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International Component of Legal Assistance

Development of international cooperation among countries is of great significance in the epoch of globalization. The sphere of rendering mutual legal assistance is no exception. 

Uzbekistan is a signatory of the Hague convention on the questions of civil process and the convention “On rendering legal assistance in legal relations on civil, family and criminal cases” (The Minsk convention). The agreement on legal assistance may regulate a broad specter of issues, including cooperation on civil, criminal and trade cases, as well as limit itself to one direction only.

Consultant and head of the joint project of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, United States Agency on International Development (USAUD) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Hurliman Otaniyozova and Erkin Abdurizayev talked to the Uzbekistan Today correspondent on the subject of international legal assistance, “The Republic of Uzbekistan has concluded 30 bilateral agreements on legal assistance. 13 among them are on civil cases.”

“Within the framework of the agreements’ execution the courts of the Republic of Uzbekistan had sent out to relevant agencies of foreign states 467 judicial errands and solicitations in 2012, 484 – in 2014 and 650 – for 9 months of 2015. Foreign states had delivered in 2012 - 1195 solicitations and verdict notifications except notary, the barrister and registry office inquiries, in 2013 – 1461, in 2014 – 2010, and 1287 for 9 months of 2015.

“The agreements on legal assistance define the procedure of sending out documents and their relevant legalization, as well as the procedure of their receipt on demand and such other questions. Let us brief you on the procedure of sending a judicial errand or solicitation within the courts on civil cases on the example of the Minsk convention. According to Article 5 of the Minsk convention one has to appeal for that to the central competent organ – the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan. In compliance with Article 13 the documents have to be certified with an official person’s signature and ratified with an official stamp. In the event of sending out citizens’ applications, it should bear a citizen’s signature.    

“The documents have to be legalized in the Russian language or have an attested copy of translation into the Russian language in accordance with Article 17.

“The analyses and practical experience indicate that there is a need in a single legal mechanism for execution of agreements on legal assistance. This is very important and the successful implementation of the agreements’ norms depends on it. A special attention is required to be paid to the elaboration of a methodological instruction with visual aids in the form of standard document blanks.

“Trainings (workshops, seminars, etc.) on civil cases will have to be conducted for judges and court employees. Ideally solution is inclusion of this kind of a course into a training curriculum of the Center for qualification improvement of lawyers under the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan, where newly appointed judges and working judges improve their qualifications.   

“The entire system of interaction among civil case judges, including working with physical entities, document flow, monitoring, and solution of the unified document legalization process will have to be well-thought over.

“The Republic of Uzbekistan, as an integral part of the world community, should perform its liabilities within the framework of international agreements, which it is part of. Article 26 of the Vienna convention on the right of international agreements of 1969 says, “Each agreement is compulsory for its participants and it should be conscientiously adhered to.”   

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