New ICJ report calls for a comprehensive reform of the judiciary in Tajikistan

Today, as it publishes its mission report on the country’s judiciary, the ICJ calls on the Government of Tajikistan to adopt comprehensive measures to reform the judiciary, in order to ensure its independence and enable it to effectively protect human rights.

The ICJ report Neither Check nor Balance: the Judiciary in Tajikistan provides a detailed overview of the organization and functioning of the judiciary in administering justice in Tajikistan. Through an analysis of laws and information obtained during a mission to the country the ICJ has identified the weaknesses in the judiciary and made recommendations concerning the institutions and procedures of judicial governance.

“There have been many attempts to reform the justice system in Tajikistan, as we demonstrate in the report, but they have so far failed to result in a judiciary with strong self-governance institutions which are capable of protecting and supporting judges in independently applying the law,” said Temur Shakirov, Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“Among many other issues, the report points to the problem of an almost complete absence of acquittals in Tajikistan, which can be seen as a litmus paper of the judiciary’s ability to fulfil their role independently.”

The report provides a set of recommendations, in particular, in regard to the governing bodies of the judiciary, the system of appointment of judge, judicial security of tenure, and the disciplinary system for judges,  with a view to strengthening  the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary.

“There is a conspicuous need for a significant institutional reform to re-design a system of self-regulation that would allow for the independent administration of justice, without a formal or informal check or approval from superiors,” Shakirov added.


In April and May 2019, ICJ conducted a research mission on the independence of the judiciary in Tajikistan. Following the mission, the ICJ expressed concerns about the independence of individual judges as well as the functioning of judicial institutions and procedures in law and in practice.


Tajikistan-Judiciary-Publications-Reports-Mission report-2020-ENG (full report in English, PDF)


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