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Kyrgyzstan: Civil society network calls on Parliament to reject controversial draft legislation on Constitutional Court

Kyrgyzstan: Civil society network calls on Parliament to reject controversial draft legislation on Constitutional Court
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels
Kyrgyzstan: Civil society network calls on Parliament to reject controversial draft legislation on Constitutional Court
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels

Members of the Kyrgyzstani Civil Society Network for Monitoring the Justice Sector “Akyikat Karegi”, which was established under an EU-funded project jointly carried out by International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), are calling on Members of Parliament to reject proposed legal amendments affecting the country’s Constitutional Court. An appeal on this issue was disseminated among members of parliament on 6 September 2023 and published today.

Currently all decisions issued by the Constitutional Court in Kyrgyzstan are final and cannot be changed. However, according to the proposed amendments, the Court’s decisions could be reviewed at the initiative of the President or the Chair of the Constitutional Court in certain cases, including cases where the constitutional provisions on which a decision was based have subsequently been amended; if new circumstances relevant for the ruling have come to light; or if the decision is deemed to be contrary to ‘’moral values’’ or ‘’public consciousness’’ of the people of Kyrgyzstan.

The signatories to the civil society appeal emphasise that the proposed amendments are incompatible with the Constitution for several reasons and would risk the Constitutional Court being subjected to politically motivated pressure, thereby undermining its independence and the integrity of its decision-making.

The proposed amendments were initiated by the presidential administration after the Constitutional Court issued a ruling allowing for matronymic family names (in addition to patronymic ones), which caused a controversy.

Despite the criticism voiced by civil society, the proposed amendments were adopted by parliament on first reading on 6 September 2023. If passed on two more readings, they will go to the president for signature.

The full appeal can be read here (in Russian)

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The appeal was prepared in the framework of the “Akyikat Karegi” project, which is jointly implemented by IPHR and Lawyers for Human Rights with financial assistance from the European Union. The content of the appeal is the sole responsibility of the organisations implementing the project and and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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