Law of the Republic of Tajikistan: A Guide to Web Based Resources
By Oleg Stalbovskiy & Maria Stalbovskaya
Oleg Stalbovskiy holds an M.S. degree from the Tomsk State University (Russia), Faculty of Mechanics & Mathematics, and for a long time worked as an information and computer technology specialist. Since 1998, he has been the Head of the Open Library for Legal Information, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Oleg Stalbovskiy participated in the International Visitor Program of the United States Department of State "Access to Information in the Public Libraries" (2004).
Maria Stalbovskayа has been a reference librarian at the Open Library for Legal Information since 1997. She holds an M.S. degree from the Tomsk State University (Russia), Historical-Philological Faculty. Maria Stalbovskayа attended training courses for law librarians granted by Constitutional Legal Policy Institute in 1999 and 2002 (Budapest, Hungary), in 2001 (Riga, Latvia) and in 2000 (Moscow, Russia).
The authors of article were involved in important projects for the Republic of Uzbekistan such as "The Development of the Digital Library on Human Rights", the "Organizational and Methodical Support for Regional Public Law Centers", "Legal Information Support for Under Judicial Investigation People", and "Creating the web-site of the Open Library for Legal Information".
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Table of Contents
The Republic of Tajikistan is a typical mountainous country in Central Asia. The total territory of the republic covers more 143,000 square km. Almost half of it is located at an elevation above 3,000 meters in the Pamir-Alai mountain systems and the Tien Shan Range. The capital of Tajikistan is the city of Dushanbe. The official language is Tajik. The Russian language is the language of international communication.
Tajikistan was part of ancient Persia's Achaemenid Empire (VI-IV centuries B.C.) Islamic Arabs began the conquest of the region in the early VIII century. In the Samanid epoch, this area (the end of IХ - the beginning of Х centuries) was known as the Islamic center of sciences and trade. Since then this territory has been subordinated by Turks and Mongols conquerors. In the early XVI century, Uzbeks conquered Tajikistan. By the early XIX century the land of the future Tajikistan was divided among three states: the Uzbek-ruled Bukhara Khanate, the Kokand Khanate, and the kingdom of Afghanistan.
The modern territory of Tajikistan had been attached to the Russian empire at the end of the XIX century. The basic areas of the country were under the control of Bukhara People Soviet Republic up until 1924 and from 1924 to 1929 they were in the structure of the Uzbek socialist republic. In 1929 the Tajik Soviet Socialistic Republic was formed in the structure of the USSR. Tajikistan gained independence from the Soviet Union in September 1991. After that, there was a civil war from 1992-1997 between the government and the United Tajik Opposition.
Tajikistan is a secular state according to Constitution (article 1). But the attitude of the state toward religion became more tolerant in comparison with the Soviet era. The predominant religion is Islam. It was brought to the region by the Arabs in the VII century. The great majority of Tajiks follow the Sunni form of Islam. In Tajikistan, religious observance has become more open, and participation increased. Many new mosques have been opened. There are eighteen madrassas, twenty Islamic colleges, and one Islamic university in this state. Private religious schools are permitted, too.
Tajikistan’s legal system is influenced by the traditions of Islamic and Civil law. The legal environment of this state needs to be improved and the reform of it has not yet been completed. Tajikistan legislation is being codified: legislative and other normative legal acts are divided according to the constitutional, administrative, civil, criminal, labor, and other material or procedural laws.
More: A Guide to the Tajik Legal System (Nargis Bozorova, via LLRX), 2002
See also "An Assessment by the EBRD"
A strict hierarchy of the sources of law includes the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan at the top. The Constitution of Tajikistan was adopted on 6 November 1994 and was changed on 26 September 1999 by referendum. Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan in 1999 established a new bi-cameral parliament and extension of the President's term of office from five to seven years. The new Constitution declares ideological and political pluralism, ensuring human rights and social-legal guarantees.
