;

-organising and conducting all meetings of the working group;

-organising and holding expert discussions on the draft law with the participation of MPs and government representatives;

-organising and conducting round tables to discuss the draft law with the participation of civil society representatives;

-conducting a financial assessment of the cost of implementing the law;

-preparing a fact sheet on the draft law, including a financial justification;

-expert support for the process of drafting package legislation.

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Contacts for media: Nurzhan Alymkanova, communications specialist, nurzhan.alymkanova@undp.org 0555068833

 

 

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