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A Guide to Legal Research in Uzbekistan

 

By Maria Stalbovskaya

 

Published July 2005
Read the Update!

 

Maria Stalbovskaya, a former reference librarian at the Open Library for Legal Information, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, had been involved in a project called the “Organizational and Methodical Support for Regional Public Law Centers" as the director of the project, lecturer, and author of educational supplies and bulletins for the Law Centers. Maria Stalbovskaya was the project assistant of the "Legal Information Support for Under Judicial Investigation People”. (Both projects were funded by the Open Society Institute). She was the director of the IATP Project "Creating the web-site of the Open Library for Legal Information" and also coordinated the 1998-2000 USIS Project "The Development of Electronic Legal Resources of the Open Library for Legal Information".

This article was previously published on LLRX.com on January 1, 2002

<http://www.llrx.com/features/uzbekistan.htm>

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction to the Uzbekistan legal system

The most outstanding feature of Uzbekistan legal history is the plurality of its legal traditions based on:

  • The Ancient Turan legal civilization Period (from the beginning of the 1-st millennium B.C. up to the 7-th century A.D.)
  • The Islamic Law Period (VIII century - second half of XIX-th century). This time onwards this territory has been part of the most ancient civilizations and empires: Khoresm, Bactria, Sogd, Parthyja, Samanides, Timurides, Bukharan and Khiva kaganates and so on.
  • The Colonial and Soviet Period of the Development of the Uzbek Law (second half of XIX-th century until 1991). Uzbekistan became part of the Russian Empire from the 1860s. The Soviet power was established from 1917, and the Uzbek SSR was formed in October 1927.
  • The Contemporary Period. In March 1990 Uzbekistan introduced the office of the President and adopted the Law of State independence in August 1991.

Current developments in Uzbekistan law

The hierarchy of Uzbekistan law

The hierarchy of Uzbekistan law includes: the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, constitutional laws, codes, ordinary laws, decrees of the President, decrees of the Cabinet of Ministers, normative acts.

Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan

The current Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan was accepted on December 8, 1992 on the eleventh session The Supreme Counsil of Republic of Uzbekistan of the twentieth convocation.

Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the most important element of legislation of independent Republic of Uzbekistan. See more here (in English).

Main Constitutional Laws of the Republic Uzbekistan

Constitutional laws are in fundamental branch of public legislation and deals with the rules concerning the constitution and the structure of the state and status of the citizen in state. They lie within the Constitutional Court of the Republic Uzbekistan jurisdiction:

 

There are also laws on elections:

Codes

Ordinary laws

Market Economy in Uzbekistan

The charter of market law - a new Civil Code  (Russian), Articles 386-727, Articles 728-960, and Articles 961-1199 were adopted in 1995-96, and a Tax Code (Russian) in 1997.

 

Amongst the market law are on:

 

There are decrees on measures to radically increase the share and significance of the private sector in the Uzbek economy (2003) and others.

 

Foreign Relations

There are laws of the Republic Uzbekistan on:

 

Decrees on:

 

Citizenship

 

Human rights

In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic Uzbekistan, “all citizens of the Republic Uzbekistan shall have identical rights and freedoms and be equal before the law without distinction of sex, race, nationality, language, religion, social origin, convictions, and personal and social status”. There is the Authorized person for human rights/ Ombudsman at the Oliy Majlis of the Republic Uzbekistan.

 

The State shall ensure the rights and freedoms of citizens consolidated by the Constitution and other laws on:

  • the Authorized person of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic Uzbekistan for human rights/ Ombudsman (1997, 2004),
  • principes and guarantees freedom of information (2002),
  • address of the citizens (2002),
  • defense of the professional activity of a journalist (1997),
  • guarantees and freedom of access to information (1997),
  • mass media (1997),
  • political parties (1996),
  • the National Center of the Republic Uzbekistan on Human Rights (1996),
  • defense of the consumer rights (1996) (Russian),
  • state language (1995),
  • appeal in court of operations and solutions infringing right and freedom of the citizens (1995),
  • warranties of the citizens' suffrages (1994),
  • agencies of self-government of Citizens(1993) (Russian),
  • freedom of conscience and religious organizations(1991).

 

NGO development

Last years NGOs of the Uzbekistan made a valuable contribution to social and economic development of country. Main instruments of a NGO development in Uzbekistan are:

  • Civil Code of the Republic Uzbekistan (1995/1996),
  • Law on Non-governmental Non-profit Organizations (1999)
  • Law on Social Associations in the Republic Uzbekistan (1991).

