The essence and significance of the main constitutional innovations
As part of the constitutional reforms, several significant modifications and additions are in process, reflecting the following main ideas and provisions:
- The embodiment of the will of the multinational people of Uzbekistan, in which the highest value is a person, his rights, and freedoms. The determination of state’s ideology, social development, constitutional values, reflecting identity of constitutional and legal creativity of the Uzbek people.
The preamble determined the priorities of the constitutional development of Uzbekistan at a new stage in the improvement of national statehood, including:
- adherence to human rights and freedoms, national and universal values, and principles of state sovereignty;
- confirmation of loyalty to the ideals of democracy, freedom and equality, social justice and solidarity;
- focus on building a humane democratic state, an open and just society,
in which the highest value is a person, his life, freedom, honor and dignity;
- the desire to strengthen and develop friendly relations Uzbekistan with
the world community, first of all, with neighboring states on the basis of cooperation, mutual support, peace, and harmony;
- ensuring a decent life for citizens, interethnic and interfaith harmony, well-being, and prosperity of our multinational Uzbekistan and others.
- II. Defining new principles that sustain Uzbekistan’s legal standing as an independent, democratic, and sovereign state.
It is established that Uzbekistan is a sovereign, democratic, legal, social, and secular state with a republican form of government (Article 1).
The provisions outlined in Article 1 serve as the foundation for Uzbekistan’s constitutional reforms, and all subsequent alterations and additions to the draft’s text are intended to guarantee the effective implementation of these key provisions.
At the same time, it is established that the provisions of this article of the Constitution cannot be revised, which ensures the stability and invariance of the state’s aforementioned fundamental features. (Article 154).
III. The constitutional reform is intended to radically alter the paradigm of thinking and the principles of activity in the state and public administration systems, establishing the postulate « person – society – state » as the basis for relations in New Uzbekistan rather than the principle « state – society – person ».
It should be noted that almost all changes and additions to the Constitution since its adoption in 1992 have primarily dealt with issues of state and social construction, specifically the activities of the President, Parliament, Government, electoral system, and so on.
In turn, more than half of the proposed amendments to the Constitution aim to strengthen guarantees and mechanisms for protecting human rights and freedoms.
There are all reasons to believe that every Uzbek citizen will be able to say confidently, « This is my Constitution », because it reflects the interests of all segments of the population.
In the Constitution, all signs of a constitutional state were developed, where power must be limited in its actions by law, subordinated to the will of the sovereign people, and called upon to ensure the rights and freedoms of the individual:
3.1. The constitutional mechanisms for ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution and the law, as the most important guarantee of the democratic renewal of the country, and reliable protection of human rights and freedoms, have been significantly strengthened.
– The Basic Law has the supreme legal force, direct effect and forms the basis of a single legal space throughout the country (Article 15);
– Laws and other regulatory legal acts are adopted based on and in fulfillment of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan (Article 16);
– The right of citizens and legal entities to apply directly to the Constitutional Court with a complaint about the compliance with the Constitution of the law applied to them by the court in a specific case, the consideration of which in court has been completed, and if all other remedies have been exhausted (Article 133), is secured.
For reference: fixing in the Constitution the right of citizens to directly apply
to the Constitutional Court, whose decisions are final and not subject to appeal , will serve as the most important guarantee of human rights and freedoms, ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution and the law.
3.2. Constitutional guarantees have been strengthened to ensure basic personal rights and freedoms of person and citizen.
– In Uzbekistan, human rights and freedoms are recognized and guaranteed by the generally recognized norms of international law and by the Constitution. Human rights and freedoms belong to everyone from birth (Article 19);
– Human rights and freedoms are directly applicable and determine the essence and content of laws, the activities of state bodies, and the self-government bodies of citizens and their officials. Measures of legal influence on a person applied by state bodies must be based on the principle of proportionality and be sufficient to achieve the goals provided for by laws (Article 20);
For reference: this most important international legal principle means that the provisions of the Constitution on rights and freedoms have a direct regulatory impact on public relations. Simultaneously, rights and liberties are recognized as directly applicable, regardless of whether legislative acts have been enacted to specify and determine the rules, mechanisms, and procedures for their effective implementation.
