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Candidates for position of judges have no equal access to state service

The Constitutional Chamber of Kyrgyzstan ruled that the current system of training applicants for judges in the Higher School of Justice violated the equal access to state service.

According to the Constitutional Chamber of Kyrgyzstan, the panel of judges reviewed the law on the Status of Judges of the Kyrgyz Republic. The contested norms were found to be contrary to the Constitution.

According to the law, applicants for the position of a judge must be trained within a year. Potential students must apply for leave without pay at their work. A qualifying exam is held upon completion.

With such requirements, circumstances that prevent candidates for judges from undergoing training and then participation in the selection are not taken into account. They also lead to discrimination based on social and property status.

In particular, the training of candidates for the posts of judges is carried out only internally, which implies leave without pay for 12 months. But not all heads of institutions are ready for the absence of an employee for such a long time. If to take a vacation without pay, then a person loses wage.

«If we take into account that such a candidate has no other income, this becomes a real obstacle to getting training. The circumstance is aggravated by the fact that the studies take place only in the Higher School of Justice in Bishkek, that is, students from the regions should rent housing in the capital. Its rent becomes an additional very heavy financial burden. Under these conditions, only those who are financially well-off have a chance to learn, and this creates prerequisites for unequal conditions,» the decision of the Constitutional Chamber says.

It stresses that the current training system, although aimed at providing the judiciary with qualified personnel, is limited in terms of additional requirements.

«The very circle of participants applying for vacant judicial posts is being narrowed, which ultimately influences the selection of the most deserving ones,» the decision of the Constitutional Chamber says.

The current system of training is unjustified in terms of the efficiency of using budgetary funds, since the availability of a certificate does not guarantee that the candidate will take the post of a judge.

Constitutional Chamber

Noting these contradictions, members of the board of the Constitutional Chamber came to the conclusion that the rights of citizens to protection against discrimination and equality of all before the law and the court, guaranteed by the Constitution, were violated, and the challenged norms of the law contradicted the Basic Law of the country.