Special 2020 Issue of the Uzbek Journal of Legal Studies

“Legal Education in Uzbekistan: Challenges of Transition”

In a broader historical dimension, the legal education’s evolution in Uzbekistan demonstrates two main transitions; from theological to socialist, and from socialist to the modern (post-1991) legal education which is de jure nonsocialist, but in fact, bears clear socialist characteristics. The first two decades of the post-Soviet period in Uzbekistan have demonstrated that law teaching institutions were left behind the transition process and remained widely untouched and, thus, increasingly unable to conceptualize a new form of legal training and produce a new generation of legal professionals who would be able to understand the challenges of transitional period. Simultaneously, the increase in the popularity of studying law in Uzbekistan in the context of its unclear nature since its independence – is a large post-communist phenomenon. 

The legal education system in present-day Uzbekistan is undergoing through a difficult period of obscure reforms. Regardless of the intentions of the policymakers, an existing small number of the law teaching schools have been maintaining ex-socialist curriculums and strong state-centrist components. On the other hand, a critical necessity to reform the existing factual conditions of legal education has subsequently resulted in certain attempts to transplant new programs and specializations, as well as what local educators unclearly address – ‘innovative’ teaching technologies. Maintaining such old and new compounds simultaneously pose an unresolved challenge, especially between the theoretical and practical elements of legal education in Uzbekistan. What can be observed recently is apparent gravitation of legal education from mainly theoretical (academic) settings towards professional legal practice with broader involvement of non-academic practitioners. Too much legal practice and decreasing amount of academic training in the education process, in turn, raise serious concerns regarding the traditional philosophy of legal education. Such concerns appear as a result of objective and well-founded fear that too much of legal practice can eventually kill the academic legal education. In the conditions of unparallelly existing theoretical and practical compounds, another challenge is absence in the process of legal education of a legal pedagogy component.

Against this background, Japanese, American, and Uzbekistan’s scholars held the roundtable on “Characteristics of Legal Education in Uzbekistan and Challenges of Transition Period” at Nagoya University, Center for Asian Legal Exchange in Nagoya on November 13, 2019. The workshop participants, inter alia, discussed historical and theoretical perspectives of the legal education in Uzbekistan. They also focused on the government’s attempts to reform the legal education sector by referring to the broader foreign experience.

Finally, participants tried to inject a novelty to the ongoing discussion and challenges faced by the present-day legal education concept, by referring directly to the feedback from local and foreign-based professors. As a result of all these efforts, Uzbekistan gave a fresh start to fundamental reform of legal science and education. Presidential Decree on Additional Measures for Fundamental Improvements of Legal Education and Research in the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted on April 29, 2020, seems to pave the way for multiple chances to address existing structural problems. The remaining question, however, is how Uzbek legal academicians, legal education institutions and their foreign partner institutions seize this historic opportunity.

The Uzbek Journal of Legal Studies (UJOLS) is an online e-journal that seeks to publish innovative, original scholarship that makes a significant contribution to the legal studies in Central Asian countries. In this 2020 Special Issue dedicated to challenges of legal education in Uzbekistan, the UJOLS team invites features from professors, practitioners, and researchers on relevant topics involving legal education in Uzbekistan such as (but not limited to):

– History of legal education

– Law and technology (Legal Tech)

– The apparatus of higher education

– Gender and legal education

– Teaching law in times of crisis

– Teaching methods in higher legal education institutions

– Legal education and employability

– The law of education

– Diversity in legal education

– Language issues of legal education

– Admissions to legal education institutions

– School administrative issues (recruitment, admin supports, relation to
budgets, etc.)

– Substantive issues (curriculum, foundations, specializations, legal skills,

– Pedagogical (participation, interaction with local students, academic
misconduct, clinics, etc.)

– Career issues (school supports, local profession/practice, internships, etc.)

– Challenges in the time of a pandemic

– Distance learning and legal education

– Practice and internship in legal education

– International students exchange and perspective of double diploma

– Challenges to clinical legal education (Law clinics)


Alisher Umirdinov

Associate professor,
Nagoya University of Economics

Islambek Rustambekov

Vice-rector, Tashkent State University of Law

Aziz Ismatov

Designated assistant  professor, Nagoya University

Timeline and submission guidelines:

UJOLS accepts submissions in English language in Microsoft Word format via electronic mail to submit@ujols.org Preferred submission length is between 3,000 and 8,000 words(including footnotes). Submissions must include a title, 250-word-long abstract and keywords, not to exceed six words. Title, abstract, and keywords must also be written in English. 

Please submit your manuscript no later than 30 November 2020. We expect to be able to announce the result of the paper selection at the end of December. The author is expected to send the paper to the UJOLS with revisions in a maximum of 2 month. UJOLS editorial board possesses the right to reject the revised article if it fails to respond to the comments by peer reviewers.

You can find rules of paper submission on our home page : http://ujols.org/submission-principles/