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Tashkent hosted round table on how to reach out officials and public about new laws, Uzbekistan’s and international best practices discussed

Tashkent hosted round table on how to reach3

June 24 2015 Tashkent hosted an international round table on topic “International experience of reaching out adopted laws to officials and public: legal regulation and practical aspects”.

The event was organized by the General Prosecutor’s Office jointly with the Senate and the Legislative chamber of Oliy Majlis, Ministry of Justice, the Institute for monitoring of current legislation under the President, the Tashkent State Law University and the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Round table has been organized in cooperation with the UNDP, the Office of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan.

The international forum has been attended by deputies of the Legislative Chamber and senators of Oliy Majlis, senior officials of the General Prosecutor’s Office, ministries and departments, experts of foreign countries and authoritative international organizations, representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan, Vietnam, China, Latvia, Poland and others.

During the round table noted that the ongoing reforms in the country in all spheres of society are impossible without the active legislative work. The laws are, in fact, the foundation and the main driving force of social and economic development and deepening of democratic reforms and building civil society.

Participants stressed that the effectiveness of any law primarily depends on timeliness of bringing it to the public and the direct executors, as well as on correct and full comprehension of its requirements by the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

As the speakers noted, one of the most important tasks in ensuring the democratic reforms and formation of civil society is to conduct extensive work on the clarification of content and substance of law among the public and artists.

Uzbek side presented the experience of the republic in this direction. In particular, they said that Uzbekistan is working hard to implement a unified state policy in the sphere of application of law.

It was emphasized that the theme of round table is in tune with the this year’s speech of the President of Uzbekistan at the joint session of both chambers of the Oliy Majlis, where the Head of State reiterated importance and relevance of raising the level of legal culture of the population and strengthening the rule of law.

Over the past years, the country has adopted the laws “On the guarantees and freedom of access to information”, “On mass media”, “On normative legal acts” (revised), “On transparency of activity of bodies of state power and control”. Government of the Republic approved the procedure for dissemination of legal acts, according to which implemented a system of mandatory publication of their projects on the websites of ministries and departments.

General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other agencies conducted wide explanatory work among the population, carried out active propaganda of legislation, judicial and law enforcement authorities strenuously interact with the media and civil society organizations.

In particular, a Program of measures adopted by the Prosecutor General’s Office in this direction in the framework of functioning of the interdepartmental working group on improving the procedures and practices of bringing the laws and other legal acts to executing officers and public in the system of courts and law enforcement agencies.

Along with this, the measures implemented to expand the use of information and communication technologies in pursuing these aims.

In order to inform the public timely the portal has been organized by the Ministry of Justice, which in online regime provides easy access to legal and other acts of legislation in electronic form.

Ministry of development of information technology and communications together with the involved agencies continues to implement a package of measures to create a single government portal, which will further enhance the capabilities of government agencies on legal propaganda.

Event emphasized that in Uzbekistan involved a wide range of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, scientific and educational institutions, which allow reaching out quickly and timely the adopted laws to all interested persons and bodies that provides timely familiarization with their requirements.

International participants of the event noted that the expansion and strengthening of the rule of law is a key priority at all stages of development of Uzbekistan. In this regard, study of the processes of raising awareness of all interested parties on adopted and draft laws is very topical today. They emphasized the importance of harmonization of activity of legislation bodies with international standards.

This round table became another step towards consolidating the efforts of not only the ministries and departments of Uzbekistan, but also the international community on the way of further improvement of legal culture and competence. It allowed representatives of different countries to discuss the existing problems, to explore the best practices, to consider the most relevant and urgent issues, to outline ways to solve them.

Between the sessions, the correspondent of Information agency “Jahon” talked to some of its participants.

Elita Jurkjane, Chief prosecutor of the Department of methodical analysis of activity and guidance of the General Prosecutor’s Office (Latvia):

– We are pleased to participate in such topical and important event as today’s round table. We are pleased that Uzbekistan has shown interest in Latvia’s experience in bringing the legislation to the public and executors, as well as legislative activities that we have presented today. It is also very useful that in the framework of this event, we were also able to get acquainted with the practice of other countries in this sphere.

Until recently for Latvia, issues of informing the public on adopted laws, their perception and performance were a matter of topical interest. Now the system has been established and is working – that is the publication of legal acts in the press, on the Internet, as well as such an important instrument as annotations to every law.

Gutierrez Alonso Juan Jose, Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Granada (Spain):

– This is my third visit to Uzbekistan. This time I have the honor to take part in the international round table, devoted to the issues of legal regulation of the process of bringing the adopted laws to executive officers and public, and to make a report.

Today Uzbekistan is conducting wide-ranging reforms aimed at building a democratic state, the rule of law and compliance with it. In implementing the reforms republic, while taking into account national specificities, is also exploring international best practices.

Note that in Europe, in particular, in Spain issues of raising public awareness of the adopted legal acts and control over their implementation are essential. For this purpose, before the adoption of certain laws the population is introduced in advance to information about them through a variety of media – TV, radio, Internet and press. To be exact, well-informed public can create a strong civil society and the legal state.

Rachelle Cohen, Editor of the newspaper Boston Herald (USA):

– The best way to bring laws and regulations to the public – is to introduce to the draft laws on the stage of their development, prior to its adoption. That is, a mechanism called a public hearing, and the media play a huge role in it by organizing a political dialogue on developing legislation.

In the United States, in this context, the media perform two functions – one is aimed at informing about the law, its essence and content, and the other presents public opinion, positive or critical evaluation of the documents or their provisions.

I think it is very useful when not only the law is studied, but also people’s opinions on how it will work, on its effectiveness.

My presentation at today’s event reports on what should have been done in order to get the public briefed on the adopted laws. I would be glad if our experience will attract attention, as it undoubtedly contributes to public confidence in the system of state power and administration.

Kim Yong Chan, Expert on legislation and judiciary of Research service of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea:

– An important factor in the modernization process of country and building a strong civil society is to bring the essence and content of legislation to executors and public. At the same time, along with the adoption of legislative acts by bicameral Parliament the necessity of interpretation of their content for the public and appropriate propagandistic work has been arisen.

Today, one of the urgent tasks is to improve legal awareness and culture of the population, public awareness of the legal basis of the implemented reforms in Uzbekistan.

In this area, your country has achieved definite progress, which we were able to familiarize with. Along with this, I have presented to the participants’ attention a report on the experience of the Republic of Korea in the area of legislative enforcement.

It is gratifying that our countries carry out consistent work on providing the general public in the process of adoption and implementation of legal acts, increasing the political and legal culture of citizens.