– for the first time in the Constitution, it is established that every person has the right to the free development of his personality, and no one can be entrusted with a duty not established by law without his consent.
At the same time, it is established that human rights and freedoms can be limited only in accordance with the law, and only to the extent necessary to protect constitutional order, public health, public morality, the rights and freedoms of other persons, public safety, and public order. (Article 21);
This rule is introduced based on the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 29) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 4, 5, 12, 19, 21, and 22), fixing the conditions for restrictions on human rights and freedoms.
– It is established that a citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan cannot be expelled from Uzbekistan or extradited to another state. The state, by the norms of international law, takes care of maintaining and developing ties with compatriots living abroad (Article 23);
These norms will make it possible to consolidate state guarantees for the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens, and will also serve to create conditions for the development of relations with compatriots living abroad, the formation of a positive image of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the international arena.
– The right to life is an inalienable right of every person and is protected by law, in connection with which the Constitution establishes that the death penalty is prohibited in the Republic of Uzbekistan (Article 25);
The abolition of the death penalty was introduced into the legislation of Uzbekistan in 2008. Now, this prohibition is enshrined at the level of the Constitution.
– Honor and human dignity are inviolable. It is determined that nothing can be the basis for their derogation (Article 26).
3.3. Reliable legal mechanisms for the protection of a person and a citizen have been established, incorporating almost all modern methods of protecting human rights, including those who have broken the law, from any arbitrariness on the part of state bodies and officials.
– guarantees for ensuring human rights and freedoms have been significantly strengthened, incl. by fixing at the constitutional level the universally recognized institutions of « habeas corpus » and « Miranda rules« .
Reference: to the « Miranda rule, » which was enshrined in the Constitution and states that during detention, a person, must be informed of his rights, and the law enforcement officer detaining him must receive a positive response to the question of whether he understands what was said; this rule is followed in all democratic countries (USA, UK, Germany, France, etc.).
In particular, the following norms are introduced aimed at securing these institutions (Articles 27 and 31):
- a) during detention, the person must be informed about his/her rights and the reasons for detention in a language he/she understands;
- b) the suspect, accused or convicted person is not obliged to prove his or her innocence and may at any time exercise the right to remain silent;
- c) arrest, commitment, and confinement are allowed only by a court decision. Without a court decision, a person may not be detained for more than forty-eight hours;
- d) everyone has the right to privacy in correspondence, telephone conversations, postal, electronic, and other communications. This right may be restricted only in accordance with the law and on the basis of a court decision.
- e) no one may enter the house against the will of the people who live there. Entry into a dwelling, as well as seizure and inspection of it, are only permitted in the cases and manner prescribed by law.A search of the residenceis permitted only in accordance with the law and on the basis of a court decision;
In order to ensure the guarantees of judicial protection of human rights, the powers to authorize the interception of communications and conduct a search are transferred from the prosecutor’s court.
– for the first time in the Basic Law (Articles 27 and 28) it is stipulated that:
- a) in favor of the suspect, accused, defendant, or convicted person all doubts about guilt are resolved if the possibilities to eliminate them have been exhausted, which is a guarantee of the implementation of the most important principle of the “presumption of innocence”;
- b)no one is obliged to testify against himself/herself and his/her close relatives. At the same time, the Constitution clearly states: a person cannot be convicted or punished if his confession of his guilt is the only evidence against him or her;
- c)individuals deprived of their liberty have the right to humane treatment and respect for the honor and dignity inherent in the human person.
