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Access to Justice in Central Asia Caucasus Research Resource Centers Summary Results Presented by: Dr George Welton Work (not really) in Progress 6 th.

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Presentation on theme: "Access to Justice in Central Asia Caucasus Research Resource Centers Summary Results Presented by: Dr George Welton Work (not really) in Progress 6 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Access to Justice in Central Asia Caucasus Research Resource Centers Summary Results Presented by: Dr George Welton Work (not really) in Progress 6 th April 2011

2 Research components Literature review of background materials on A2J in CA and A2J research strategies Expert interviews – 74 expert interviews and follow-ups covering 49 organizations – Stakeholder involvement at multiple levels Nationwide surveys 9 focus groups concentrating on vulnerable women and youth

3 Survey Survey in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Designed and overseen by CRRC, conducted by M-Vector Nationally representative – with certain caveats – Some areas inaccessible and language problems Total of 1926 interviews conducted

4 Quick background Country Population (million) Surface area (km 2 ) GDP per capita (PPP) USD Rural population (% of total) Agriculture as % of GDP Kazakhstan 15.82 724 90011 51042%6% Kyrgyzstan 5.3199 9502 28364%29% Tajikistan 7142 5501 97274%22%

5 Pre-weighted profile of respondents (%) KazakhstanKyrgyzstanTajikistan Women 595452 Ethnic national 527883 Married 577180 Completed secondary education or higher 899477 Work 564034 Less than $100 per month 426680 Employment in private sector 23122 Employment in public sector 191724

6 Structure of the presentation Problems Different mechanisms for resolving dispute The six barriers to justice

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10 Biggest problems in each country ProblemKazakhstanKyrgyzstanTajikistan 1 Theft Problem divorce 2 Document registration 3 Violent crimeProblem divorceViolence in the home 4 Document registration Problem with officials over land or property Theft 5 Violence in the home Violent crimeDispute over land or property (neighbor, family or state)

11 Problems facing particular groups Women – Education – Domestic violence – Registration of marriage and property – Fair treatment in the event of divorce Young people – Education – Employment – Crime People with disabilities – Knowledge of rights – Enforcement of the law – Physical access to facilities (Braille and wheelchair access)

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17 Barriers to Justice 1.Unwillingness to involve others in solving disputes 2.Poor knowledge of the law 3.Lack of resources 4.Practical hurdles to using the courts 5.Corruption 6.Structural bias in the legal system

18 Barrier to justice 1 Unwillingness to involve others in resolving disputes

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21 Domestic issues are particularly sensitive… “There is a saying that good wives do not take the garbage out of the house nor do they leave.” Lecturer, 26, married, Issik-Kul, Kyrgyzstan “I think rural women are brought up that way. My grandmother would always tell me: ‘You need to, be tolerant. We women are created for a family. If the husband brings something, be thankful. If he is handsome, if he is ugly, accept and be thankful. When he beats you also be thankful that you are married. If he divorces you or you become a widow then no one will respect you.’” Teacher, 56, widow, Tursun-Zadeh, Tajikistan “In the village, if a woman walks around with bruises, everyone says it is her own fault.” Housewife, 22, married, Chilik, Kazakhstan

22 Some fear involving authorities for other reasons… Women feel their rights are ignored “Only men have rights. Women do not have rights. Women are unprotected and attract general abuse.” Housewife, 30, married, Kara-Balta, Kyrgyzstan Some young people may feel that they will get into trouble “Even if the guy from the city is guilty, they [the police] can still blame the one from Novostroyka.” College student, 20, male, Novostroyka in Kyrgyzstan “Some say ‘if you end up there [the police], you will admit that you killed Lenin.’ It is the case in reality. I was tortured and beaten. They were telling me about the little children that have gone missing in Dushanbe. And then they put a gun in front of me and told me if I don’t tell them that I did that, they will shoot me dead. ” Student, 18, male, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

23 Barrier to justice 2 Poor knowledge of the law

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25 Low levels of knowledge affect certain groups harder Women in rural areas “I didn’t know about my rights before coming to this center. It turns out as a woman I also have rights.” Hairdresser, 45, divorced, Pokrovka, Tajikistan Orphans May have rights to property but lose them because they do not know about their rights. Disabled “Only 10 percent out of 100 percent of disabled women would know their rights.” Information manager, Shyrak Association of Disabled Women, Kazakhstan

26 Barrier to justice 3 Lack of resources

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28 High levels of poverty Even where resources available, there is little inclination to risk them Criminal defense is (usually) offered by the state but quality is low Women vulnerable – Women lack independent sources of income – Easy for husband to avoid child support and splitting property even when judgment is made Reason for low use of legal problem resolution

29 High levels of poverty Even where resources available, there is little inclination to risk them Criminal defense is (usually) offered by the state but quality is low Women vulnerable – Women lack independent sources of income – Easy for husband to avoid child support and splitting property even when judgment is made Reason for low use of legal problem resolution

