Public Scrutiny as an Effective Form of Control
Roundtable participants in Tashkent have discussed public examination of laws and other normative legal acts. The event was organized by the National Center for Human Rights with the support of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan.
Parliamentarians, representatives of ministries and other government agencies, as well as European experts, who took part in the event informed in their speeches that active work is underway in Uzbekistan on the legal regulation of public relations, new laws and other normative acts filling the gaps in legislation are being adopted, obsolete norms and regulations impeding the country’s reform path are being abolished.
The smooth flow of discussions at the roundtable was somewhat interrupted by the speech of the chairman of the Association of Disabled Persons of Uzbekistan Oybek Isakov who expressed his opinion on the resolution of the President on organizational measures to stimulate the employment of socially vulnerable segments of the population, signed 12 June 2018.
“The draft of this document, which was submitted for public discussion, contained benefits in the form of exemption from income tax for individuals with disabilities of the first and second groups, which was the proposal of the Uzbek Society of Disabled People,” Oybek Isakov noted. “However, for unknown reasons, this item was removed and no one explained to us why. The resolution does not have specific mechanisms for creating jobs for the employment of people with disabilities and for supporting enterprises of disabled people’s organizations. In addition, our association was not invited to discuss the draft resolution, and in fact it unites 25 organizations of disabled people.”
In the opinion of the speaker, the ruling is “declarative in places”. For example, in paragraph 2 it reads that “commercial banks are recommended to allocate loans to certain categories of business entities”. But the word “recommended” is not mandatory, which leads to the non-fulfillment of this item.
The Association of Disabled Persons proposed to include in the document a provision securing the establishment of a mandatory quota for orders in government purchases for goods and services produced by enterprises of public organizations of disabled people. This measure would help support these enterprises and create new jobs for persons with disabilities. This proposal is based on the requirements of paragraph 14 of the program “Comprehensive measures to further improve the system of support for persons with disabilities and strengthen the protection of their rights and freedoms”, signed by the President of Uzbekistan on 1 December 2017. Unfortunately, the drafters of the resolution did not take it into account.
The meeting also served for the presentation of the academic and methodological manual “Implementation of international obligations of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of human rights, freedoms and interests: legal aspects”, issued by the National Center for Human Rights.
This guidebook is very interesting and pretty... critical. In particular, speaking about the fact that many international standards in the field of human rights are embodied in the Constitution of Uzbekistan and over 700 laws of our country, the authors nevertheless argue that they do not fully operate, neither applied nor respected by state bodies due to their insufficient implementation in national legislation.
For example, the Constitution of the Republic “does not contain clear provisions defining the status of universally recognized principles and norms of international law and international treaties of Uzbekistan in the legal system of our state. The provisions on the recognition of the priority of universally recognized norms of international law are fixed in the preamble of the Basic Law cannot sufficiently serve as the basis for their actual application in practice.”
Attention is also drawn to the lack of constitutional consolidation of the right of citizens of our country to appeal to international bodies, although the country is party to the relevant international covenants.
Another serious observation is that international documents, which Uzbekistan joined, are practically inaccessible to a huge circle of citizens and officials, which dictates the need for their wider publication.
Participants of the event approved recommendations on improving the organizational and legal framework for carrying out public examination.