- d)person’s criminal record and the legal consequences arising thereof cannot be grounds for restricting the rights of his relatives, etc.;
– it is established that everyone has the right to the protection of his data, as well as to demand the correction of inaccurate data, the destruction of data collected about him illegally or no longer having legal grounds (Article 31);
– the right of every person to be assisted by a lawyer is guaranteed at their choice, at any stage of the criminal proceedings, state guarantees are strengthened to provide victims with protection, access to justice and the creation of conditions for compensating the harm caused to them (Article 29);
– defines everyone’s right to protect their rights and freedoms by all means not prohibited by law. At the same time, to restore their violated rights and freedoms, everyone is guaranteed the right to have their case heard by a competent, independent, and impartial court within the time limits established by law. Furthermore, the Republic of Uzbekistan’s legislation and international treaties grant everyone the constitutional right to apply to international bodies for the protection of human rights and freedoms if all available domestic remedies have been exhausted. (Article 55).
3.4. The right of everyone to choose a place of stay and residence, and free travel outside Uzbekistan, with the exception of restrictions established by law, is secured. A citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan has the right to return to Uzbekistan without hindrance (Article 32).
3.5. For the first time, a constitutional norm is introduced on the creation by the state of conditions for providing access to the worldwide information network Internet (Article 33).
For reference: The UN, as per the Resolution of June 3, 2011, recognizes the right to access the Internet as one of the inalienable human rights. Similar norms can be found in the constitutions of Georgia, Mexico, and other countries.
3.6. The political rights of citizens are expanding, and the right of citizens to equal access to public services is enshrined at the constitutional level (Article 37).
- IV. The Basic Law’s enshrined principles of state foreign policyare supplemented by a provision on « territorial integrity of states, »with the definition of « peaceful foreign policy » as its primary vector.
– The foreign policy of Uzbekistan is based on the principles of sovereign equality of states, non-use of force or threat of force, inviolability of frontiers, territorial integrity of states, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and other generally recognized principles and norms of international law (Article 17);
– The Republic of Uzbekistan pursues a peaceful foreign policy aimed at the comprehensive development of bilateral and multilateral relations with states and international organizations (Article 18).
- The signs of a social state have been developed in the Constitution, the policy of which is aimed at affirming the principle of social justice and solidarity, achieving a decent quality and standard for the living of citizens, and assisting those in need.
5.1. Norms aimed at supporting socially vulnerable categories of the population are being fixed, smoothing social inequality in society, creating decent living conditions; strengthening the social responsibility of the state to citizens so that not a single person is left without attention. For the first time, everyone’s right to housing is established.
– the amount of pensions, allowances, and other types of welfare established by law cannot be lower than the officially fixed minimum consumer expenditure (Article 46);
– Everyone has the right to housing. No one may be deprived of his or her home except by a court decision and in accordance with the law. In the cases and the manner prescribed by law, the owner, deprived of his or her home, is provided with preliminary and equivalent compensation for the cost of housing and losses incurred by him. The state encourages construction of housing and creates conditions for the exercise of the right to housing. The procedure for providing housing for socially vulnerable categories of the population is determined by law (Article 47);
– the rights of disabled and lonely elderly, persons with disabilities, and other socially vulnerable categories of the population are protected by the state. The state takes measures to improve the quality of life of socially vulnerable groups of the population, to create conditions for their full participation in public and state life, and to increase their ability to provide for their basic needs on their own.
Furthermore, the Basic Law clearly states that the state creates conditions for persons with disabilities to have full access to objects and services in the social, economic, and cultural spheres, promotes their employment and education, and allows them to freely obtain the information that they require (Article 57).
5.2. The fight against unemployment entails ensuring employment and a steady increase in the population’s income. Citizens’ labor rights are being strengthened.
– everyone has the right to decent work, free choice of profession and occupation, favorable working conditions that meet the requirements of safety and hygiene, fair remuneration for work without any discrimination, and not below the established minimum wage. The minimum wage is determined taking into account the need to ensure a decent standard of living for a person (Article 42);
The incorporation of these norms into the Constitution is critical in ensuring that citizens’ wages are commensurate with their efforts, as well as raising the population’s standard of living and ensuring the country’s social justice principles.
