A high-level conference on “Fostering access to justice in Turkmenistan: the role of a lawyer in International and European law and practice” was held in Ashgabat on 12-13 October 2023.
The conference was attended by lawyers from Europe and Central Asia, including members of international lawyers’ associations, such as Council of Bars, Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and European Association of Lawyers (ELA).
This event was organised in response to a request from the Ministry of Justice of Turkmenistan to the Council of Europe to examine the role of national bar associations in strengthening the access to justice, the efficiency of the system of representation in court and the quality of legal aid. The aim of the event was to draw on the diverse perspectives and best practices of well-established national bar associations, including those from Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Poland, Tajikistan, Türkiye, and Uzbekistan in supporting Turkmenistan’s plans to establish its own centralised association of lawyers.
Ms Eva Pastrana, Head of Justice and Human Rights training Division of the Council of Europe recalled the specific role of lawyers in the administration of justice and emphasised the need for continuous legal education and training to empower lawyers to deliver quality legal services.
In his opening speech, Mr Sapa Jumaýew, Deputy Minister of Justice of Turkmenistan, underlined the importance of this event in the light of the National Human Rights Action Plan for 2021-2025 and new opportunities for enhanced co-operation with the Council of Europe.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkmenistan, Ambassador Beata Pęksa, stressed that the European Union and the Council of Europe will continue to work hand in hand to contribute to greater protection of human rights in Turkmenistan.
The activity was organised in the framework of the action "HELP in Central Asia," within the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme 2020-2024, a joint initiative co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.