Alternative dispute resolution, and in particular mediation, is finally gaining momentum in Tajikistan. Previous attempt to introduce law on mediation in Tajikistan have not been successful and consequently there is currently no formal legal framework for mediation. In the first phase of the project, the International Development Law Organization worked to promote commercial mediation and build momentum for its expansion. However, there is still the need to provide assistance to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mediation Center and improve its effectiveness.
Once the poorest of the former Soviet republics, Tajikistan still lags behind its neighbors, with the sole exception of Afghanistan. The country recently became a full-fledged member of the WTO and the government is eager to attract more investments from abroad. However, labyrinthine bureaucracy, weak rule of law and corruption have done little to encourage foreign investors.
By Michel Nussbaumer, Director, Legal Transition Team, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Margarita Milikh, Regional Program Manager, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, International Development Law Organization. This piece originally appeared in the ALIFDO Gazette Winter 2018 Edition.
Languages: English - Pусский
IDLO organized a roundtable discussion in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 21 February to present its functional analysis on the bailiff system in Tajikistan.
The economy and banking sectors of Tajikistan face a number of factors affecting the country’s business environment, including high interest rates and weak enforcement. At the core of the banking crisis is the fact that banks do not use the judiciary to support the enforcement of contracts. This in turn affects the construction sector, which, despite the challenging banking environment, is experiencing considerable growth. The justice system in its current condition is not able to address the construction sector disputes that inevitably surface as the sector expands.
Languages: English - Pусский
In Tajik language and culture, the word ‘mediation’ has historically been associated with peace-building efforts; mediation was used to resolve community conflict situations after the civil war in the 1990s. It has not been known as an alternative form of dispute resolution outside the court system.
The judiciary in Tajikistan, despite ongoing structural reform, continues to suffer from limited financing and capacity. Mediation could dramatically ease the burden of judges and the formal courts, but there is currently no law on mediation in the country. The concept is strongly linked to peace building and community conflict resolution rather than an alternative dispute resolution mechanism as mediation was introduced to resolve post-conflict situations after Tajikistan’s civil war.
Tajikistan’s enforcement framework and practice is considered to be the poorest in the region according to an assessment by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Non-enforcement and lengthy delays of court decisions, particularly with regards to commercial matters, is a significant problem which affects investor confidence and, as a result, economic indicators.
On a recent trip to a Central Asian preliminary detention center, the custodians proudly showed us the new ventilation system to prevent from spread of TB – a cut-in window directly across the door.
Access to judicial decisions, including commercial law decisions, whether for Tajik judges, lawyers, or representatives of international investors, is currently highly limited, due to a lack of a publicly accessible database. This impacts the ability of all parties to refer to past case law in making decisions — whether judicial or commercial.
As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report): “Implementation of a Commercial Law Judicial Training Program in Tajikistan” (2011-2014). The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit. This exercise utilized a theory-driven, mixed-method approach, in line with the IDLO Evaluation Guidelines and OECD DAC standards.