Judicial supervision of the pre-trial investigation process
On the initiative of Supreme Court Research Center of Republic of Uzbekistan, Regional Dialogue was requested to conduct a specialized session on the judicial supervision of the early stage of the pre-trial investigation. To the knowledge of both Regional Dialogue and the participants from the Uzbek side, the July 26, 2016 event represented the first such publicly discussed topic in one of the Central Asian states. In bringing together more than 40 participants from all three branches of the Uzbek government, the one-day session in late July is only the first of such discussions, since the critical line between the well-being of society, protected by the state, and the untouchable privacy of citizens’ life does represent one of the most sensitive areas in the judicial process of every country.
To facilitate a qualified dialogue on this topic, Regional Dialogue engaged three very experienced international experts who discussed different aspects of the early stage of the preliminary pre-trial investigation, and the specifics of the judicial supervision of the law enforcement activities. These experts were Boštjan M. Zupančič from Slovenia (former judge of European Court on Human Rights for 17 years, also former Vice-Chair of United National Committee Against Torture, and former Chairman of Constitutional Court of Slovenia), Iain Morley from United Kingdom (Barrister, Chambers of John Price QC and Cairns Nelson QC) and Bruce Brown from United States (District Court judge from Wichita, Kansas).
Discussions focused on international practices and obligations deriving also from ratified international conventions, pointing out specific approaches and standards for the implementation of law enforcement actions, as valid in different judicial practices related to court supervision of limitations of liberty, review of private correspondence or e-mails, wire -tapping, searches or other measures of intrusion of person’s privacy.
As the first public event of this kind, most Uzbek representatives pointed out the need for further concrete reforms in judiciary, especially in this area, possibly shifting the warrants ordering the implementation of special measures from prosecution (currently) to courts.