– it is prohibited to refuse to hire women, dismiss them from work and reduce their wages for reasons related to pregnancy or the presence of a child (Article 42);
– the state takes measures to ensure the employment of citizens, protect them from unemployment, as well as reduce poverty. The State organizes and encourages professional training and retraining of citizens (Article 43);
– forced labor is prohibited except as punishment under the court decision, or in some other Instances specified by law. Any form of child labor that poses a threat to the health, safety, and full physical, mental, and spiritual development of the child, including those that prevent him from getting an education, is prohibited. (Article 44).
5.3. Ensuring the accessibility of education, healthcare and spiritual and cultural values.
– the right of citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan to receive a guaranteed volume of medical care at the expense of the state is fixed.
It is established that the state takes measures to develop the healthcare system, its state and non-state forms, various types of medical insurance, and ensure the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population. At the same time, the state creates conditions for the development of physical culture and sports, the formation of a healthy lifestyle among the population (Article 48);
– the state ensures the development of a continuous education system, its various types and forms, and state and non-state educational organizations (Article 50);
– citizens have the right to receive higher education in state educational organizations on a competitive basis at the expense of the state. Higher educational institutions have the right to academic freedom, self-government, freedom of research and teaching in accordance with the law (Article 51);
– a separate article is introduced on the status and role of the teacher in society. It is fixed that in Uzbekistan the work of a teacher is recognized as the basis for the development of society and the state, the formation and education of a healthy, harmoniously developed generation, and the preservation and enhancement of the spiritual and cultural potential of the people. The state takes care of protecting the honor and dignity of teachers, their social and material well-being, and their professional development (Article 52).
This innovation will create an opportunity to strengthen the social status, strengthen state support and ensure professional growth over 685 thousand teachers working in the country.
Similar norms fixing the status of a teacher are contained in the constitutions of Germany, Portugal, Ukraine, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Egypt, etc.
5.4. Further strengthening of constitutional mechanisms designed to ensure the development of market relations, the protection of private property, entrepreneurship, and the social orientation of a market economy.
– the state creates conditions for the development of market relations, and fair competition, noting that private property is inviolable, The Constitution establishes mechanisms that ensure its reliable protection. It is established that the owner cannot be deprived of his property except in cases and the manner prescribed by law and based on a court decision (Article 65);
– the state provides a favorable investment and business climate. Entrepreneurs, under the law, have the right to carry out any activity and choose its direction independently. The unity of the economic space, and the free movement of goods, services, labor resources, and financial resources are guaranteed on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Monopolistic activity is regulated and limited by law (Article 67).
The inclusion of these norms will become a solid basis for the smooth implementation of entrepreneurial activities, and will also have a positive impact on the development of the business environment in the country.
– the norm is fixed that land can be privately owned on the terms and in the manner prescribed by law, which ensure its rational use and protection as a national wealth (Article 68).
The introduction of this norm will allow at the constitutional level to secure the right of ownership of citizens and business entities to land, which in turn will serve as a reliable protection and guarantee of the rights of owners, as well as consolidate their obligation to respect the land.
5.5. The norms governing the state’s care for children and young people, as well as the creation of equal opportunities for men and women, have been established. Installed norms aimed at the full development and strengthening of the family institution, which is based on traditional Uzbek family values, free consent, and equality of those entering into marriage.
– the state ensures equality of rights and opportunities for women and men in managing the affairs of society and the state, as well as in other areas of public and state life (Article 58);
– marriage is based on the traditional family values of the people of Uzbekistan, free consent, and equality of those entering into marriage. The state creates social, economic, legal, and other conditions for the full development of the family (Article 76).
