Uzbekistan dispatch: new laws come into force with a new year – JURIST

Farzona Kayumova is a staff correspondent for JURIST in Uzbekistan and a law student at Tashkent State University of Law. 

2023 was a year of great legal and political change in the history of the Republic of Uzbekistan. More change is coming in 2024. The following laws will enter into force in Uzbekistan from January 1:

1. Law “On Amendments and Additions to the Economic Procedural Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with the improvement of the procedure for checking the legality and reasonableness of court decisions” (Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan-No. 888).

Summary of the law: This law introduces a new method for reviewing cases previously tried by regional courts and their equivalents as part of the general appeal process. It eliminates the procedure where cases were sent back to first-instance courts for retrial by appellate and cassation courts. Instead, these higher courts are now tasked with making final decisions on cases. Additionally, a judge who has participated in a case at the review-instance court is barred from involvement in the same case at the first-instance, appellate, or cassation levels, as well as in any subsequent review processes in higher courts. The law also allows for appeals against decisions made by a cassation instance court, including refusals to accept a cassation complaint, returning the complaint, leaving it unheard, terminating proceedings, or other specified rulings.

2. Law “On amendments and additions to the Civil Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with the improvement of the procedure for checking the legality, reasonableness and fairness of court decisions” (Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan-No. 887).

Summary of the law: This law introduces a phase for reviewing cases in regional courts and their equivalents. It removes the process where higher courts would send annulled decisions back to the lower courts for re-evaluation. Instead, each court is now responsible for issuing a final decision on a case. The law also establishes the right to file a private appeal (protest) against a court’s decision to refuse the annulment of a court order. If a decision is annulled, the application is deemed to have been submitted on the date of the original appeal. Furthermore, the decisions of the appellate, cassation, and review courts become legally effective immediately upon their issuance.

3. Law “On the State Budget of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2024” (Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan-No.886).

Summary of the law: This law regulates the formation and implementation of Uzbekistan’s consolidated budget for 2024. It allows for an increase in the specified amounts of grants for socially significant national and state programs, without requiring amendments to the law. If, after six months, the forecasted revenues of Uzbekistan’s budget system are not met, and there is no sufficient basis to expect their fulfillment by the end of the financial year, the following measures apply:

4. Law “On making changes to the Code of Administrative Responsibility of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with the improvement of the institution for checking the legality, reasonableness and fairness of court decisions” (Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan-No.884).

Summary of the law: The law now includes a review authority in the process of adjudicating court decisions on administrative cases. It establishes that cases initially tried by district and city courts are subject to review in regional courts or their equivalents through appeal or cassation procedures. Similarly, cases handled by regional courts or their equivalents can be reviewed in the trial panel of the Supreme Court on criminal cases, following the same appeal or cassation procedures. Additionally, the time frame for filing an appeal against a decision on an administrative offense has been reduced from 20 days to 10 days. The appellate court is required to consider the appeal within 15 days of receiving all relevant materials. Appeals against decisions regarding administrative detention or deportation must be reviewed within 1 day.

5️. Law “On Amendments and Additions to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with the improvement of the institution for checking the legality, reasonableness and fairness of court decisions” (Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan-No.869).

Summary of the law: The Code has been supplemented with new chapters that outline the general conditions for assessing the legality, reasonableness, and fairness of court verdicts, rulings, and decisions (Chapter 55), as well as the procedure for filing a complaint or protest against court verdicts and decisions in the review process (Chapter 56-2).

Key aspects of these additions include:

  1. The legality, reasonableness, and fairness of court verdicts, rulings, and decisions can be evaluated through the processes of appeal, cassation, and review.
  2. The prosecutor is involved in reviewing criminal cases in the procedures of appeal, cassation, and review.
  3. In considering a criminal case through appeal, cassation, or review, the court is not restricted to the issues raised in complaints or protests. It is authorized to examine the entire case comprehensively, including aspects pertaining to all convicts, even those who did not file a complaint or protest against themselves.
  4. Convicts, their defenders, legal representatives, victims, and their representatives are entitled to appeal against the judgments and rulings of the first-instance court considered in the procedures of appeal or cassation, as well as against the judgments and rulings of appellate or cassation courts, in the review procedure.
  5. If a complaint or protest suggests the need for applying the law to a more serious crime, increasing the punishment, or making other changes that worsen the prisoner’s situation, the court may reconsider the conviction or decision under the review procedure. Additionally, this process and the review of the court’s decision to acquit or terminate a case are permissible only within one year after they have legally come into effect.

Opinions expressed in JURIST Dispatches are solely those of our correspondents in the field and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST’s editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.


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