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28 October 2016

PLATFORM ISSUES EXPERT OPINION ON DRAFT LAW AMENDING THE KYRGYZ CONSTITUTION

At the request of the European External Action Service, the EU-Central Asia Rule of Law Platform prepared an expert opinion on the draft law “On introduction of amendments and changes to the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic”.

A Preliminary Joint Opinion on the draft law was issued by the OSCE/ODHIR and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on 30 August 2016, at the request of Mr. Almambet Shykmamatov, Acting Chairperson of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation, State Structures and Regulations of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic.

During his official visit to Kyrgyzstan from 31 August to 4 September, EUSR Ambassador Peter Burian met with President Almazbek Atambaev, and with Mr. Shykmamatov, and discussed with them the proposals to amend the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan. The EUSR emphasized that the EU is “committed to invest in a prosperous, democratic and stable future of the country“. He agreed on a request to provide an expert analysis evaluating whether the new draft law intended to be presented to the Jogorku Kenesh for a second reading, had taken into account the recommendations presented by the Venice Commission in its Joint Opinion. As described in the Joint Opinion, the Draft Amendements would impact the balance of powers by strengthening the powers of the executive, affect the institutional status and role of the Constitutional Chamber, as well certain democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Rule of Law Platform invited Professor Stanislav Pohrebniak to complete the above analysis in the framework of its Study Facility which allows for the preparation of studies requested by the EU on an ad-hoc basis. Professor Pohrebniak holds the Chair of Theory of State and Law at the National Law University Yaroslav the Wise, in Kiev (Ukraine).

During Phase I of the project, at the request of the Legal Department of the Kyrgyz President’s Office presented in August 2013, the Platform issued two experts opinions on the Draft Constitutional Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On introduction of amendments to the Constitutional Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On the status of judges of the Kyrgyz Republic”, and on the Draft Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On the bodies of judicial self-government”. Both expert opinions were prepared in February 2014, by Mr Didier Maus, Former President of the Constitutional Tribunal of Andorra, Emeritus President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Former State Counselor (France) and Honorary Law Professor at Aix-Marseille III Paul Cézanne University.