 

There is Committee on Democratic Institutions, Nongovernmental Organizations and Bodies of Self-governance at Oliy Majlis of the Republic Uzbekistan.

 

Regulation of the legal profession

Any defendant has the right to defense. The right to legal assistance is guaranteed at any stage of the investigation and judicial proceedings. The organization and the procedure of it is specified by laws on:

 

The System of Social Legislation

A system of social legislation is being formed. Legal assistance to citizens, enterprises, institutions and organizations is offered by:

  • The Labor Code (1995) (Russian)        
  • Civil Code (1995/1996)

 

and Laws on:

  • additional guarantees for women (1999),
  • employment (1992),
  • protection of labor (1993)
  • social defense of disabled persons (1991)
  • insurance activity (2002)  (Russian) 
  • state pension security for citizens (1993),
  • fundamental principles of state youth policy (1991)

 

These laws have been adopted defend the interests of the most needy strata of the populace under the complex conditions of a transition to a market economy.

The principle of separation of powers

The contemporary law of the Republic Uzbekistan can be situated in the Romano-Germanic legal family. It is codified and the Constitution of the Republic Uzbekistan is the most important element of the system of the sources of law. The system of State power of the Republic Uzbekistan is based on the principle of separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial:

  • Legislative: Oliy Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Jokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and local representative bodies.
  • Executive: The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, The Minister Kenesi of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokimiyats of regions and cities.
  • Judicial: the Constitutional Court of the Republic Uzbekistan, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Economic Court of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional, Tashkent City, district, city, and economic courts, Supreme Military Court of the Republic Uzbekistan, etc.

State Order of Uzbekistan Law

The Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan

The highest representative body of the state is the Oliy Majlis, the Supreme Assembly of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This body exercises legislative powers.

 

In accordance with the results of the Referendum of January 27 2002 the structure of the Oliy Majlis was changed. The Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan was enacted on June 1, 2004 as a bicameral parliament and consists of a Legislative chamber and a Senate. (This amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan was officially published on May 22, 2003)

  • The Legislative (lower) chamber of the Republic of Uzbekistan is composed of 120 deputies, elected by territorial constituencies on a multi-Party basis for a term of five years.
  • The Senate (upper chamber) of the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of territorial representatives (senators) by 6 from: the Republic of Karakalpakstan, each region of Uzbekistan (now there are 12) and Tashkent city, chosen by the Legislature thereof. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan also appoints 16 members of Senate from most authoritative citizens. All senators elected for a term of five years.

 

The Senate and the Legislative chamber of Oliy Majlis adopt and amend the Constitution and laws of Republic of Uzbekistan, legislatively regulate customs, currency and credit systems, problems of the administrative - territorial structure, and alteration of frontiers of the Republic of Uzbekistan and approve of the state's budget. They ratify of the decrees of the President on the establishment and abolition of the state institutions of country.

 

The Legislative chamber of Oliy Majlis shall chouse its Speaker and other Officers and may determine of its Proceedings.

 

The Senate of Oliy Majlis shall elect its Chairmen and other officers and may determine of its Proceedings. The Senate ratifies of the decrees of the President on the appointment and removal of the higher officials of country and elections of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Higher Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and other representative bodies, ratifies the international treaties and agreements and realizes other activity.

 

The right to initiate legislation in the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan is vested in the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Republic of Karakalpakstan through the highest body of state authority, the deputies of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Higher Economic Court and the Procuracy General of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 

The Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall pass laws, decisions and other acts. Any law shall be adopted when it is passed by a majority of the total voting power of the deputies of the Oliy Majlis.

 

Promulgation of the laws and other normative acts shall be a compulsory condition for their enforcement.

More parliamentary information can be found at http://www1.parliament.gov.uz/.

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the head of state and the executive authority in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan simultaneously serves as Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be elected for a term of seven years. (This amendment to Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan on changing the constitutional period of the presidency is connected with the results of Referendum on January 27, 2002 and was officially published on May 22, 2003).

