With the support of USAID and IDLO as part of the Judicial Strengthening Program in Kyrgyzstan, students participated in a mock hearing as part of their judicial training and coursework. This course helps prepare future lawyers by exercising their practical skills in the courtroom. These students’ successors, who will take part in similar courses, will be able to view their work soon when videos of the mock trials are finalized and edited as teaching tools.
Among the least developed economies in Asia, Kyrgyzstan has been hampered by weak state institutions and a security environment that is not immune to ethnic tensions and social unrest. The judiciary, which had been hindered by political influence and corruption, is now undergoing a process of modernization, supported by IDLO.
Since Kyrgyzstan's independence in 1991, the country's Judiciary has suffered from financial shortfalls. This resulted in a lack of capacity to improve the quality of decision making and regularly update the level of judges' knowledge of current legislation. One particular area of importance for judicial training is commercial law, crucial for Kyrgyzstan in seeking to reduce corruption and spur economic development.
As in many transition countries, the Kyrgyz judicial system suffers from a low rate of court decision enforcement, with lengthy delays common, and a rate of successful enforcement estimated at only 30%. Moreover, significant challenges exist in relation to prevention and punishment of debtors who hide assets or evade court orders, and a lack of a database where bailiffs can easily obtain necessary information on debtors.
A herd of cows belonging to Bakyt Azizov has trampled over land belonging to Aybek Isaev. As a result, Mr. Isaev’s future oats harvest has been partly compromised. Mr. Isaev is now claiming from Mr. Azizov 85,600 Kyrgyzstani som (US$ 1,340) in compensation, divided as follows: direct damage – 7,100 som; profit lost – 48,500 som; moral damages – 25,000 som; and lawyer’s fees – 5,000 som.
Every day, children in parts of Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia have their rights violated, according to an IDLO/UNICEF report on access to justice for children in the region.
Following the April 2010 Revolution in the Kyrgyz Republic, an interim government came to power promising to end many of the injustices that had prompted the overthrow of the country’s previous two presidents. Many reforms carried out during the interim period were focused on improving the foundation and application of the rule of law. Despite initial steps made towards progress in this area, the political events of 2010, including ethnic violence, significantly undermined potential progress in the rule of law.
After a taste of serving as judges, final year law students in Kyrgyzstan were won over by a role they’d previously dismissed as a career option.
More than 30 students from the Kyrgyz National University’s Faculty of Law took part in the second Mock Court Course supported by IDLO.
In a bare-bones, underheated court house in snow-bound Issy-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, a woman tells IDLO a story. This story is her own. She tells how, just out of girlhood, she was studying law, away from her village. Once, while on a visit back home, the young woman saw a car pull up. Men jumped out and grabbed her: she was, she knew, being bride-kidnapped.