In 2022, a professional competition was held for the first time, bringing together lawyers from Uzbekistan and generating widespread acclaim and recognition of the profession. The organizers have decided to continue the initiative and opened the applications for the 2023 competition. This year, they have expanded the award categories and simplified the application process. In this article, we delve into these developments and gather insights from both the organizers and the triumphant participants of last year's competition.
Davron Saidov, Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates for International Cooperation, Head of the Organizing Committee for the Competition:
This year we made some changes to the Regulation of the competition to simplify the application process since last year the procedure for submitting the documents was quite time-consuming. A questionnaire was developed to be filled out by any defense advocate wishing to participate in the competition. By filling out the application form online, the applicant provides information about themselves and attaches materials confirming their achievements which is difficult due to attorney-client privilege.
In addition, this year we introduced personal nominations to ensure the continuity of generations and encourage others to follow the example of the best representatives of the legal profession.
The winner of the competition is decided by the majority of votes and confirmed by the Organizing Committee. The decision of the Organizing Committee is not subject to appeal in court. The winners will be awarded during the ceremony at a meeting of the Board of the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
We hope that the competition will serve to unite the entire legal community, make it possible to popularize the positive achievements of the winners and participants, bring their level of knowledge to the internationally recognized standards of the legal profession, identify the most talented, and create a platform for better communication between lawyers.
Nozima Shamsieva, project manager of the NGO Regional Dialogue:
Regional Dialogue is a co-organizer of this professional competition of defense lawyers. This kind of initiative was new to all of us, so it took time to determine the goals and objectives of the competition and build, so to speak, a working mechanism. We have been cooperating with the Chamber of Advocates on this issue from the very beginning. This year the nominations were slightly changed. Thus, as part of the “Exceptional Lawyer 2023” competition, awards were announced in 6 categories:
1. The Sanjar Yakubov Award for Professional Excellence (Recognizes the defense lawyers for utmost professionalism and competence in the field of law, and with outstanding achievements in defense).
2. The Richard Stoddard Award for Exceptional Contribution to Legal Reforms (Recognizes the defense lawyers for exceptional efforts in making positive changes to the justice system of the Republic of Uzbekistan).
3. The Rising Star Award (Recognizes defense lawyers younger than 35 years of age).
4. Award for Defense of Women and Children Against Violence (Recognizes the defense lawyers for exceptional efforts in protecting the rights of women and children against violence).
5. Award for Defense of Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Groups (Recognizes the defense lawyers for exceptional efforts in protecting the rights of disadvantaged people and vulnerable groups).
6. Award for Contribution to Public Legal Literacy (Recognizes the defense lawyers for exceptional efforts in raising the legal literacy of citizens).
All defense lawyers who are members of the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Uzbekistan can take part in the competition. In this form, you can nominate yourself or another lawyer as a candidate. We remind you that the last day for submitting the application is 1 October 2023.
Our wish for this year’s competition is to involve more media coverage for a better broadcast of the lawyers’ achievements.
Zafar Tukhtashov, winner of “Exceptional Lawyer 2022” in the nomination “Activity in legal reforms”:
I learned about the competition last year from an announcement posted on the social media page of the Chamber of Advocates. I decided to try my luck because deep in my soul I knew that I had something to show. And yet, I admit, when I found out the results, I was a little taken aback, because among the applicants there were many well-known lawyers with many years of experience.
But I think this award was awarded to me for a reason. In recent years, my colleagues and I have introduced a useful practice at our company where we prepare and send proposals for amendments to legislation in the form of projects and analytical reports to authorized agencies. At the same time, we always draw from our experiences while practicing. As a rule, we attach comparative tables to the proposals with the current and proposed editions of regulatory legal acts, as well as the explanation, for the proposed changes.
As examples, I can cite proposals for improving the enforcement system, mechanisms for improving the qualifications of patent attorneys, granting the right to participants in civil proceedings to freely audio record a court hearing, and eliminating system errors and shortcomings in the “Adolat” complex of judicial information systems.
By engaging in such activities, we do not pursue material gain or recognition of our merits. My colleagues and I consider such work to be part of our civic and professional duty. After all, all members of our society are ultimately responsible for the state of the legal framework and the legislation implementation. These kinds of awards from the legal community give us confidence in the efficiency, productivity, and purposefulness of our actions, and for us, this is the most important thing.
Feruza Jalilova, winner of “Exceptional Lawyer 2022” in the nomination “Successful protection of human rights”:
Having heard about the competition, I encouraged my colleagues to take part, since I work in the Namangan territorial department of the Chamber of Advocates. But for some reason, they showed passivity. Then literally in one day I collected all my documents and sent them. 2022 was a very successful year for me, in relation to 12 clients, I managed to achieve acquittals. I think that my current achievements are the result of the work of my university teachers, and my mentor-lawyers, who invested valuable knowledge in me, sparing no time and effort.
It seems to me that the ability to transfer accumulated experience to others is a special gift and not everyone is capable of it. In this regard, I was lucky with teachers who became my life teachers.
Farkhod Romanov, winner of “Exceptional Lawyer 2022” in the “Rising Star” category:
I have been working as a lawyer for more than 3 years, and such an award at the beginning of my professional journey is incentive, inspiration, and internal motivation. Why was I noted among the best lawyers? Probably because in a fairly short period of time, with more than 200 cases, I was able to provide high-quality legal assistance to individuals and legal entities. The track record includes 6 acquittals, 8 releases from punishment, 8 reinstatements to work in civil cases, and successful defense of more than 50 entrepreneurs in economic cases. I consider working with vulnerable youth to be another important aspect of my professional activity.
I would like to extend my best wishes for success to all participants this year. Believe in yourself, in your capabilities, and potential. I am sure that the decision will not be easy for the organizing committee since there are many talented and wonderful lawyers in our country.
Translation of the original article from www.advokatnews.uz.