24 march 2017

Central Asia news

Most prominent lawyers in Uzbekistan to lose their licenses for unprofessional performance

18.05.2009 18:03 msk

A.Volosevich

Human Rights Uzbekistan

Prominent Tashkent-based lawyers Rukhiddin Kamilov and Rustam Tulyaganov that several times protected independent journalists, human rights activists, opposition members, religious leaders and sufferers of illegal actions, performed by police and special services, will lose their licenses under the reason that they failed to pass “merit rating", conducted by the authorities. They both are experienced lawyers with multi-year experience. They have been put to the black list of ruling elite long ago since they were brave enough to show the customized nature of many criminal cases.

Prominent Tashkent-based lawyers Rukhiddin Kamilov and Rustam Tulyaganov that several times protected independent journalists, human rights activists, opposition members, religious leaders and sufferers of illegal actions, performed by police and special services, will lose their licenses under the reason that they failed to pass “merit rating", conducted by the authorities. They both are experienced lawyers with multi-year experience. They have been put to the black list of ruling elite long ago since they were brave enough to show the customized nature of many criminal cases. There were only few experts that managed to run such activity in Uzbekistan.

Rukhiddin Kamilov
Rukhiddin Kamilov
- The examination was conducted in the Chamber of Attorneys of Tashkent Oblast – Rukhiddin Kamilov says. – I gave the detailed answers to the question. However, I was told that I failed exam. There were nearly 50 attorneys while only two of them failed the exam.

In 2004 the lawyer Kamilov could lose his license due to false accusations. At that time, he was supported by Association of lawyers and influential international human rights organizations. Today, there is another method to get rid of unwanted attorneys. The authorities came up with "merit rating", conducted April 21 through July 1. As a result, loyal attorney receive new licenses and IDs. It is worth mentioning that disloyal lawyers are those that prevent the judgment of guilt.

- These exams are illegal – Rukhiddin Kamilov explains. – The point is that law-based act on issuing the licenses cannot be cancelled by sublaw. Therefore, in order to cancel the licenses it is first necessary to cancel out the effect of law articles and introduce the point that says that attorneys must receive new licenses. After meeting these requirements the authorities can conduct the exam.

The attorney is going to appeal to Supreme qualification committee under the Chamber of Attorneys of Uzbekistan. It is clear that Mr. Kamilov should not wait for positive result. According to Rukhiddin Kamilov, he can legally run attorney’s services for about another month. He hopes to finish up the cases, including one with journalist and human rights activist Dilmurod Sayid that is to start of May 18.

Rustam Tulyaganov
Rustam Tulyaganov
Rustam Tulyaganov, well known lawyer in Uzbekistan thanks to the number of big political and criminal trials, also failed the qualification exam.

- I have been working as a lawyer since 1975 after graduation from university – Tulyaganov says. – Since 1997 I have been employed as an attorney. And now, two years prior to retirement, I am failing an exam that states that I do not have enough knowledge to be an attoryney.

- Those were simple questions. It turned out that among 47 candidates I was the only one that failed the exam…There were the lawyers that failed to meet advocatory plan. I managed to perform it every month. In the Soviet times the plan showed the quality of the lawyers. Today, the good attorney is the one who meets the requirements of Internal Affairs Ministry and National Security Service… This is an absurd. Why do we need the institute of attorney then?

Despite his forced participation in the qualification exam, Rustam Tulyaganov also believes in its illegitimacy.

- Advocacy is the non-state non-profit organization. Based on this, we need to elect our management bottom-up, but not top-down, as we are now forced to do by the Chamber of Attorneys. I believe that this law contradicts to current legislation of Uzbekistan, decrees of current President and current Constitution of Uzbekistan. Unfortunately, the lawyers, impartially performing their duties, are oppressed in the republic…

It has to be noted that called-off licenses of many independent lawyers will leave political prisoners without legal protection. Probably, from now on civil activists and religious leaders will be protected by "lawyers", assigned by the government.

A.Volosevich





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