UPDATE: A Guide to Legal Research in Uzbekistan
By Maria Stalbovskaya
Update by Mirfozil Khasanov
Mirfozil (Fazil) Khasanov worked for US and international human rights and humanitarian organizations in education, training and torture prevention projects. He co-authored articles on civil society development in Uzbekistan and was responsible for the project of official translation of international humanitarian law instruments into Uzbek.
Published January 2014
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Table of Contents
2.2. Constitutional Laws
3.1.1. The Oliy Majlis
3.1.2. Legislative Process
4.1.1. International Resources
4.2.1. Official Legal Issues
Positioned on the ancient Great Silk Road linking Europe and Asia, the Republic of Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia. Its population numbers 30,183,400 . The total territory of the republic covers 447,400 sq. km (172,700 sq. miles). It borders Kyrgyzstan in the east, Kazakhstan in the north, Tajikistan in the southeast, Afghanistan in the south and Turkmenistan in the west. The capital of Uzbekistan is the city of Tashkent. For a long time Samarkand, Bukhara, Chores and other cities of Uzbekistan [i] were famed as trade and cultural centers.
The predominant religion in Uzbekistan is Islam. Eastern Orthodox and other faiths are also represented. The state language is Uzbek. The Russian language continues to be used in business correspondence and official documents as well as in everyday communication.
Uzbekistan was conquered by the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Despite resistance to the Soviets, the Soviet power was established by 1920. The Bolshevik government created the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic along with four other Soviet republics, pursuant to the national partition of Central Asia , in lieu of the short-lived Turkestan ASSR, the Bukharan People's Republic, and the Khorezm People's Republic.
During the World War II, Uzbekistan became a home for over a million refugees evacuated from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other Soviet republics. Some 1,430,000 people from Uzbekistan fought against the Nazi Germany, while a number of them joined the German Army to become the Turkestan legion and to fight to free their country.
After the August 18, 1991 coup-d’état against the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev failed, Uzbekistan announced its independence on 31, August 1991. See more .
Uzbekistan consists of 12 provinces, one autonomous entity and an independent city. The provinces, Karakalpakstan and Tashkent city are divided into districts. Karakalpakstan is an autonomous republic with own Constitution and national flag.
The contemporary law of the Republic of Uzbekistan belongs to a civil law family and is in transition from the Soviet law [ii] to modern legal standards. The hierarchy of the Uzbekistani law includes: the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, constitutional laws, codes, ordinary laws, decrees of the President of Uzbekistan, decrees of the Cabinet of Ministers, and other normative legal acts. The law on normative legal acts provides for supremacy of the Constitution and laws of Uzbekistan in its territory. International law and treaties require implementation to be enforced.
The current Constitution (English) was adopted on December 8, 1992 on the eleventh session the Supreme Counsel of Republic of Uzbekistan of the twentieth convocation. The Constitution of the Republic of Karakalpakstan dates to April 1993 . More information is available here .
Constitutional laws constitute a fundamental part of public legislation and deal with the rules concerning the Constitution and governing the electoral and political processes. They include the legislation as follows:
· "On the Foundations of State Independence of the Republic Uzbekistan" (1991),
· “On the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan " (2002)
· "On the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan " (2002)
· "On the courts " (1993, 2000)
· "On the Constitutional Court " (1995)
· "On the Supreme Economic Court" (1993);
· "On the election to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan " (1993) (2003)
· "On the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan" (1991)
· "On referendum " (1991)
· "On elections "
· "On the Election of Citizens Suffrage " (1994)
· "On the Election to Provincial, District, City (Town) Kenghashs of People's Deputies " (1993)
· "On the results of referendum and on the main principles of structural arrangement of the state power" (2003)
The codes are very important elements of the legal system of Uzbekistan. You can find them in Uzbek and Russian as a rule and some in English:
· " City-planning Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (2002)
· " Housing Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1998)
· " Family Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1998)
· " Land Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1998)
· " Custom Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1997)
· " Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1997)
· " Criminal Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (2001, English)
· " Correctional Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1997)
· " Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1994, English)
· " Tax Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1997)
· " Labor Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1995)
· " Air Code of the Republic Uzbekistan " (1993)
According to the Constitution, the state power in the Republic of Uzbekistan is based on the principle of separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial.
The highest representative body of the state is the Oliy Majlis (the Supreme Assembly) of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This body exercises legislative powers. The referendum of January 27 2002 approved a proposal to change structure of the Oliy Majlis. The Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan was enacted on June 1 2004 as a bicameral parliament consisting of the Legislative chamber and the Senate. (The law amending 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 150 deputies, of which 135 are elected by territorial constituencies on a multi-party basis for the term of five years and 15 represent the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan .
