December 14, 2017
CREATION OF A GUIDE FOR DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENT OF UZBEKISTAN
With gaining independence by our country in 1991, naturally arose the issue of developing and adopting a full-fledged Constitution in accordance with the goals and objectives of the formation of a new statehood and the democratic reorganization of the society.
It should be noted that the formation of genuine constitutionalism in Uzbekistan should not be linked exclusively with the adoption of the Basic Law in 1992. In fact, this process began before the actual gaining of state independence by the republic - already at the first session of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan of the XII convocation, held in March 1990, the deputies raised the issue of developing of a new constitution. At the second session on June 20, 1990, the "Declaration of Sovereignty" was adopted and a Constitutional Commission was created. The adoption of this document entailed profound changes in the political life of Uzbekistan, in the organization of state power. Since that time, the range of problems requiring a perfect and holistic constitutional and legal solution had started to expand very intensively.
The need to adopt a new fundamental law was realized by the overwhelming majority of the population of Uzbekistan. The concept and content of the constitutional reform was constantly discussed in the media, at parliamentary sessions and in the course of scientific discussions. Clarification of the essence and provisions of the draft of the new constitution, discussion by the general public took place with the participation of self-governing bodies of citizens, labor collectives and specialists represented by lawyers, economists, and political scientists.
The first meeting of the Constitutional Commission was held on April 21, 1991 under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Islam Karimov. At the meeting, a working group was established to develop the project and support (small) groups, and the work plan of the commission was approved. When drafting the main law, the commission relied on the fundamental international legal acts, the constitutional law of developed democracies, as well as the historical experience of our people.
Meanwhile, on August 31, 1991, the inalienable right of the Uzbek people - the right to self-determination - was realized, as a result of which the republic gained its state independence in a peaceful, parliamentary way. As the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov noted at the time, “starting from the first day of independence, since the beginning of the revival of national statehood, we openly proclaimed to the whole world our goals and intentions: to build in Uzbekistan a legal democratic state and civil society”.
On July 2, 1992 the Supreme Council (Oliy Kengash) of an independent country considered the draft of the basic law with qualitatively new content, which was submitted by the Constitutional Commission, and decided to bring it to the national discussion. Thus, in addition to public opinion, the draft of the constitution has also passed foreign expertise from specialists from developed countries and international organizations. Foreign experts noted the democratic and humane nature of the draft document, which consolidated fundamental human values and democratic principles in accordance with international standards.
By the decision of the Constitutional Commission of September 26, 1992, the draft was published in the mass media for further discussion by the public. For about two and a half months the document was processed taking into account the comments and suggestions of the citizens of the republic, and on November 21 of the same year it was again published in the press. Thus, in fact the public discussion of the draft of the constitution took place in two stages, which was the first precedent of its type in world history, where the whole nation of Uzbekistan became its creator.
In total, during the public discussion of the draft of the constitution, over six thousand proposals and recommendations were submitted by citizens. The letters noted the conciseness and clarity of the text of the document, the clarity of its wording and, at the same time there were given valuable considerations for improvement. As a result, more than 60 articles of the draft document were subjected to refinement and clarification, 4 article were excluded from the original version and several new ones were added.
After active discussion of the draft (deputies made about 80 changes, additions and clarifications) on December 8, 1992 at the eleventh session of the Supreme Council the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan was adopted.
The Basic Law of our independent state organically included the basic principles and norms of international law, arising from the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, and international human rights covenants. The priority of universally recognized norms of international law over domestic ones is fixed.
The democratic character of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan can be clearly seen in its content. And the structure of the basic document - the sequence of sections and their content - indicates the constitutional priorities of state and public construction.
Although the preamble does not contain legal norms, it is essential for understanding the meaning of both the Constitution as a whole and its individual articles, since it is in the introductory part where laid out are the fundamental ideas that define the essence and purpose of the Basic Law, from which its content follows.
The Constitution of Uzbekistan, adopted in 1992, made it possible to solve the priority issues of society in a critical transition period.
Firstly, adoption of Constitution allowed to start and implement the modernization of the entire legal system: a qualitative change in legislation based on the use of world experience while preserving traditions and continuity in development. Secondly, the ideas laid down in the Constitution had a profound impact on the formation of a new legal thinking and culture, the recognition of democratic legal values and attitudes in the public consciousness. Thirdly, in the political and legal context, this document began to be viewed as a legal, legitimized balance of interests of all social strata of society, which determine the core of Constitution, i.e. the will of the people.
Over the past 25 years since the adoption of the Basic Law in Uzbekistan state and public construction has been successfully completed. Then follows an equally important period of the formation of democratic statehood – the improvement of the state administration system in accordance with ever-increasing demands of the time, changes in the way of life of society, political and socio-economic development. These factors make it necessary to improve the provisions of the Constitution, which is actually happening now.
(The material was prepared on the basis of information from Tashkent State Law University)