Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The coming year will see innovative strides towards better access to justice for women, greater gender parity among court staff and judges, and a new culture of court journalism.

On November 4 the final 2020 board meeting of the ‘Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan’ project (operating since 2014) was held digitally, attended by representatives of the Supreme Court, USAID and UNDP. At this meeting it was formally announced that the project will continue operations until end of 2021, through additional funding provided by USAID.

The meeting’s agenda included a presentation of the project’s intended focus for the upcoming year. The planned objectives for 2021 include applying recommendations and best practices for improving access to justice for women, creating gender parity among court staff and judges, enhancing independence of courts by strengthening judicial integrity, increasing judicial transparency, supporting development and replication of related e-justice systems and interactive services, and forming a new culture of court journalism.

From 2014 to 2020, the ‘Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan’ project has played a central role in implementing planned reforms within national courts and the broader judiciary system. These reforms have been in line with the over-arching national development objectives for 2017-2021, and both the 2030 Agenda and the global SDGs.

The combined efforts made by project partners have transformed Uzbekistan’s courts into transparent, public-facing institutions. Major achievements of the past six years of work have included:

-        Providing better training for current and future judges, lawyers and court personnel;

-        Improving the procedural codes for economic, civil and criminal courts, and developing a new Administrative Court Procedure Code;

-        Creating a world-recognized e-justice system to speed case processing and enhance access to justice, and installing ICT infrastructure in courts across all regions;

-        Improving Uzbekistan’s scores in international rankings related to the justice sector.

For 2021, the project’s operations will focus on consolidating past achievements, and expanding operations in new directions.

The digital board meeting held on November 4 was attended by 24 representatives of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Supreme Judicial School, the Tashkent State University of Law, the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, the non-governmental organization MADAD, USAID and UNDP.

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