The Senate (upper chamber) of the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of territorial representatives (senators) of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, of provinces of Uzbekistan and of Tashkent city, elected by the local Legislature from among their members by secret ballot. Each territory elects six senators. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan appoints another 16 members of Senate from the most authoritative citizens.
Parliamentarians and senators are elected for a term of five years. They cannot hold paid positions, except teaching and research, during the term.
The Senate and the Legislative chamber of Oliy Majlis adopt and amend the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan; schedule referenda; define fundamental areas of foreign and domestic policy; define the structure and competences of legislative, executive and judiciary agencies; decide on issues of the national territory; regulate customs, currency and credit systems; decide on taxes and other mandatory fees; approve the national budget; convene the Central Election Commission; elect the Human Rights Ombudsmen and her deputy; approve the Prime Minister; declare war, national emergency, and nationwide mobilization; ratify or denounce international treaties; and exercise other powers provided for by the Constitution.
The exclusive powers of the Legislative chamber of Oliy Majlis include election of its Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Committee Chairpersons and their deputies; stripping parliamentarians of immunity; adoption of enactments related to politics, socio-economics and domestic and foreign polices of Uzbekistan; and adoption of parliamentary procedure and other resolutions
The Senate has exclusive powers to elect Senate Chairperson and his deputies, Committee Chairpersons and their deputies; to approve the nominations for judges of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Higher Economic Court made by the President of Uzbekistan; to approve decisions of the President of Uzbekistan to appoint or dismiss the Prosecutor General, the Chairpersons of the Audit Chamber and of the National Security Service; to approve the appointment and dismissal of heads of Uzbekistan's diplomatic missions and of the Central Bank Chairperson proposed by the President of Uzbekistan; to strip Senators of the immunity; to hear the reports by the Prosecutor General, Central Bank Board; and to make enactments on politics, socio-economics and foreign and domestic policy of Uzbekistan.
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 Prosecutor General Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan passes laws, decisions and other normative legal acts. Any bill is considered to have been adopted when it is passed by a majority vote of the total number of the members of the Legislative Chamber. Amendments to the Constitution or constitutional laws are deemed to have been adopted when they are voted by the two thirds of the Chamber members.
The Chamber passes the bill to the Senate that approves or returns it. After the approval, the Senate sends the bill to the President of Uzbekistan for signing. If the bill returned by the Senate is revoted and supported by the two-thirds of the Chamber members, it is deemed to have been adopted. The Senate may propose to the Chamber to work on a bill through a joint reconciliation commission.
Promulgation of the laws and other normative acts is a pre-requisite for their enforcement.
The Republic of Karakalpakstan has Jokargy Kenes (Supreme Assembly) of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and local representative bodies , too. More parliamentary information in Russian and Uzbek languages can be found at:
After the 25 December 2008 amendments to the law on the Legislative Chamber, political parties represented in the Oliy Majlis are allowed to voice their disagreement with the majority party or faction and announce itself an opposition.
The Executive branch of powers include: the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, and khokimiyats of regions and cities.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the head of state and the executive authority responsible for coherent functioning and interaction of the public administration agencies in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The 11 April 2007 constitutional amendment assigned the executive power to the Cabinet of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is elected for a term of five years. It is the second change of the office term since 1991. The original five-year term was extended to seven years by the 22 May 2003 law and reduced back to five years by the 12 December 2011.
The powers of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan include:
· To be a guarantor of human rights and freedoms, of the respect of the Constitution and laws of Uzbekistan;
· To take measures required for the protection of the national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity;
· To represent the country inside and outside Uzbekistan;
· To nominate to the Oliy Majlis the candidates of the Prime-Minister, Ambassadors for missions abroad, of the Senate Chairperson, of the Chairpersons and Judges of the Supreme Court, Higher Economic Court and Constitutional Court, of the Chairpersons of the Central Bank Board and of the State Committee for the Protection of Nature;
· To 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, and the Chairman of the Audit Chamber;
· To appoint and dismiss judges of provincial, district, and city courts for criminal and civil cases, of military and economic courts;
· To appoint heads of state administration of provinces and Tashkent city, nominated by the Prime Minister;
· To sign the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
· To serve as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic, to appoint and dismiss the high command of the Armed Forces, and confer top military ranks;
· To establish the national security and state control services, to appoint and dismiss their heads, and exercise other powers vested in him;
· To suspend or terminate the decisions of the public administration;
· To declare the state of war and to submit the declaration to the Oliy Majlis for approval;
· To impose the state of emergency and to submit the declaration to the Oliy Majlis for approval;
· To award or strip of citizenship and to grant asylum, and
· To propose amnesty acts to the Senate.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan issues decrees, enactments and ordinances binding on the entire territory of the Republic on the basis of enforcement of the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The Cabinet of Ministers is a top executive power agency, responsible for efficient management of economics, and social and spiritual sectors and enforcement of laws, ordinances and decisions of the Oliy Majlis and the President. It issues enactments and ordinances that are binding on all bodies of administration, enterprises, institutions, organizations, officials and citizens throughout the Republic of Uzbekistan.