Given that the people of Uzbekistan are citizens of Uzbekistan, regardless of their nationality, respect for the traditional family values of all citizens living in the republic is recognized. In this context, the traditional family values of the people of Uzbekistan are understood as the traditions of our citizens that do not contradict the Constitution and laws, including the Family Code;
– parents and guardians are obliged to support their children until the latter are of age, take care of their upbringing, education, and healthy, full, and harmonious development (Article 77);
For reference: under this norm, parents are now responsible not only for the maintenance and upbringing of their children but also for their education, and their healthy, full, and harmonious development.
– the state is responsible for ensuring and protecting the rights, freedoms and interests of the child, as well as creating the best conditions for his and her full physical, mental, and cultural development; motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood are all protected by the state. The state and society take care of the formation in children and youth of a commitment to national and universal values, pride in the country, and the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of the people, a sense of patriotism and love for the Motherland (Article 78);
– the state ensures the protection of the personal, political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights of young people, and encourages their active participation in the life of society and the state (Article 79).
5.6. Constitutional consolidation of legal norms specifically dedicated to the protection and provision of environmental rights of citizens.
For the first time, the Constitution clearly states:
- a) the determination of the people of Uzbekistan to increase and protect for present and future generations, the priceless natural wealth of the country and to preserve a healthy environment (Preamble);
- b) the right of everyone to a favorable environment, and reliable information about its condition (Article 49);
- c) implementation by the state of measures under the principle of sustainable development to improve, restore and protect the environment, and maintain ecological balance; adoption by the state of measures for the protection and restoration of the ecological system, social and economic development of the Aral Sea region (Article 49);
The global environmental problem in the Aral Sea region has a direct detrimental effect on the lifestyle of about 50 million residents.
The consolidation of this norm in the Constitution will ensure the creation of decent living conditions for the inhabitants of the Aral Sea region, the application of a package of additional benefits for citizens, primarily representatives of the social sphere, will increase the possibility of active participation of business structures and non-profit organizations in various projects aimed at protecting the environment.
– ensuring the implementation of a unified state policy in the field of environmental protection, conservation of natural wealth and biodiversity, climate change, epidemics, pandemics and mitigation of their consequences is defined as one of the main tasks of the Cabinet of Ministers (Article 115);
– the implementation of measures aimed at ensuring the ecological development of territories is assigned to the jurisdiction of khokims of regions, districts, and cities (Article 123).
5.7. For the first time, a norm on the implementation of public control in the field of urban planning is introduced.
It is established that:
– the state creates conditions for the implementation of public control in the field of urban planning to ensure the environmental rights of citizens and prevent harmful effects on the environment;
– draft urban planning documents are subject to public discussion in the manner prescribed by law (Article 49).
This innovation will create reliable guarantees to prevent the construction of facilities in settlements without observing established norms and rules and will ensure the participation of citizens in the process of creating the architectural appearance of cities (districts). Under these conditions, the right of citizens to control the provision of their environmental rights by preventing pollution of nature as a result of urban planning activities are also consolidated.
- Constitutional amendments are becoming an important factor in the consistent implementation of the principle of separation of powers – the basis for the democratization of the entire system of state power.
6.1. In order to form an effective parliament and optimize the activities of the upper Chamber based on its main purpose – regional representation, taking into account the preservation of a unique and effective platform for interaction and coordination of the activities of the Kengashes (Councils) of people’s deputies, the elimination of parallelism in the activities of the Chambers of Oliy Majlis, based on the goals and objectives of ongoing administrative reforms of the New Uzbekistan, the Senate, an upper Chamber of parliament, is being modernized, and the powers of the Legislative Chamber, a lower chamber of parliament, are being strengthened.
5 powers are assigned to the exclusive powers of the Legislative Chamber, then in accordance with the draft amendments this number has reached 12. The number of exclusive powers of the Senate has increased from the current 14 to 18.
- The number of Senate members is being optimized from 100 to 65,
who will be elected in equal numbers of 4 from each of 14 regions at meetings of the deputies of Jokargy Kenes and local Kengashes from among these deputies, while 9 members of the Senate will be directly appointed by the President.
