Tajikistani Legal Professionals Recommend Criminal Procedure Reforms

April 2012

Continuing its support of criminal law reform in Tajikistan, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) hosted a February 29–March 1 conference on the country’s Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), allowing legal sector stakeholders—including defense attorneys and representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office, Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice and the President’s Office—to build consensus around specific proposed changes to the CPC.

The conference provided an open forum for representatives from all parts of the legal community and produced a set of widely-supported proposals for legislative consideration.

Attended by about 100 legal professionals, the conference came on the heels of several ABA ROLI-organized roundtables to assess the CPC, comparing its provisions to international standards and identifying reform and improvement opportunities. The event provided an open forum for representatives from across of the legal community and produced a set of widely-supported proposals for legislative consideration.

In his opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Kenneth Gross encouraged participants to approach the subject in the spirit of a productive dialogue. Discussions addressed several significant criminal reform issues, including the rights and responsibilities of prosecutors and defense attorneys at both pre-trial and trial stages.

“The participants received a comprehensive analysis of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Tajikistan, which specifies existing gaps and deficiencies in the law and practice,” said Farukh Raufov, head of the Department on Investigation of Cases of Special Importance at the General Prosecutor’s Office. “Additionally, the participants were able to clarify a lot of practical questions and receive practical guidelines, which they can follow until legislative changes are introduced.”

At the end of the conference, ABA ROLI compiled the recommendations to provide a roadmap of actionable criminal procedure reforms to better protect the rights of the accused. The recommended reforms also will strengthen the adversarial system of criminal justice that was introduced in Tajikistan through April 2010 CPC reforms.

The conference was funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Click here to read the CPC reform recommendations.

To learn more about our work in Tajikistan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.

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