Monday | 14 February, 2011

Access to Justice in Central Asia | Coming Up

We are in the process of completing a major research project in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) on Access to Justice. It concentrated in particular on vulnerable groups, and how they could get access to justice. Sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the project involved a nationwide survey in each of the countries, over 70 in-depth interviews, plus focus groups and an extensive literature review. 

We looked at what respondents thought were some of the biggest legal problems that individuals in their country faced. Divorce figured prominently among those, making women's access to justice particularly relevant. 

We also asked who inviduals would turn to on various issues, when there were problems. You see sharp differences between the countries. 

We asked about trust in institutions, and among the list these are the least trusted. (Yes, that's not yet comprehensive information for you, but hopefully will whet your appetite for more.)

And we dug deeper, within the countries, to understand how people looked at the courts. Again, here a preview. It suggests that according to Kazakh citizens, competence is not the main problem in the courts.

The first presentation of results will happen on February 15 in Almaty (sorry for the short notice, but if you were likely attendee you probably received a separate invitation), and a more detailed report is out soon. Drop us a line in case you're interested in a preview, in exchange for giving us some feedback on it.
08.07.2011 | Friday

Georgia Adopts Law on the Status of Religious Minorities

On July 5, 2011 Georgia adopted a new legislative amendment into the country’s civil code stating that religious minority groups with “historic ties to Georgia” or those defined as religions by members of the Council of Europe can register as legal entities of public law. The initial draft of the law specifically mentioned the Roman Catholic Church, Muslim and Jewish communities, Armenian Apostolic Church and the Evangelical Baptist Church as having “close historic ties with Georgia”. However, the final draft did not specifically name these five groups.
16.05.2008 | Friday

Creative Commons for the Caucasus! | A real opportunity

Many readers will already be aware of the concept of Creative Commons. The basic idea is to facilitate collaboration, interaction and people adding value to each other's online work. Creative Commons provides licenses for sharing easily, without giving up some of the author's basic rights. A great exposition of this entire concept is given by the founder of the entire idea, Lawrence Lessig, in an engaging TED talk (you didn't think that intellectual property rights could be that entertaining, did you?). See below.