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President of Kyrgyzstan sums up first results of judicial reform

President Almazbek Atambayev believes that the national justice system has been launched in Kyrgyzstan. He stated this today at a meeting of the Council for Judicial Reform.

The head of state is sure that the country has established legal bases and launched the process of forming our own national system of justice. It is based on the principles of justice and the rule of law. During the meeting, Almazbek Atambayev noted that for the first time since 2012 members of the Judicial Reform Council met not to discuss draft laws, but to summarize the key stage in the process of reforming the judicial system of Kyrgyzstan.

The Judicial Reform Council initiated the development and organized a broad discussion and further refinement of 38 most important draft laws.

«Thanks to the work done for five years, Kyrgyzstan now has seven new codes adopted by the Parliament, including the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Penitentiary Code and the Civil Procedure Code. The Administrative Procedural Code, the Code on Violations, the Code on Misdemeanors, as well as dozens of other new laws, have been adopted for the first time. If today a punitive approach prevails in the list of penalties applied by the courts, then after the entry into force of these laws, there will be a trend towards humanization, «Almazbek Atambayev noted.

But the punishment for murders, violence, terrorism, official crimes will remain tough.

The President is confident that the new codes and laws adopted in recent years, combined with changes in the selection and appointment of judges, as well as measures taken to increase the amount of funding and strengthen the material and technical base of the judicial system, create a completely different, new basis for the administration of justice.

The judicial system remains up to date one of the most problematic in the overall state system of Kyrgyzstan. There is not a single meeting with citizens, where to some extent the issues of corrupt courts and the issuing of unjust decisions and sentences were not raised.

Almazbek Atambayev

«Therefore, we started a radical reform of the judicial system. We are only at the beginning of the way. Therefore, the results of our work are largely visible only to specialists. But now the judicial system has a solid foundation," the head of state believes.

Some of the adopted laws come into force only in January 2019. This is connected with the fact that the government needs time for their implementation and adoption of other regulatory legal acts. In addition, the President believes that the Cabinet should pay special attention to issues of criminal statistics, electronic registration and recording of crimes.

«It is very important that the future by-laws do not distort the essence of the adopted laws, do not discredit the judicial reform itself, which is intended to restore the people’s confidence in the courts and judges. Reform should make the judicial system fair and free from corruption," Almazbek Atambayev stressed.

Today, the judiciary consists of two thirds of new people. Earlier, 263 out of 397 judges of local courts appointed since 2012 did not work as judges.

«There are a lot of young people among the judges today. We remember that many of the so-called «experienced» judges had a plume of extortion and bribery. And the data on the number of brought to criminal responsibility and dismissed judges in recent years convincingly testify to the correctness of the choice made by us in favor of young specialists. Judges are independent and subject only to the Constitution and laws. But this provision does not mean impunity and therefore the laws should ensure transparency in the work of courts of all levels and, accordingly, responsibility for the adopted unjust decisions," the President said.

Almazbek Atambayev believes that the courts should be transparent and open to all citizens. And the judicial reform itself should be included in Taza Koom program.

Transparent work of the judge, transparent trials, direct broadcasting of trials should become the norm.

Almazbek Atambayev

The head of state is sure that unprofessionalism, bias and violation of ethical norms of judges' behavior is not only a disgrace for a particular judge, but also a disruption of citizens' trust in the judicial system, and in general — to the state. That is why the implementation of the new constitutional norms includes draft laws that regulate the activities of the disciplinary commission under the Council of Judges. It is designed to consider complaints about the actions of judges who violate laws, including ethical norms. The first students of the Higher School of Justice at the Supreme Court have started their study since April 2017. Students who have successfully completed training and who have received a certificate will be nominated for a high position of a judge.

The Constitution of Kyrgyzstan provides for two functions of judges: justice and judicial control. To implement the control, a new figure — investigating judge is introduced. The legality and validity of the detention of a person who has committed a crime will be carried out on the basis of the decision of the investigating judge.

The judge should be an example of objectivity, incorruptibility and impeccability in his actions and decisions. The primary responsibility for the professional and personal qualities of candidates for judicial positions was vested in the Council for the Selection of Judges.

Almazbek Atambayev

«This body has not yet fully revealed its potential. Its work requires improvement, of course, like everything else. There are many objective difficulties. But it is very difficult to explain how the deliberately unworthy candidates are submitted by the Council for the Selection of Judges to the President for consideration. The Council should be more principled in its work, «Almazbek Atambayev criticized.

Also, the President praised the deputies and experts for their good work in developing new laws for the reform of the judiciary. At the same time, he noted that the law-making work should be continued.

«Another very important priority area of ​​our work was the solution of the problem of the financial and technical support of the courts. Over the past 5 years, the volume of financing of the judiciary has quadrupled. For the first time since gaining independence, construction of modern buildings of courts began at the expense of the budget. We plan to start building a dwelling house for judges," the President told about the nearest plans.

At the same time, he urged not to stop on the reached and continue the reform. After all, the implementation of the adopted laws and introduction of innovations into judicial practice are still ahead. A positive assessment of the work done by the society depends entirely on how open and, most importantly, fair the court will be.

«Today, our citizens rightly demand justice and law, as well as honesty and integrity, incorruptibility and objectivity of judges to become a reality of our lives. However, it is also very important that respect for the rights of other people and state laws to become the norm of life for every citizen. All our actions should be aimed at helping the judicial power to acquire more and more features of an independent, responsible and branch of state power, enjoying the confidence of citizens, «Almazbek Atambayev concluded.

After the speech, the President handed 14 state awards, 24 letters of gratitude, as well as 10 engraved watches and 12 memorable gifts.