(Mar. 23, 2017) On December 27, 2016, the President of Kyrgyzstan signed into law amendments to the Constitutional Law on the Status of Judges of the Kyrgyz Republic that had been adopted by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. (Optimization of Spending: Military Courts Are Terminated in Kyrgyzstan, SPUTNIK-TJ.COM, (Dec. 27, 2016) (in Russian); Law No. 141 of July 9, 2008, OFFICIAL GAZETTE No. 51 (July 15, 2008), Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan website (in Russian).) The purpose of the reform is to abolish the military justice system in the country. (Optimization of Spending: Military Courts Are Terminated in Kyrgyzstan, supra.)
According to the authors of the legislation, military courts are not efficient because of military judges’ higher compensation rates and smaller caseload. Reportedly. they adjudicate on average 20 cases per year, in contrast to more than 133 cases examined by civilian judges. Currently there are 387 judges in Kyrgyzstan’s lower level courts, of whom 14 are military judges. (Id.) A member of the Kyrgyz legislature, Maksat Sabirov, pointed out that unlike Russia, China, or the United States, Kyrgyzstan has a relatively small army of around 20,000 people, and it is not practical to maintain a substantial group of military judges when civilian judges serve a population of almost six million. (Aizada Kutuyeva, Do Deputies Intend to Sacrifice the Military Court?, AZATTYK.ORG (Sept. 29, 2016) (in Russian).)
It is expected that the military judges and their staff members will be integrated into the national civilian judiciary and will serve in the courts of all levels, and that people accused of 18 offenses recognized by the Kyrgyz Criminal Code as military crimes will be tried by local court judges without any special procedures. (Optimization of Spending: Military Courts Are Terminated in Kyrgyzstan, supra.)
Prepared by Nerses Isajanyan, Foreign Law Consultant, under the supervision of Peter Roudik, Director of Legal Research.