In foreign countries, out of 83 bicameral parliaments, the number of members of the upper Chamber is up to 49 people – in 29 countries, 50–99 people – in 31 countries, 100 or more – in 23 countries. For example, the Senate of Kazakhstan has 50 members, in Tajikistan – 33, in Belarus – 64. The number of members of the upper houses appointed by the heads of state: Italy – 5, Belarus, Tajikistan – 8, Kazakhstan – 10, Ireland – 11, India – 12.
- The consideration and approval of the candidacy of the Prime Minister are enshrined as the exclusive authority of the Legislative Chamber (Articles 94 and 118).
A similar procedure is provided in Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, etc.
- The control powers of the Senate are being optimized by excluding some of its forms (a control over the execution of the State budget; consideration of the annual report of the Cabinet of Ministers; hearing the report of the Prime Minister on the socio-economic development of the country, etc.) with fixing them as the exclusive powers of the Legislative Chamber (Article 94).
- The powers of the Senate are expanding, including by transferring it some of the President’s powers, as well as strengthening the role in coordinating the activities of representative bodies of state power in the field, in particular:
– election on the proposal of the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, heads of Republican body for combating corruption and the republican anti-monopoly body (Article 95);
– approval of presidential decrees on the formation and abolition of ministries and other republican executive bodies (Article 95), etc.
At the same time, the Senate is vested with the power to perform the function of Parliament to pass laws. (with the exception of the Constitution and constitutional laws) during the period of temporary absence of the Legislative Chamber, caused by the early termination of its powers (dissolution) (Article 95).
The control function of the Senate over the activities of control, law enforcement agencies, and special services is being strengthened. In particular, the procedure for appointing the Prosecutor General and the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber by the President is being introduced with the approval of the Senate, Chairman of the State Security Service – after consultations with the Senate (Article 95).
6.2. In order to further improve the system of checks and balances in the mechanism of state power of the Chamber of Oliy Majlis is endowed with the power to self-dissolve, the decision on which is taken, respectively, by a majority of at least 2/3 of the total number of deputies of the Legislative Chamber or members of the Senate (Articles 94 and 95).
Parliaments in several foreign countries have the right to self-dissolve, for example in Israel, Bulgaria, Turkmenistan, etc. At the same time, in some countries the parliament has the power to self-dissolve on the basis of a decision made by a simple majority – in Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Turkey; by a qualified majority – in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Cyprus; by a two-thirds majority – in Kyrgyzstan, Poland; three-fifths of the (elected) members in Lithuania.
6.3. The control powers of the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis are expanding, including by consolidating the power to conduct a parliamentary inquiry (Article 103).
6.4. The role of Oliy Majlis in the implementation of the anti-corruption fight and control over financial and budgetary discipline is strengthening, by consolidating the powers of the Chambers of Parliament to hear the annual National Anti-Corruption Report (Article 93 ).
6.5. The system of local government is changing radically.
According to the law, a person holding the position of khokim of a region, district, or city cannot hold the position of a chairman
of the Kengash of People’s Deputies at the same time. At the same time, the Kengash of People’s Deputies is headed by a chairperson elected from among its deputies (Article 120).
The division of the executive and representative power at the local level will become the basis for a profound reform of the entire system of public administration in the country.
6.6. The Cabinet of Ministers is significantly strengthened by intensifying its responsibility to the President and the Oliy Majlis, a status of the Government is changing, and the participation of a lower Chamber of parliament is expanding in its formation.
- it is established that the Cabinet of Ministers carries out its activities within the framework of the main activities of the executive power, determined by the President (Article 114);
- the constitutional norm is abolished, according to which the candidacy of the Prime Minister is submitted for consideration by the President by the party that won the largest number of seats in parliament during the elections.
Instead, taking into account the best foreign experience, the procedure for appointing the Prime Minister and members of the Government is introduced by the President with the approval of the Legislative Chamber. At the same time, the candidacy of the Prime Minister is presented by the President after consultations with all factions of political parties represented in the lower house (Articles 109 and 118).