According to the Constitution, the majority party or faction nominates its candidate for the Prime-Minister and submits it to the President of Uzbekistan's for approval. After the President approves the nomination, the Legislative Chamber and Senate vote on it. The Prime-Minister submits the nominations for the Cabinet for the President's approval. The Oliy Majlis can remove The Prime-Minister, if the President of Uzbekistan approves their motion of no confidence. The President of Uzbekistan consults with political parties and factions to nominate a new candidate. If the nominee is not approved by the Oliy Majlis twice, the President dissolves the Parliament and appoints a Prime-Minister.
· Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Uzbekistan
· Agency of the precious metals at the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan
The judicial system in the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of: the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Higher Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Supreme Courts of Karakalpakstan on civil and criminal cases, the Economic Court of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, provincial courts on criminal and civil cases, Tashkent city courts on criminal and civil cases, inter-district, district and town courts on criminal and civil cases and military and economic courts. These courts' judges are elected for terms of five years.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan hears cases relating to the constitutionality of laws, normative legal acts and decisions passed by the legislative and executive branches, interprets the Constitution and laws of Uzbekistan, and exercises other competences specified by laws.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan assesses the conformity of the Constitution and laws of Karakalpakstan to the Constitution and laws of Uzbekistan, the constitutionality of the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other acts passed by the Oliy Majlis, the decrees issued by the President, the enactments of the government, and the ordinances of local authorities, as well as responsibilities of the Republic of Uzbekistan under international treaties and other documents.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the highest judicial body of civil, criminal, and administrative justice. 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 provincial, city, town, and district courts. The Supreme Court issues interpretations and guidances for application of law that are binding for lower courts and recommendatory for law-enforcement agencies (in Russian and Uzbek).
Economic courts try economic disputes between entrepreneurs, public and private businesses and organizations.
Mediation tribunals are not a part of the judicial power. They adjudicate disputes between businesses that choose to submit them to the tribunals. The submission to their competence is voluntary, though their decisions are binding. They cost less and last shorter than civil or economic court hearings.
· CIPR —The Coalition for Intellectual Property Rights
· Civil and Economic Law —Project of the Bremen university (Russian, German)
· ECOLEX —database of national environmental legislation Environmental Law Gateway (UNEP/ICUN)
· Euromarkpat —Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin
· FAOLEX —Agreements between Uzbekistan and other countries
· Foreign and International Law at the site Washburn University School of Law Library
· Global Competition Forum —Asian Laws
· Hieros Gamos —list of law firms
· ICNL The International Center for Non-for-Profit Law
· MIXMARKET : The global information exchange for the microfinance industry development of the local microfinance sector in the Central Asian republics.
· Microfinance Legislation Central Asian Gateway —Database of publications
· Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer locator —law firms
· NATLEX —abstracts of information the database of national labor, social security and related human rights legislation.
· NGO : "On guaranties of activities of the non-state non-profit organizations"
· OSI Open Society Institute. Language Policies in Central Asia
· SoyuzPravoInform —Commercial database of legislation NIC
· UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Legislation on drugs —collection of drug and crime-related laws in English
· UNHCR —Legal Database consist of 16 legal documents
· World Legal Information Institute —Free, independent and non-profit access to worldwide law. 820 databases from 123 countries. (Australasian Legal Information Institute)
· WUASP —Water Users Associations Support Program. 10 documents (Russian), Land Code of The Republic of Uzbekistan (English)
· LEXUZ , a legal database of the Justice Ministry (Uzbek, Russian)
· Norma, a subscription-based database of laws, bylaws, etc.
