Organization and the rules of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Mechanisms of conciliation procedures
Conciliation procedures between two chambers of parliament (in countries with a bicameral system) constitute a universal and applicable norm for supreme legislative bodies. Conciliation procedures between two chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan have already been legislatively settled ever since the transition of the Oliy Majlis to a bicameral system. As international and national practices show, the interaction of the two chambers is vital and therefore is ensured, mainly, by means of creating conciliation commissions whose aim is to settle differences arising between the Legislative Chamber and the Senate with regard to approval of a particular law. To a large extent the aim of a conciliation mechanism is to reach a consensus and increase the efficiency of the entire legislative process.
Meeting of the Coordination Council of chambers of the Oliy Majlis
One more mechanism of conciliation procedures is the Coordination Council for the organization of
interaction between chambers of the Oliy Majlis formed on equal terms, which consists of the Chairman of
the Senate, the Speaker of Legislative Chamber, their deputies and chairmen of committees of both chambers.
The Coordination Council is not an institutional body and its decisions are of recommendatory character, but that does not lessen its importance and effectiveness at all as a tool of interaction between the two chambers.
Sessions of the Coordination Council are held monthly with the aim coordinating the work of committees and commissions of both chambers. During debates, the Council analyzes issues such as the state and results of preliminary consideration by committees of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of laws passed by the lower chamber, which are of paramount priority to the republic.
A main characteristic feature of the lawmaking process in countries with a bicameral system is that rejection of a bill by the upper chamber (in other countries) or of a law passed by the lower chamber means that disagreements between two chambers as to whether a law should be accepted or rejected have to be resolved.
In parliaments of other countries there are specific features of work of conciliation commissions, basically, as to: how to initiate a conciliation commission? At what stages of consideration of a bill or a law it can be applied? What are the terms of its operation? What kind of detailed mechanism and effective procedures can be applied to the commission activity? Conciliation commissions are basically the most effective mechanism for coordinating efforts and resolving disagreements arising in the work of a bicameral parliament, aimed at improving laws in progress, and are a practical example of interaction between both chambers.
In Uzbekistan at the moment conciliation commissions are working on several laws passed by the Legislative Chamber but rejected by the Senate of the Oliy Majlis. A procedure of initiation of the conciliation commission is regulated mainly by constitutional laws such as «On the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan», «On the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan», laws on rules of both chambers and of course the Rules of the Senate itself. In November2005 both chambers of the parliament of Uzbekistan jointly endorsed the order of formation and organization of activity of a conciliation commission of the chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for a more precise and detailed elaboration and regulation of the work of the conciliation commission.
Setting up a conciliation commission due to a law being rejected by the Senate. According to the
legislation a conciliation commission is set up after the Senate of the Oliy Majlis has examined the approval or
rejection of a particular law received from the Legislative Chamber. In the case of approval the law is submitted
to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for signature and promulgation afterwards. But if the Senate does
not agree with the law, then it can simply reject it and suggest that the lower chamber create a conciliation
commission. The decision to set up a conciliation commission can come from any of the chambers.
In the Legislative chamber such an initiative comes from the Speaker, political party fractions or groups of deputies while in the Senate it originates from the Chairman of the Senate or at least one fifth of the senators.
It is important to point out that the Senate of the Oliy Majlis has the competence to include in its rejection resolution those suggestions concerning changes which the upper chamber deems necessary to bring into the law, but they can be accepted exceptionally during the work of the conciliation commission. The abovementioned resolution should also specify specific senators who will join the conciliation commission from the Senate of the Oliy Majlis. As the Senate is not a subject of legislative initiative it has no competence to make a change in the wording of the law brought in by the Legislative Chamber.
Thus, as soon as one of the chambers decides to create a conciliation commission, each of them starts the procedure of listing members of the conciliation commission, while the Chairman of the Senate and the Speaker of the Legislative Chamber hold preliminary consultations on its composition.
Composition of the conciliation commission. Members of the conciliation commission from the upper
chamber are chosen, as a rule, from among senators, who are members of the committee responsible for
consideration of the law. Senators from other committees can also participate if they are familiar with the issue
the law to be adopted aims to regulate. Composition of the conciliation commission consisting of members of the
Senate is approved at a plenary session or by the Kengash of the Senate and formalized in a resolution. The
number of senators and deputies of the lower chamber in the conciliation commission is determined together
with the Legislative Chamber but there should be no less than three (3) members from each chamber. Members
of the conciliation commission from the Legislative Chamber are listed in the same way.
Order of business of the conciliation commission. The conciliation commission starts to function after approval of its structure by both chambers. Its meetings are held at the discretion of its members either in the Senate or the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis. Meetings are held alternately by co-chairmen from each chamber. Informational, and organizational support of the conciliation commission is provided by the Secretariat of the chamber where its sessions are to be held. If need be, scientists and experts are invited to sessions on a particular matter which the law under consideration deals with. Sessions of the conciliation commission are entered in minutes and, in some cases, shorthand is taken.
Initially members of the conciliation commission examine all objections of the Senate which served as grounds for rejection of the law accepted by the lower chamber. Then each objection is deliberated separately to work out a uniform text of the law under consideration. The commission, in the course of study of the issue consensually develops suggestions to change and reformulate those articles of the law which the chambers disagreed upon. The conciliation commission is also entitled to change other clauses of the law, to which the Senate had no objection, if such a change is stipulated by new wording of those clauses which had been initially formulated on the basis of compromise achieved by the conciliation commission under offers and objections of the Senate.
Voting within the conciliation commission is carried out separately. It implies that a majority of votes of both deputies and senators in the conciliation commission is required to make a decision. As a rule, the conciliation commission votes openly though in some cases a secret voting is also possible.
The conciliation commission adopts a conclusion which contains suggestions to resolve disagreements between the chambers of the parliament over a specific law. Then the conclusion is signed by co-chairmen of the commission and submitted with the text of draft amendments and addenda to be made in the law.
The co-chairman of the conciliation commission from the Legislative Chamber submits a proposal for deputies’ consideration for repeated consideration of law and presents the following documents:
1. Conclusion of the conciliation commission;
2. Minutes of the conciliation commission and the comparative table;
3. Draft amendments and addenda to the law;
4. The law in the wording suggested by the conciliation commission, formalized by the co-chairman of the conciliation commission from the Legislative Chamber.
The Legislative Chamber considers the proposals and makes a decision within 10 days of the conclusion having been presented by the conciliation commission If the proposals are accepted, the law is submitted for repeated consideration by the Legislative Chamber. During repeated consideration of the law only those proposals which have been worked on and suggested by the conciliation commission are considered and, accordingly, the law is accepted in general. As a result the Legislative Chamber adopts a resolution based on suggestions made by the conciliation commission by a majority vote. If the lower chamber disagrees with even one suggestion of the conciliation commission the law might be returned to the conciliation commission for revision taking into account amendments suggested by the Legislative Chamber. The law passed by the Legislative Chamber in the wording of the conciliation commission is submitted to the Senate for approval within 5 days.
There is also the possibility of the conciliation commission not agreeing on the law in the end. In this case the law is subject to repeated consideration in the Legislative Chamber as rejected by the Senate. If in repeated consideration the Legislative Chamber does not pass the law as rejected by the Senate in the wording of the conciliation commission and expresses disagreement with the decision of the Senate on rejection, then it is put to the vote in the initially adopted wording. In this case, the Legislative Chamber may again pass the law by a majority vote of two third of all deputies and then it is considered adopted by the Oliy Majlis, and the Legislative Chamber submits it to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for signature and promulgation within 10 days.