· On advocacy (1995) (with changes and amendments 2006), (Russian)
· On Bodies of Office of Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Tajikistan (1996, 2005, Russian)
· On Citizenship of the Republic of Tajikistan (1995, Russian)
· On the Court System of the Republic of Tajikistan (2001, Russian)
· On the Elections to Local Majlisi of National Deputies (1999)
· On Election of the President (1994, with changes and amendments 2005, English)
· On Legal Regime of State of Emergency (1995, Russian)
· On Legal Status of a Member of Majlisi Milli and the Deputy Majlisi Namoyadagon of Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan (2001, 2007, Russian)
· On Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan (2000, Russian)
· On the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan (1995) (with changes and amendments 2003, Russian)
· On the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (1995, 2007)
· On order of the decision of questions of the administrative-territorial device of the Republic of Tajikistan (1995)
· On state power in regions (1994, 1998, Russian)
· second part (Russian)
· third part (2005, Russian)
· Family Code (1998, Russian)
· Custom Code (1995, with amendments 2002, Russian)
· Economic Procedure Code (1995, with changes and amendments 2003, Russian)
· Forestry Code (1993, English)
· Air Code (1998, Russian)
· Code on Administrative Violations (1985) (Russian) and amended (2005)
· Code on administrative procedures (2007, Russian)
· Housing Code (1997, Russian)
· Civil Procedure Code (1963, Russian) and amended (2006)
· Criminal Procedure Code (1961) and amended (2005)
According to the Constitution, the Republic of Tajikistan is a sovereign, democratic, legal, secular, and unitary state with a presidential form of the state government. The state power is based on the principle of its sub-division into legislative, executive, and judiciary branches. Each of these powers within authorities acts independently.
The supreme highest representative and legislative body of the Republic of Tajikistan is Majlisi Oli, which works on a professional base. It is selected for the period of five years and consists of two chambers: Majlisi Milliy (National Assembly) and Majlisi Namoyadagon (Assembly of Representatives). The first two-chamber Parliament was elected on 1999. Session of Majlisi Oli is convened at least twice a year. Majlisi Namoyadagon is selected on the basis of direct elections at ballots and operates on a constant and professional basis. Majlisi Namoyadagon has 63 members, 22 by proportional representation and 41 in single-seat constituencies. Majlisi Milliy has 33 members, 25 elected by local majlisi deputies and 8 appointed by the President.
The powers of Majlisi Milliy include:
· education, abolition, and change of administrative and territorial units;
· election and a response of chairman, assistants and judges of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court on presentation of the President of Tajikistan;
· a question on deprivation of inviolability of chairmen, assistants and judges of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and also the Supreme Economic Court;
· the consent to assignment and clearing of a post of the General Prosecutor and his assistants.
· forms the Central commission on elections and carrying out of referenda. Selects and withdraws chairman, the assistant, and members of the commission on presentation to the President of Tajikistan;
· takes out for national discussion bills on other important state and public questions;
· approves social and economic programs;
· authorizes the giving and receiving of state credit;
· ratifies the international contracts;
· forms courts;
· appoints a referendum;
· asserts the state symbols and awards;
· asserts the presidential decrees and other.
Majlisi Oli of the Republic Of Tajikistan (Tajik, Russian, English)
Majlisi Milliy (Russian, Tajik)
The President is the head of state, of the government, and the Commander-in Chief of all the Armed Forces. The President is elected every seven years on the basis of universal suffrage. The same person cannot serve more than two Presidential terms. On 6 November 1999 Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov (now - Rakhmon) was re-elected as a President of Tajikistan for a new period. The official website of President of the Republic of Tajikistan consists of the Constitution, Constitutional Law, and Presidential Decrees (Tajik, Russian)
The Government of the country consists of the President - the head of the Government, the Prime Minister, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, and ministers and chairmen of various state committees and agencies. The Structure of Government is on the web site of the Tajikistan Embassy in the US. After November 2006, the government consisted of 14 ministries, 3 state committees, 13 agencies, and 5 other bodies.
The following web sites of ministries, state committees, and agencies of the Republic of Tajikistan have some useful legal documents (in Russian language as a rule):
· Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Tajik, Russian, English)
· Ministry of Health (Russian)
· Agency of Land Surveying, Geodesy and Cartography under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan (Russian)
· Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan (Russian)
· Agency of Regulation of Communication under Ministry of Communications (Tajik, Russian).
