Further reforms to the process for selecting judges in Kyrgyzstan are needed to ensure an independent judiciary, according to an OSCE report presented in Bishkek on 30 March 2012.
Prepared upon request of the Kyrgyz authorities, the report was drafted jointly by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in co-operation with other partners, and points to concerns related to the composition and funding of the Council for the Selection of Judges and the lack of detailed criteria for the selection of judges.
“The report’s recommendations are invaluable for the Kyrgyz Republic and will undoubtedly be useful for the ongoing debate on judicial reform,” said Shamaral Maichiev, the Chairman of the Council for the Selection of Judges.
The recommendations outline steps to strengthen the system for selecting judges by de-politicizing the composition of the Council and reducing the role played by parliament and the President. The report recommends some changes to legislation, the adoption of detailed working procedures, and more time allotted to the Council to fulfil its tasks.
“Only a body that is free from political influence can select truly independent and impartial judges,” said Benjamin Moreau, the Chief of the ODIHR Rule of Law Unit. “ODIHR stands ready, if requested, to assist Kyrgyz Republic authorities in implementing recommendations made in the report.”
The report was drafted in collaboration with the EU-UNDP Kyrgyz Republic Legal Framework Support Project; the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as part of an EU-funded project; the Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan; and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The recommendations were produced as follow up to a training seminar for the members of the Council, organized by the OSCE and its partners in Bishkek in November 2011.