In the Republic of Uzbekistan, systematic work is being carried out in the field of ensuring the rule of law, improving the investment environment, effectively regulating foreign trade, developing alternative mechanisms for resolving economic and civil disputes, and guaranteeing the rights of subjects.

Based on the 15th goal of the new development strategy put forward by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh.M. Mirziyoev, creating the necessary organizational and legal conditions for the wide use of alternative methods of conflict resolution, further expanding the scope of the institution of conciliation, trusting hakamlik courts with citizens and entrepreneurs turning it into an effective alternative institution that resolves disputes and further improving the practice of law enforcement in this direction is of urgent importance.

In particular, in Uzbekistan, the Laws “Law on Arbitration Courts”  (the “Domestic Arbitration Law“) (2006), “On Mediation” (2018), “On International Commercial Arbitration” (2021), the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “A measure to further improve the mechanisms of attracting foreign direct investment to the economy of the Republic -measures (2019), Resolutions (2020) on measures to further improve the mechanisms of alternative conflict resolution and Decree (2022) on the new development strategy of Uzbekistan for 2022-2026 is a clear example of systematic work being carried out in the field of effective regulation of foreign trade activities in order to improve the direct investment environment, development of alternative mechanisms for solving economic and civil disputes, and guaranteeing the rights of subjects.

The following types of alternative dispute resolution are in force in the Republic of Uzbekistan:

  • domestic arbitration proceedings;
  • international commercial arbitration court;
  • mediation;
  • negotiations;
  • settlement agreement.

During the settlement of disputes arising from civil and economic legal relations by domestic arbitration courts, it is important to resolve the rights of citizens in the way they want in this country, deepen market relations and develop entrepreneurship. The decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated October 5, 2016 “On additional measures to ensure the rapid development of business activity, comprehensive protection of private property and qualitative improvement of the business environment” was one of the important steps taken in this direction.

At the same time, as a result of the adoption of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “Law on Arbitration Courts”  in 2006 and its entry into force on January 1, 2007, a new phase of judicial reform along with the competent court it started slowly. A new special non-state type of judicial activity recognized by more than 120 countries of the world that signed the 1958 New York Convention “On the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Decisions”, including our Republic, which joined in 1995 began to show.

According to the January 2022 registry of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a total of more than 255 permanent domestic arbitration courts are registered in Uzbekistan, including 160 under the Association of domestic arbitration courts of Uzbekistan, more than 15 under the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan and other names. More than 80 permanent domestic arbitration courts and a total of about 1,200 domestic arbitration court judges are registered.

Based on foreign experiences, today in Uzbekistan there is a rush to reorganize the existing domestic arbitration courts in order to prevent the occurrence of “pocket” courts, their attractive names, low-quality decisions, violations of the rights of the parties, criminal behavior and other situations, things are being done.

In today’s developed era, as a result of the increasing number of civil and economic disputes, the issue of enforcement of the decisions taken by the parties on the disputes considered in the domestic arbitration courts by applying to the competent courts by paying an additional separate state duty or by applying to the competent court again, leads to distrust and confusion in the domestic arbitration courts. it is not a secret to anyone that he is bringing

According to the statistics of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan from 2020 to the first half of 2022, 74 cases where decisions of domestic arbitration courts were annulled by competent courts were returned, and the number of cases on issuing writs of execution for compulsory execution of decisions of domestic arbitration courts was returned. It was 2,715.

In this regard, currently, in order to eliminate shortcomings in the adjustment of these statistical data, as well as not to harm the rights and interests of citizens and entrepreneurs protected by law, Article 49 of the Law “Law on Arbitration Courts”  states that “if the period of execution of the decision of the domestic arbitration court is not specified if there is, it should be executed immediately” instead of the text “the party to the domestic arbitration proceedings or the interested parties can focus on the execution after thirty days from the date of receipt of the decision of the domestic arbitration court” is being carried out by the relevant organizations.

Based on the above-mentioned, it can be said that one of the main problems in the perspective of improving the work of domestic arbitration courts in alternative dispute resolution is, of course, the issue of focusing the decisions of the domestic arbitration court on execution. The most effective way to solve this problem is to entrust the issue of execution to the authority of the chairman of the permanent domestic arbitration court.

This proposed proposal is to create the necessary organizational and legal conditions for the wide use of alternative methods of conflict resolution in the 15th goal of the new Development Strategy put forward by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. will be the basis for turning it into an effective alternative dispute resolution institution that can be trusted. It also complies with the 1958 New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Court Decisions and the norms set forth in the legislation of foreign developed countries .

At this point, it should be noted that the level of electronic document circulation has grown exponentially throughout the world in the last decade and is increasing every year. This applies to all areas of human life: from personal relationships and business processes to the activities of state bodies. In many countries of the world, both non-state courts and state courts have been providing new technological opportunities to use the latest advances in electronic document circulation in order to resolve disputes between the parties and to conduct proceedings fully or partially remotely.

In this regard, procedures regarding the use of technology in online domestic arbitration should be agreed upon and determined by the parties. Basically, online domestic arbitration discussion in domestic arbitration courts, unlike traditional domestic arbitration courts the parties and the domestic arbitration judge shall meet each other not physically, but on the basis of a virtual meeting.

Also, in online domestic arbitration discussion, the parties will not have complete information about each other , and a personal meeting of the parties may reduce the likelihood of dispute resolution. Online domestic arbitration discussion allows the parties to express their views on the dispute or to participate in all domestic arbitration proceedings through a video conference or a specially created electronic platform until a decision is made.

It follows that if such an online domestic arbitration discussion is to be held, the parties will need to address the procedural requirements for conducting a virtual trial, including recording the details for interrogatories, video conferencing and audio conferencing. It is worth noting that in some cases the parties and the domestic arbitration court judges may be located in different geographical areas in different parts of the system.

In the court platform, the courts should verify the evidence online, cross-examine the parties in real time and the platform should be managed securely by the courts. To date, there are online courts in Beijing, Guangzhou and Huangzhou in the PRC (Beijing Internet Court, and online courts in Estonia through the e-estonia platform, and through the Indian platform Virtual court hearings are being conducted in countries such as the Netherlands. In the preamble of the Beijing Internet Court’s Special Instruction on Conducting Internet Court Proceedings on the Tianping Chain Platform, it is stipulated that the court hearings of the Beijing Internet Court will be conducted on the Tianping Chain platform based on blockchain technology.

It contains all the information to introduce an independent, corruption-free and transparent alternative dispute resolution system in Uzbekistan, to prevent the interference of third parties in alternative dispute resolution, to reduce the workload of competent courts, and to form a single regulatory legal document base on domestic arbitration court proceedings . Innovative efforts are being made to conduct collective domestic arbitration proceedings. In particular, in March 2023, the Innovative Development Agency under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the topic of “development of the “Smart Hakam” platform and mobile application aimed at establishing the basis for online domestic arbitration court processes in alternative dispute resolution” a clear example of this is the announcement of a regional election.

Abdumurad Abdusaidovich Khakberdiev

Tashkent State Law University

Doctor of Philosophy in Law, associate professor,

professional mediator.