Significant Mediation Developments in Kyrgyz Republic
The culture of mediation has existed in the Kyrgyz Republic for generations in the process known as the Aksakal court, an informal court respected by the community. The Aksakal court consists of wise elder men acting as neutral judges to settle disputes between neighbors and family members.
Today, the Kyrgyz Republic is considered one of the most democratic countries in Central Asia. Modern mediation arrived in the Kyrgyz Republic some eight years ago. In 2017, a law on mediation was finally adopted. Mediators in the Kyrgyz Republic now have professional status, and a code of ethics and process to follow. One of the important points for mediation development contained in the law is the requirement that parties attend an initial meeting with a mediator, if referred to the meeting by a judge.
As of 2018, there are two active mediation centers in the Kyrgyz Republic, with approximately 250 trained mediators. Awareness of mediation is still not widespread throughout the county.
One key objective in the Kyrgyz Republic is the development of a mediation services market to balance supply and demand. Mediation is necessary to reduce the backlog of cases in the courts, reform the court system, and develop a strong dispute resolution culture, where people have access to different dispute resolution mechanisms. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry is promoting commercial mediation within the business community. Mediation is also available for family and labor disputes. Recently, mediation has been included as part of the services provided by the International Arbitration Court, in affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
By Fidana Alieva, Senior Fellow – Kyrgyz Republic, Weinstein International Foundation