OSCE roundtable in Dushanbe encourages judicial independence


DUSHANBE -- The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Tuesday (April 30) held a roundtable in Dushanbe to discuss judicial independence, the OSCE said in a statement.

Tajikistan's judicial system has been busy prosecuting suspected militants accused of activity in Tajikistan, Syria and Iraq.

The OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) jointly organised the event, which was attended by 30 lawyers, legal scholars, and former judges and prosecutors.

ICJ Secretary General Saman Zarifi spoke on international standards for judicial independence, and former judge Martine Comte of France spoke on the French experience and features of the French system, according to the statement.

"An independent judiciary is crucial for defending the rule of law and human rights in Tajikistan. We appreciate the openness of so many experienced judges, prosecutors and lawyers in describing the opportunities and challenges facing the legal system here," said Zarifi.

“We will incorporate the findings of these valuable discussions in our upcoming report which will include recommendations about strengthening the independence of the judiciary in Tajikistan," he said.

The report will inform dialogue with relevant Tajik government counterparts in the future and serve as a civil society advocacy tool to promote international standards for judicial independence, said the statement.

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