This change is aimed at expanding the participation of a lower Chamber of parliament in the formation of the government. Unlike the current procedure, the new one for appointing the Prime Minister allows taking into account the opinion of all political forces represented by factions of political parties represented in the Legislative Chamber, which is more democratic, taking into account that all people’s representatives elected by the citizens of the country participate in this process;
- a norm is fixed, establishing that in the event of a threefold rejection of the submitted candidates for the post of Prime Minister, the President appoints the Prime Minister and has the right to dissolve the Legislative Chamber (Article 118);
- The powers and functions of the Government, its responsibility for solving the tasks facing it in the field of ensuring sustainable economic growth, macroeconomic stability, creating a favorable investment climate, reducing poverty, creating decent living conditions for the population, protecting the environment, preserving natural wealth, etc. have been significantly expanded.
Besides, the government is entrusted with the tasks of ensuring openness and transparency, legality and efficiency in the work of executive authorities, improving the quality and accessibility of public services, providing the effective functioning of the social protection system, including the disabled, and support for civil society institutions (Article 115).
6.7. For the first time, the Constitution defines the powers of khokims ( governors) of all levels (implementation of measures aimed at ensuring the economic, social, cultural, and environmental development of territories; formation and execution of the local budget, etc.) (Article 123).
In general, these changes will serve to increase the responsibility of executive authorities, as well as ensure the effective implementation of the tasks facing the government and khokims, taking into account new obligations of the state.
These and other amendments, enshrined in the fifth section of the Constitution, will become the basis and logical continuation of large-scale reforms, including administrative ones, being implemented in our country.
6.8. Judicial reform started in 2017. In accordance with the constitutional reforms of 2017-2021:
– the Supreme Judicial Council was formed; – based on the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court, a single supreme judicial body was established in the fields of civil, criminal, administrative, and economic legal proceedings. – the Supreme Court;
– administrative, and economic courts were formed;
- the autonomy and independence of the Constitutional Court were secured, and its powers were significantly expanded.
The amendments to the Basic Law are a logical continuation of these reforms. The Draft Constitutional Law significantly strengthens the constitutional foundations for the independence of judges, the democratization of the justice system as the most important conditions for ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution and the law, and the implementation of democratic reforms in the country.
– the constitutional foundations of the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan are being strengthened – it is an independent body of the judiciary, ensuring the formation of the judiciary, and compliance with the constitutional principle of the independence of the judiciary (Article 135);
– it is established that judges are inviolable and unaccountable in specific cases and the state ensures the safety of the judge and members of his family ( Article 136);
– a norm is fixed that the financing of the activities of the courts is made from the State budget and should ensure the possibility of full and independent administration of justice (Article 140), etc.
6.9. The range of issues within the competence of the Constitutional Court is being expanded and specified, and the guarantees for the activities of its judges are being strengthened.
- a) it is established that the Constitutional Court (Article 133):
– determines the compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan of international treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan – until the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan signs the laws on their ratification;
For reference: the current procedure provides for the determination by the Constitutional Court of compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan only of the laws themselves on the ratification of international treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
– gives an opinion on the conformity of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan with issues submitted to a referendum;
Similar powers of the Constitutional Court are provided for in the Constitutions of Belarus, Russia, etc.
- b) Judges of the Constitutional Court are elected for a ten-year term without the right to re-election (Article 132).
For reference: the long term of office of judges of the Constitutional Court without the possibility of re-election is enshrined in the constitutions of several foreign countries. For example, 9-year terms: Bulgaria, France, Italy, Lithuania (with the possibility of re-election after a break in the term), Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine; 10-year terms: Georgia; 12-year terms: Germany, Russia.
