Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Nov. 23 / Trend D.Azizov /
Uzbek President Islam Karimov 's amendments and additions to existing judicial and penal law impose greater responsibility on members of parliament, Uzbek Senate Legislation and Judicial Affairs Committee Chairman Svetlana Artykova told the Narodnoe Slovo newspaper today.
The president presented a concept for further deepening democratic reforms and forming a civil society at a joint session of the Uzbek Legislative Chamber and the Senate on Nov. 12.
Karimov proposed several legislative initiatives directed at further developing and strengthening all of the powers of the government, increasing the role of political parties, improving the judicial and legal system and election legislation, developing civil society institutes and mass media, as well as deepening democratic market reforms and the liberalization of the economy.
Regarding reforms to the judicial and legal system, Karimov supported adopting a new edition of the Uzbek Administrative Code, which will "reflect trends toward the decriminalization of the criminal law and the transfer of certain offenses from the criminal to the administrative jurisdiction."
Artykova said the transfer of these authorities from the general prosecutor to judges will strengthen judicial oversight in the process of inquiries and preliminary investigations, and also provide opportunities for expanding the Habeas Corpus Act in the scope of criminal trials.
"The most important thing in protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens will be provided by implementing universally recognized principles and international norms," Artykova said.
The Uzbek Senate will hold its fourth plenary session in Tashkent on Dec. 3. Senators will consider Karimov's address on concepts for deepening reforms and forming a democratic society.