· Database "Pravo" (Uzbek, English, Russian), a regularly updated database of laws, ordinances and other normative legal acts issued by the public administration agencies of Uzbekistan, ratified international agreements and guidances on the application of certain laws of the Supreme Court
· Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan (Russian)
· Center for Economic Research (English, Russian)
· Uzbek Republican Copyright Agency Copyright Legislation (Russian)
· Central election commission (Russian, Uzbek)
· Computerization and Information Developing Center (English, Uzbek, Russian)
· Information Agency "Jahon" (Arabic, English, Uzbek and Russian)
· Microfinance in Uzbekistan (Russian)
· Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan —Constitution and Decrees of the President of Uzbekistan (English, Russian, Uzbek)
· State Customs Committee (Uzbek, Russian)—a collection of tax laws, ordinances, and regulations related to the customs
· Ministry of Internal Affairs (Uzbek, Russian)—a collection of laws, ordinances and regulations related to the Ministry and its police, firefighter, criminal investigation and other agencies
· National Association of the Nongovernmental Organizations (Russian)—a website of the umbrella organization for nonprofits
· National Police Academy website
· Palata.uz , a national registry of copyright holders
· Constitutional Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan website (maintenance)
· "SCHOOL GOES DIGITAL" (Russian)
· Narod.Ru —Database consist of more 200 documents up to 2001 year (Russian)
· Bankir.uz —More than 120 documents of finance legislation (Russian)
· INTELLECT-BUSINESS —Educational & Consulting Centre (Russian)
Uzbekistan legal documents are published in the following official issues:
· "Uzbekiston Respublikasi vazirliklari, davlat kumitalari va idoralarining mejorij khujjatlari ", "Bulleten' normativnih aktov ministerstv, gosudarstvennih komitetov i vedomstv Respubliki Uzbekistan" (Uzbek, Russian)
· "Uzbekiston Respublikasi Oliy Majlisning Ahborotnomasi", "Vedomosti Oliy Majlisa Respubliki Uzbekistan"- contains official publications, decrees, the lists of persons awarded with state decorations, titles and other awards and so on. (Uzbek, Russian)
· "Uzbekiston Respublikasi huqumatining qarorlari tuplami", Sobranie postanovlenij Respubliki Uzbekistan"- gathers decrees of the Cabinet of the Ministers (Uzbek, Russian)
· " Xalq Suzi" (Uzbek) and "Narodnoje slovo" (Russian) The newspapers are a joint publication of the Uzbekistani parliament and government and publish laws and ordinance adopted or issued by them.
· “Pravda Vostoka” (Russian), a newspaper published by the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan, regularly publishes laws and normative legal acts.
· Soliq-info , (Uzbek and Russian) a socio-economic weekly, covering tax, finances, accounting and optimization issues.
· "Democratization and human rights" (Uzbek, English and Russian)
· "Falsafa va huquq" (Uzbek)
· "Fuqarolik jamiati" (Uzbek)
· "Huquq", "Pravo", "Law"- (the Ministry of Interior Affairs) (Uzbek, English and Russian)
· "Huquq va burch" (Uzbek)
· "Huquqshunos" (Uzbek)
· "Khojalik va Huquq", " Khozjajstvo i pravo"—(the Higher Economic Court) (Uzbek and Russian)
· "New Laws of Uzbekistan", "Novye zakony Uzbekistana" (the Ministry of the Justice) Tashkent, Adolat. 1993 (Uzbek, Russian)
· "Qonun himoyasida" (issue of the Procuracy General) (Uzbek)
· "The Bulletin of the Supreme Court of Republic Uzbekistan " (Uzbek and Russian)
· "Adolat" (Uzbek)
· "Huquq olamida" (Uzbek)
· "Postda" (Uzbek)
· "Na postu" (Russian)
· "Pravda Vostok" —the Cabinet of Ministers (Russian)
· "Soliq va bojkhona" (Uzbek)
· Butler William E., ed. Uzbekistan Legal Texts. The Foundations of Civic Accord and a Market Economy. Kluwer Law International. Hague, London, Boston: Simmonds & Hill, 1999
· Butler William E., transl. Civil Code of the Republic Uzbekistan. Third edition. Kluwer Law International. Hague, London, Boston: Simmonds & Hill, 1999
· Nichol, James. Uzbekistan: Basic Facts, CRS Report for Congress, May 28, 1996.
· Saidov, Akmal. Comparative Law. Transl. from the Russian and ed. by W.E. Butler. London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2003
· Saidov, Akmal. The Legal System of Uzbekistan: History, Traditions, and Renewal. Tashkent, 1998.