US Federal Judicial Center visits Uzbekistan

During the first week of June, Regional Dialogue hosted the visit of Director of US Federal Judicial Center Honorable Judge Jeremy Fogel and US FJC Director of Research Jim Eaglin. The visit was organized in cooperation with Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan and its Research Center. US FJC delegation met with the leadership of Supreme Court of Uzbekistan led by the Chairman Mr. Gaziev and Mr. Juraev, Director of SC Research Center, with the leadership of the Constitutional Court led by Chairman Mr. Birbabaev, with leadership of the Supreme Economic Court led by its Chairman Mr. Kamilov, with the Deputy Chair of the Senate Ms. Svetlana Artikova and with Chairman of the Judicial-legal reforms of the Senate of Oliy Majlis Mr. Matmuratov, with Higher Commission for Selection and Recommendation of Judges under the President (Ms. Artikova, Mr. Obidov and Mr. Kamilov) and with leadership of Ministry of Justice led by Minister Mr. Ikramov and Deputy Minister Mr. Usmanov.

Judge Jeremy Fogel and Jim Eaglin also visited the Zangiota Interdistrict Court on civil cases. The leadership of the Zangiota court, led by Judge Mr. Yodgorov showed the guests how the pilot application of the ICT technology is being implemented for civil and less complicated cases. During the week, Judge Fogel also held an interactive presentation on legal education in the US and the role of judges in the American legal system at Tashkent State University of Law for more than 420 law students. Judge Fogel had to answer many questions that students asked, mainly in excellent English, and he was also shown around the newly renovated building of the University by its Rector Mr. Kanyazov. Judge Fogel and Jim Eaglin also conducted a special working session at Ministry of Justice Training Center for lawyers attended by faculty staff of this and other judicial and law enforcement educational institutions (like Police Academy and Higher Training Courses of General Prosecutor), by judges, candidates for judges and defense lawyers.

Mr. Askar Gafurov, Director of Ministry of Justice Training Center also held a longer meeting with Judge Fogel, discussing experiences of continuous education of lawyers in Uzbekistan and in the US. Judge Fogel and Jim Eaglin also took part in the Regional Dialogue public discussion on judicial issues, attended by more than a hundred participants from government institutions, academia, civil society, media and internationals from the accredited organizations and diplomatic missions. The public discussion was opened with a keynote address of Ms. Svetlana Artikova, Deputy Chair of the Senate and focused on ethical standards of public officials and integrity of judiciary.

It was moderated by professor of Tashkent State University of Law Mr. Islamkhodjajev, and also included Mr. Nodirjon Juraev, Director of Supreme Court Research Center and Mr. Askar Gafurov, Director of Ministry of Justice Training Center. Many very interesting questions from the audience made a discussion especially important also with its broader outreach to population, raising its public awareness about important issues and future trends in the global legal education and functioning of courts in the new age. Mr. Ikramov, Minister of Justice of Uzbekistan, has expressed the Uzbek desire to establish a formal cooperation with the US Federal Judicial Center to Judge Fogel on behalf of Uzbek Government, during a hosted dinner.

Judge Fogel, on his side, said that his visit to Uzbekistan has far exceeded his expectations and that he has indeed not experienced such warm hospitality in any other country yet. He stressed that the discussions during the whole week, conducted in an unexpectedly sincere and very open manner, led to many ideas how the cooperation can be established further and promised he would soon come back with concrete ideas how to develop the US- Uzbek cooperation among judicial sectors further, focusing on a new level of cooperation especially in the area of judicial education. The delegation of the US Federal Judicial Center concluded its visit to Uzbekistan by a trip to Samarkand, the cradle of ancient civilization and of some contemporary sciences (like astrology and medicine). Judge Fogel also spoke about US judicial system and shared practical experiences from his long work as federal district judge and from his leadership of FJC in a workshop conducted at Samarkand Criminal Court for more than 50 judges from the regions.

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