International Development Law Organization

Kyrgyzstan: Judge candidates graduate from pre-service program

Forty legal professionals striving to become judges in courts of the Kyrgyz Republic have successfully graduated from pre-service preparatory training, paving the way for them to put forward their candidacies. The specialized training program is provided by the USAID-IDLO Kyrgyzstan Judicial Strengthening Program (JSP) in collaboration with the High Justice Training Center under the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The program was developed by the High Justice Training Center with support from the JSP, which assisted a working group tasked with developing regulations on the curriculum, College Board and Exam Commission. Graduation from the program is one of the legal requirements for judicial candidacies, after which nominations are made by the country’s Judicial Selection Commission. The graduates’ prospects for entering their chosen profession are high, with around 70 - 80 per cent expected to become judges within the next two years.

Erkin Duisheev is now eligible to apply to become a judge of the Kyrgyz Republic

Between March and April 2017, 40 out of 186 applicants were selected to enter the four-month program. They first spent 10 weeks in the classroom studying ethics and substantive and procedural law. The theoretical part was then complemented by six-week internships in courts to learn practical, hands-on skills and prepare trainees for what working as a judge entails. The final examination consisted in written and oral tests on criminal, administrative and civil rights.

One of the graduates, Erkin Duisheev, shared his thoughts. “We passed three exams before we could participate in this program, and it was a great experience. The training was very useful for us – we were instructed by highly-qualified and experienced judges of the Supreme Court and rayon courts, and benefited directly from their knowledge and advice. We also had the opportunity to gain practical skills during our internship, where we were involved in judicial trials from the very beginning until the end.”

During an official ceremony in September 2017 attended by representatives of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Chamber, the 40 graduates were awarded certificates confirming their eligibility to compete for new vacancies.

Under the JSP, IDLO is working in a comprehensive manner with the justice sector in Kyrgyzstan to develop the capacity of the judiciary with a view to increasing its integrity and effectiveness.