Improving transparency and efficiency of economic courts

Sep 25, 2015

 

During the years of independence, to stimulate the growth of private sector, Uzbekistan has introduced mechanisms of market economy, as well made efforts to reduce bureaucratic barriers.  As a result, rapidly growing economy has been leading to an increase in the number of economic disputes, which need to be resolved quickly and efficiently in a transparent and open commercial litigation process.  

To make economic courts more transparent and efficient, the joint project of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme “Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan” “Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan" has been actively cooperating with the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In particular, in order to further improve commercial litigation process, the project has been supporting the Supreme economic court in improvement of the procedural law, publication of judicial decisions on the official website of the court, as well as introduction of a system of audio-visual recording of court proceedings.

To this end, groups of a total of 60 people, including judges, secretaries and other staff completed training on the use of audio-visual recording of court proceedings at the Supreme Economic Court of Uzbekistan on September 21-25, 2015. It is expected that the system of audio-visual recording of court proceedings will substitute the traditional protocoling in the nearest future and will contribute to making commercial litigation process transparent and efficient. The system is being piloted at the Supreme Economic Court, Tashkent region and Tashkent city economic courts with the support of above project.

Advantages of the audio-visual recording include a complete record of the trial, thus allowing to improve the behavior of the parties during the proceedings, and in case of controversial issues, an option for either party to refer to the original recording.

It should be noted that the audio-visual recording of court proceedings minimizes the non-procedural contacts and thus can serve as a measure of anti-corruption policy of the judicial system. In addition, this system will simplify the commercial litigation process, and help to improve the efficiency of the proceedings. Implementation of this system will allow to respond to modern challenges and to strengthen the rule of law.

However, it should be noted that, effective use of the audio-visual recording system requires certain legal framework, making it legitimate to used audio-video recording of the trial as an evidential support. In this regard, the project is planning to develop proposals related to changes and additions to the Economic Procedural Code to ensure the sustainability of the use of this technology in the courts across the country. The project recognizes the need to engage both academics and practicing lawyers of Uzbekistan into this process, to develop a comprehensively document. Therefore, the project invites all interested parties to cooperate.

It should be emphasized that effective justice system that provides efficient and equitable resolution of economic disputes will help to maintain a favorable investment climate and increase the confidence of the private sector that their legitimate rights and interests are protected. This will help to improve the position of Uzbekistan in the global ranking of the World Bank's Doing Business, as well as other international rankings.

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