The criminal code and criminal procedural law
The criminal code and criminal procedural law: Prospects of improvement This activity was organized as a partnership cooperation of the Tashkent State University of Law, led by Rector Esemurat Kanyazov and Regional Dialogue, led by Director Mjusa Sever. The format of the program included targeted presentations from both Regional Dialogue’s subject matter experts and Uzbek experts from different Uzbek institutions coming from all three branches: the judicial, executive and legislative, as well as academics and faculty professors from the institutions of judicial education. The agenda included main topics of discussions for further reforms, including some of the recommendations and comments that RD’s international subject matter experts shared in the past years, and breakout discussion groups, focused on particular elements of the Code and specific pre-trial and trial related topics. This activity was a sort of unique one in its format because it was actually conducted as intensive brainstorming by confronting different recommendations, opposing opinions, several reform initiatives aiming to align Uzbek legislation and practical implementations in line with international standards and covenants, ratified by Uzbekistan. The exchanges among experts and specialists of different professional background also looked at the issues that relate to adapting judicial practices to the modern challenges of the globalized world, and threats to society. Uzbek presenters also proposed demands for judicial oversight of the pre-trial investigation (and agreed to focus on these issues further in a separate activity). The stimulating and interactive two day program focused on proposed changes to the penal and procedural codes, in particular changes designed to clarify and enhance self-incrimination protections, reinforcing of the presumption of innocence and the right to counsel. Discussions thus focused on the reforms intended to bring actual practice closer to the legal standards. Perhaps the most fruitful and open minded discussions were held in small discussion groups in the afternoons of both days. Each of the four experts discussed recommendation with a group of participants, and the groups reported their agreements and disagreements to the panel to further share ideas and invite additional discussion. Discussions also included practical cases and examples, focused on the reforms intended to bring actual practice closer to the law. Participants also viewed the video of a plea guilt hearing in a narcotics case conducted by Judge Tunheim. Of special interest were also the remarks by Judge Robert Cordy on the systemic changes that were implemented in Massachusetts in the 1970s to address the notorious corruption in the state government at that time. The video with a transcript was later shared with the Uzbek institutions of judicial education to be included into their curricula. Both Uzbek experts and Regional Dialogue American subject matter experts learned that their legal communities share many of the same social concerns in their practice. In conclusion to the event, Tashkent State University of Law Rector Kanyazovand Regional Dialogue agreed to work on the follow up by collecting the discussions into a publication recording this event. The dialogue among the Uzbek experts from different institutions, coming from different professional generations was real, direct and constructive. It combined theoretical and practical experiences shared by their American colleagues US Minnesota Chief Federal District Judge John Tunheim, Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Robert Cordy, Massachusetts State Prosecutor Kevin Curtin and Sharon Reich Paulsen, Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the President at University of Vermont, also a visiting professor on defense topic at Minnesota University of Law.