30 Barrier to justice 4 Practical hurdles to using the courts

31 Number and distribution of lawyers by region in Kyrgyzstan (2003) RegionPopulationNo of advocates No of trained advocates per 10,000 population Bishkek City762, 3006118.0 Batken Oblast382, 400150.4 Jalal-Abad Oblast869,3001121.3 Issyk-Kul Oblast413,100531.3 Naryn Oblast249,100261.0 Osh Oblast1,175,9002261.9 Talas Oblast199,900271.4 Chui Oblast770,8001121.5 Total4,822,00011922.5 Ref: American Bar Association (2004), Legal Profession Reform Index: Kyrgyzstan, Washington, USA p. 35

32 Number of Licensed Collegium Advocates in the Regions of Tajikistan (2005) RegionPopulationNo of advocates No of trained advocates per 10,000 population Dushanbe 619,4001842.97 Sogd Oblast 1,992,6001490.75 Raions of Republican Subordination 1,467,600410.28 Khalton Oblast 2,344,600470.21 GBAO 215,80020.09 Total 6,640,0004230.64 Ref: Originally prepared by Alternative NGO Report (2005) to the United National Human Rights Committee in Relation to the Examination of the Initial Report by the Republic of Tajikistan on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. American Bar Association. (2006). Legal Profession Reform Index: Tajikistan. Washington, USA. P. 33.

33 Lack of Documentation Propiska or passport – missing from vulnerable groups and internal migrants. Needed.. – to take a case to court – to interact with government (for social protection) – to get married or register a new child Marriage license – needed to ensure that if there is separation then: – child support – right to marital property Proper registration of child – needed for child support

34 Examples from focus groups of problems in documentation “I have been living and having children without a passport. When the person does not have an education, she does not realize that she needs documents.” Hairdresser, 45, divorced, Pokrovka, Kyrgyzstan “In the village, many people live without documents until their death. When you want to run away from abuse, you can’t go anywhere without documents.” Lecturer, 26, married, Issik-Kul, Kyrgyzstan “My daughter is married. She has two children; the eldest is five years old already. She lives with her husband but does not have official registration.” Cashier, 51, married, Shakhrinev, Tajikistan

35 Barrier to justice 5 Corruption

36 Least trusted institutions by country Least Trusted Institution KazakhstanKyrgyzstanTajikistan 1PoliceJudgesReligious institutions 2 Legal systemNGOs 3JudgesPoliceBanks 4Legal systemProsecutors officeLocal government 5Health-care systemReligious institutions Police

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40 Experience of corruption “The police will not do anything unless you give them money. Money decides everything now. It is unfair. If they find the one who was guilty then that person pays money. The one who addressed the police, who is the victim, will be named guilty.” Young person, Dushanbe, Tajikistan “Imagine criminals the who attacked me, I go to the police and there is no point. Even if they get arrested, they will be let free in any case. They are criminals, they have money and connections.” Young person, Novostroika, Almaty, Kazakhstan “Even if the police take him away, in our village if he has 200 Som, they let him go. He comes back home and starts beating you more.” Housewife, 30, married, Kara-Balta, Kyrgyzstan

41 Access to Justice Barrier 6 Structural bias in the legal system

42 Power of the state/prosecutor in legal affairs Power of the prosecutor – To decide upon pre-trial detention (effectively, even if not in law) – Prime mover in collection of evidence and presentation of the case – High conviction rates Weakness of Judge – Lack of independence (not just corruption) – Lack of training Weakness and low skills of defense – Defense has few rights – Often dependent on the court for payment – Low level of professionalism

43 Other sources of bias reported in the literature Classification of cases – Administrative cases have fewer protections but can involve jail time – ‘Reconciliation’ (specifically in Kazakhstan) for particular cases tends to be used in domestic cases The use of informal law – Aksakal courts (Kyrgyzstan) and Mahalla councils (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) tend to prefer reconciliation to conservative solutions – Informal courts are often ignorant of formal law Police and prosecutors judged on conviction rates – Do not like to take domestic cases that might collapse – Incentive to pursue conviction rather than justice

44 Conclusion

45 Key Findings Main problems: – theft – land issues – problem divorce – domestic violence The picture is varied and non-obvious so continuing research is needed. Non-formal channels often used: – Government officials (all three countries) – Village elders (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) Resource, knowledge and access issues more prominent in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

46 Suggestive specific interventions BarrierActivityParticular countries 1/ Unwillingness 3/ KnowledgeLegal educationKyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2/ Resources Free or subsidized legal servicesKyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 5/ Practical barriersLegal outreachKyrgystan and Tajikistan Education and advertising drive for formal marriage registrationTajikistan 6/ Structural biasesLook at 'reconciliation' processKazakhstan Training for aksakal councilsKyrgyzstan Training for mahalla councilsKyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

47 Suggestive general interventions BarrierActivityWho it assists 2/ TrustMacro-reform to legal systemEveryone Assisting in the establishment of youth-oriented judicial processes and trainingYouth Investigative training of policeEveryone 5/ Practical hurdlesAdvocate for reforms to propiska systemInternal migrants Assistance for unregistered migrantsInternal migrants 6/ Structural biases Training for local government officials on land and family law Women and rural communities Make child support payments and property division harder to avoidWomen Advocate and train on issues relating to domestic violence across all legal professionalsWomen Advocate and train on equality and access issuesPWDs


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