On September 16 the international conference ‘Current Status and Prospectives for the Development of Arbitration in Uzbekistan’ was held at the ‘International’ Hotel Tashkent. This event was organized by the ‘Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan’ project implemented by USAID, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan and UNDP, together with the ‘Support to Investment Climate Improvement in Uzbekistan’ project.

The main objective of this conference was a discussion of global experience in arbitration, the means through which most commercial disputes are resolved around the globe, and to identify how arbitration could be further developed within Uzbekistan’s national context. This discussion focused on the development of both the legislative foundations and practical requirements needed for arbitration.

Subjects covered during the conference included an overview of the means by which arbitration can be implemented, the most effective ways of enforcing the related legal outcomes, and the ways by which Uzbekistan could become a regional hub for arbitration. Also covered during the event was the means through which best international experience could be applied in Uzbekistan’s context, with Hong Kong’s experience being particularly draw upon.

Additionally, the potential adoption of a law on international commercial arbitration in Uzbekistan, based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law, was also discussed.

The development of arbitration has been essential for building international investor confidence in Uzbekistan’s judicial system, assuring investors that any business disputes arising will be resolved in a fast, unbiased and transparent way. This judicial security is fundamentally important in attracting additional funds and investment into Uzbekistan’s growing industries, and for further improving Uzbekistan’s ranking in the Rule of Law and Doing Business indexes.

Global statistics indicate that 70 to 80% of all international business disputes are resolved through arbitration. For example, in 2016 alone, 966 cases were accepted at the international Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, 343 cases at the Singapore International Arbitration Center, and 303 cases at the London Arbitration Court.

Among the national and international experts at the conference included a partner at the Merritz law firm and renowned arbitrator Diana Bayzakova, department head at the Ministry of Justice Islambek Rustambekov, and Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre General Secretary Sara Grimmer.

The overall goal of the ‘Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan’ project, as implemented by USAID, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan and UNDP, is to strengthen public access to and trust in Uzbekistan’s judicial system. The project has worked to reform Uzbekistan’s judicial system in close partnership with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The project’s work has been undertaken in parallel with the priorities set forth in Strategy of Actions for the Five Priority Areas of Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2020, as related to accessing justice and achieving greater alignment with internationally-recognized standards of judicial independence, integrity, accountability, rule of law and transparency.

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