International Commission of Jurists holds training seminar for lawyers in Kyrgyzstan

From August 14 to 16, 2003, the ICJ held a first ICCPR training seminar for lawyers in Kyrgyzstan.

The training was targeted to a group of over 30 lawyers with an interest in applying the ICCPR in human rights related cases in Kyrgyzstan and in bringing complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee. Those participating were criminal defence attorneys, lawyers of Non-Governmental Organisations and jurists engaged in legal clinical institutions in Kyrgyzstan. The event was held jointly with the Kyrgyz Youth Human Rights Group, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the SOROS Foundation Kyrgyzstan.

The training provided an introduction into the substantive standards of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and on the requirements and modalities for the submission of human rights complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee. Kyrgyzstan is a state party to the ICCPR and has recognized the jurisdiction of the UN Human Rights Committee in 1994. However, no cases have been registered so far despite substantial and systemic shortcomings of its legal system.

The training has been undertaken within the framework of ICJ’s National Implementation Programme. It benefited in particular from first hand practical experience on the submission of cases to the UN Human Rights Committee by the ICJ Commissioner, Ms. Karinna Moskalenko. The ICJ intends to hold follow-up training seminars for lawyers in Kyrgyzstan in 2003.

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