 

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall:

  • Form the administration and lead it, ensure interaction between the highest bodies of state authority and administration, set up and dissolve ministries, state committees and other bodies of administration of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
  • Appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister, his First Deputy, the Deputy Prime Ministers, the members of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Procurator General of the Republic of Uzbekistan and his Deputies;
  • Present to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan his nominees for the posts of Chairman and members of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Higher Economic Court, as well as the Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Chairman of the State Committee for the Protection of Nature of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
  • Appoint and dismiss judges of regional, district, city and arbitration courts;
  • Sign the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
  • Serve as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic and is empowered to appoint and dismiss the high command of the Armed Forces and also to confer top military ranks;
  • Establish the national security and state control services, appoint and dismiss their heads, and exercise other powers vested in him.

 

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan issues decrees, enactments and ordinances binding on the entire territory of the Republic on the basis of and for enforcement of the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 

Press Service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan click here.

The Cabinet of Ministers

The Cabinet of Ministers is appointed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and approved by the Oliy Majlis. The head of the government of the Republic of Karakalpakstan is an ex officio member of the Cabinet of Ministers.

 

The Cabinet of Ministers issues enactments and ordinances in accordance with the current legislation. This is binding on all bodies of administration, enterprises, institutions, organizations, officials and citizens throughout the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 

Judicial Authority in the Republic of Uzbekistan

The judicial system in the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of the Constitutional Court of the Republic, the Supreme Court, the Higher Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, along with the Supreme Court, and the Economic Court of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. These courts' judges have been elected for a term of five years. The judicial branch also includes regional, district, town, city, Tashkent city courts and arbitration courts appointed for a term of five years.

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan hears cases relating to the Constitutionality of acts passed by the legislative and executive branches.

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan judges the constitutionality of the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other acts passed by the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the decrees issued by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the enactments of the government and the ordinances of local authorities, as well as obligations of the Republic of Uzbekistan under inter-state treaties and other documents; Confirm the constitutionality of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Karakalpakstan to the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan; Interpret the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 

The Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the highest judicial body of civil, criminal and administrative law. The rulings of the Supreme Court are final and binding throughout the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan has the right to supervise the administration of justice by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, as well as by regional, city, town and district courts.

 

Any economic and management disputes that may arise between entrepreneurs, enterprises, institutions and organizations based on different forms of ownership, are settled by the Higher Arbitration Court and other arbitration courts within their authority.

Other  web resources of Uzbekistan Law

Useful links

Print Sources of Uzbekistan Law

Official legal publications

Uzbekistan’s legal documents are published in the following official publications:

Serials:

  • "Uzbekiston Respublikasi qonun khujjatlari tuplami" /  "Sobranie zakonodatelstva Respubliki Uzbekistan"
  • "Uzbekiston Respublikasi vazirliklari, davlat kumitalari va idoralarining mejorij khujjatlari " / "Bulleten' normativnih aktov ministerstv, gosudarstvennih komitetov i vedomstv Respubliki Uzbekistan"

 

In the first issue are included the texts all of: new law that have just being enacted by the Oliy Majlis of Republic of Uzbekistan, solutions of the Constitutional Court decrees and orders of the President of Republic of Uzbekistan, solutions of the Cabinet of Ministers.  The second one includes normative acts of the ministries, state committees and departments of Republic of Uzbekistan are included registered by the Ministry of the Justice the departmental normative acts of an obligatory character.

 

Official gazettes:

 

They, being printed issuing of the Oliy Majlis and the Cabinet of the ministers of Republic of Uzbekistan, concern to official sources of publication of the legal acts.

 

There are also separate collections of a thematic or chronological selection of the legislation from these newspapers.

Other publications

  • “Uzbekiston Respublikasi Oliy Majlisning Ahborotnomasi”/ “Vedomosti Oliy Majlisa Respubliki Uzbekistan” – contains recent official publications, decrees, rewarding lists and so on.
  • “Uzbekiston Respublikasi huqumatining qarorlari tuplami”/ ”Sobranie postanovlenij Respubliki Uzbekistan” gathers decrees of the Cabinet of the Ministers
  • The Supreme Court’s of Republic Uzbekistan Bulletin
  • “Qonun himoyasida" (issue of the Procuracy General)
  • “Huquq”/”Pravo”/”Law”- (the Ministry of Interior Affairs)
  • Jurnal nalogoplatel’shika – (the Tax State Committee)
  • “Xojalik va Huquq”/” Hozjajstvo i pravo”- (the Higher Economic Court)
  • “New Laws of Uzbekistan”/”Novye zakony Uzbekistana (the Ministry of the Justice)   Tashkent, Adolat. 1993-2005
  • Pravda Vostoka” – newspaper  (the Cabinet of Ministers)