6.10. The updated Constitution is supplemented by 65 percent with new norms and articles and includes institutional changes, the total modernization of separation of powers with greater empowering the Parliament, enhancing the responsibility and accountability of the Government, giving up some of the powers of the President in favor of the Parliament. Some of these articles are related to the reform of the system of state power, according to which specific terms of office are introduced for the positions of the Speaker of the Legislative Chamber, the Chairman of the Senate, the President of the country, the Chairman of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General and others.
In the event that these changes receive the support of the people during the referendum, then this new order will come into force, and said officials will be eligible to be appointed or elected to these positions in the future.
6.11. A separate chapter is introduced into the Constitution devoted to the institution of the Bar and establishing guarantees for the activities of lawyers (Chapter XXIV).
– the activity of the bar is based on the principles of legality, independence, and self-government (Article 141);
– the interference in the activities of a lawyer in the exercise of his professional duties is not allowed;
– the lawyer is provided with conditions for unhindered and confidential meetings, and consultations with his client;
– a lawyer, his honor, dignity, and professional activity are under the protection of the state and protected by law (Article 142).
VII. Strengthening the constitutional foundations for the formation and development of civil society institutions, and their active participation in managing the affairs of society and the state.
– the title of Chapter XIII « Public Associations » is changed to « Institutions of Civil Society« , which indicates the expansion of the circle of subjects reflected in this chapter of the Constitution;
– for the first time the definition of civil society institutions is given (Article 69);
– The Constitution is supplemented with new norms, according to which the state guarantees the freedom of the media, and their rights to search, receive, use, and disseminate information (Article 81);
The adoption of these constitutional amendments will help to further ensure freedom of speech in the country, openness and transparency in government activities, and increased accountability of media representatives for the information services they provide. Ultimately, this will contribute to raising the dialogue between society and the state to a qualitatively new level.
– implementation of measures to support civil society institutions, ensuring their participation in the development and implementation of programs for socio-economic development and social partnership are defined as the most important tasks of the Government (Article 115).
VIII. The constitutional amendments aim to strengthen the democratic principle and the constitutional foundations of people’s (direct) democracy.
– a new type of right of legislative initiative is introduced – a legislative proposal. This right of legislative initiative can now be used by citizens who have the right to vote, in the amount of at least 100 thousand people, as well as the Senate of Oliy Majlis, Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) and CEC (Article 98);
Consolidation at the constitutional level of the institution of citizens’ appeals with legislative proposals to parliament:
firstly, it will expand the limits of citizens’ participation in the management of state affairs, allowing the people, as a direct lawmaker, to initiate the solution of systemic problems by improving legislative acts;
secondly, it will create real opportunities for every citizen of the country, as the initiator of reforms, to directly influence the process of making important decisions in the life of society and the state.
Similar norms are contained in the constitutions of Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Brazil, etc. For example, in Italy 50,000 voters can submit to the chairman of one of the chambers of the Italian parliament a bill in the form of an article-by-article text, accompanied by an explanatory report.
– such principles of formation and execution of the State budget as openness and transparency are fixed. Citizens and institutions of civil society are granted the right to exercise public control over the formation and execution of the State budget (Article 148);
The “Open Budget” state system being implemented today in our country creates opportunities for real implementation of effective public control over the budget process, obtaining complete and reliable information about the features of financial support for the tasks and functions of the state. This innovation will involve citizens and civil society institutions in the processes of forming the state budget, determining its revenue and expenditure parts, and implementing budget legislation.
– at the constitutional level, the right of citizens’ self-government bodies to independently and within the framework of the law to resolve issues of local importance based on the interests of citizens, historical features of development, as well as national and spiritual values, local customs and traditions are fixed (Article 127).
In general, in connection with the amendments and additions made, the number of articles of the Basic Law is increased from the current 128 to 155, and the scope of the norms of the Constitution – by 65%.
The adoption of the new Constitution will lay a solid foundation for the further improvement of the well-being of the people, and the accelerated development of the state and civil society based on the principle » In the name of human honor and dignity« .