· State Committee of Statistics ( English)
The local government consists of representative and executive bodies that act within their terms of reference. They ensure implementation of the Constitution, laws, acts of Majlisi Oli and the President. A local government is represented in regions, cities and districts by Majlis of people's delegates headed by a Chairman. Delegates of local majlises are elected for five years.
Traditional councils of communities are informal units of the lowest level of the government. Mahalla is itself formed of a public council of elders (traditionally men though in some cases this structure develops, and in council also include women and youth) having a religious basis, with the own charter ordering to a role and system of self-management.
Justice in the Republic of Tajikistan is exercised only by the court. The judicial system in the Republic consists of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Economic Court, the Military Court, the Court of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, the Dushanbe city Court, and regional, district, town, and city courts. Organizational and implementation procedures of courts are defined by the Constitutional law “On the Court System” (2001) (Russian) (with amendments 2004 and 2006)
The following are the terms of reference of the Constitutional Court:
1. Identification of the congruence of the Constitution, laws, legal acts of Majlisi Oli, President, Government, Supreme Court, Supreme Economic Court and other state and public bodies, and the treaties of Tajikistan that have not come into legal force;
2. Adjustments of disputes between state bodies with regard to their competence;
3. Implementation of such other duties as stipulated by the Constitution and laws.
Decision of the Constitutional Court is final.
The Office of the Public Prosecutor of Tajikistan carries out supervision of exact and uniform execution of laws on the territory of Tajikistan. The unified and centralized system of the prosecution of Tajikistan is headed by the Prosecutor General. The Prosecutor General reports to Majlisi Oli and President of Tajikistan. The general public prosecutor is appointed to five years. Activity, powers, and the organization of the Office of the Public Prosecutor are regulated by the Constitutional law "About bodies of Office of Public Prosecutor of Republic Tajikistan" (1996, 2005 Russian)
Foreign Resources of Tajikistan Legislation
· The TCC's Trade and Related Agreements Database (TARA) includes active, binding agreements between the United States and its trading partners
· Treaties are available free from Oceana Publications but you must register with them.
· Reform Library by USAID: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Enacted Constitutions, Codes and Laws - About 40 documents (Russian)
· Natural Resources Legislation: Tajikistan: (University of Denver College of Law)
· Guide to legal materials of all types relating to Tajikistan gathered by the Law Library of the U.S. Congress. Free Legal Database "LexInfoSys". Project "Law Reform in Transition States" maintains at the University of Bremen. Free database consists of more than 7500 legal acts (till 2004).
· LEXADIN – More than 60 links
· Pritchard Law Webs: Tajikistan
· LawMoose Legal Search Engine - More than 40 links
· World Legal Information Institute. Free, independent and non-profit access to worldwide law. 820 databases from 123 countries.
· World Law Index: Tajikistan (Australasian Legal Information Institute)
· WWW-VL Islamic Law: Tajikistan (University of London, Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law)
· Washburn University Law Library - links to Tajikistan legal resources
· INTUTE (Former SOSIG - Social Science Information Gateway)
· Justice Initiative Legal Resources Database Open Society Institute - about 30 links
· Swiss-IFC Central Asia Partnership Laws on Banks and Banking Activities, State Registration of Enterprises, External Economic Activity, Foreign Investment, Privatization of State Property, Leasing. (English)
· Sustainable Dutch Tajikistan Trade Centre - 12 laws (English)
· BISNIS Online - US Department of Commerce
· Internews Tajikistan - Mass-media and other laws and codes (Russian, Tajik). More than 40 documents
· The Freedom of Information Center (English) Tajikistan legislation on Mass Media
International Organization Legal Resources
· The LAW of the Republic of the Tajikistan "On narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors"
· World Health Organization (International Digest of Health Legislation)
· ECOLEX database of national environmental legislation - Environmental Law Gateway (UNEP/ICUN). More than 140 documents.
· FAOLEX (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) - more than 140 documents
· NATLEX: Tajikistan (International Labor Organization) - database of national labor, social security and related human rights legislation maintained by the ILO's International Labor Standards Department. More than 90 acts on labor. Need password.
· ICNL The International Center for Non-for-Profit Law - 48 docs (5 in English)
· Micro-finance Gateway - 29 links on laws and papers
· IJNET International Journalists’ Network - Constitution, Criminal Code, Law on Press and Other Mass Media and Law on Television and Radio (English)
· Human Rights in Tajikistan (Amnesty International) – about 60 links
· Business in CIS countries - Custom code and 7 laws (Russian)
Legal web sites in Tajikistan
· Tajikistan Development Gateway - Law database includes more 50 documents in English and Russian
· Human Rights in Tajikistan - More than 40 documents
- Consultative Informational Center “Manufactures rights” Legislation on business activity (English, Russian, Tajik)
- National Bank of Tajikistan (English, Russian, Tajik) Law on NBT, Banks and banking activity, Micro-financial organizations, Guarantees on deposits of physical persons, Tax Code of the Republic of Tajikistan, Joint-stock companies
- Youth Ecology Center Dushanbe – Ecology legislation of Tajikistan (Russian)
- Global Internet Policy Initiative Tajikistan - Fragments of ICT legislation.
- Orkhus Convention Realization Center - 20 laws
- "LEX" private law firm - 18 laws concerning business activity (English)
- Intellectual property in Tajikistan (Russian) More than 40 documents
- International organization on migration Tajikistan legislation (Russian, Tajik) 8 documents.
- SoyuzPravoInform - About 600 documents from Commercial Law Database (Russian)
- National center for patents and information (Russian). The international contracts of the Republic of Tajikistan within the framework of the CIS and the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan in the field of the industrial property.
- Agricultural legislation (Russian)
- National association of Tajikistan Independent Mass Media - Laws, legislation acts, government decrees on Mass Media – more 20 documents (Russian)
- Legal Consulting Group - law firm
The laws of Tajikistan and the recognized international legal treaties come into force after their official publication. According to the Law “On normative legal acts” (2003) (Russian) the legislative acts shall be published at the latest 15 days after their confirmation in:
· the newspaper “Jumhuriat”( government-owned, published in Tajik three times a week)
And the official gazettes:
· “Svod zakonov Respubliki Tajikistan” or “The Statute book of Republic of Tajikistan” (Tajik, Russian);
· “Ahbori Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan”, ”Vedomosti Majlisi Oli, Respubliki Tajikistan” or “Gazettes of Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan” (Tajik, Russian);
Also new laws, decrees, administrative acts of the country are published monthly in the official gazettes:
· “Sobranie aktov Prezidenta i Pravitel’stva Respubliki Tajikistan” or “The Compilation of normative acts of the President and Government of the Republic of Tajikistan”;
· “The Bulleten’ normativnih pravovih aktov central’nih ispolnitel’nih i inih gosorganov Respubliki Tajikistan” or “The bulletin normative legal acts of central executive and other governmental bodies of the Republic of Tajikistan” ( Ministry of Justice);
· “The Bulletin of Supreme Court of Republic Tajikistan” ( Supreme Court) or BulletenVerkhovnogo Suda Respubliki Tajikistan”.
The main legal publishers are: Konunyat Publishing House, Publishing house of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Kontakt Publishing House. The legal literature may be issued at the following publishing houses: ”Irfon”, ‘Sharki ozod”, “Status”, ”Devashtich” and the publishing house of the Tajik State University.
· See information about the Database “Adlia” on CD with 5000 legal documents in Tajik and Russian languages by Public Association “Kafolat”
Primary and secondary legal materials are also published in:
- Narodnaya Gazeta - government-owned, published in Russian three times a week
- Minbar-i Khalq - published by People's Democratic Party
- Neru-i Sukhan - privately-owned, weekly
- Nido-i Ranjbar - Tajik-language weekly, published by the Communist Party
- Golos Tajikistana - Russian-language weekly, published by the Communist Party
- Tojikiston - privately-owned Tajik-language weekly
- Najot - weekly, published by Islamic Rebirth Party
- Khalq Ovozi - government-owned, published in Uzbek three times a week
· Butler, William E., ed. Tadzhikistan Legal Texts. Hague, Netherlands: Simmons & Hill Publishing, 1999.
· Tahirov F.T. The Interpretation of Adat at Pre-revolution Tajikistan: Basic Conceptions and Meaning. Dushanbe, 1984 (Russian)