Precedent is a civil society initiative comprised of a law firm, Precedent LLC, and an association, Precedent Partner Group, which aim to work against corruption, support the rule of law, and contribute to civic education. In 2012, lawyers involved in Precedent Partner Group opened a law firm to provide financial sustainability. By donating all profits of the law firm to the Precedent Partner Group, they’ve increased the number of programs, workshops, and other activities they undertake. To encourage other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to shift their fundraising models, Precedent published a book called From Grants to Business Models as part of a fellowship with the Prague Civil Society Centre. The book contains over 30 examples of successful business models implemented by NGOs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It is available for purchase, generating additional revenue for the organization.

Theory of Change

Publishing high quality legal analysis of Kyrgyz legislation, educating citizens about their rights, and invoking the courts to counter-balance political self-interest can all prevent the erosion of legal protection for human rights, reduce corruption and strengthen the rule of law. Providing job-related training and creating career opportunities for future lawyers can also have a positive impact on legal ethics in practice and the role of the law profession as a whole in supporting the rule of law.

Activities

Precedent monitors the work of parliamentary committees, publishes legal analyses of draft legislation, and sometimes initiates legal action against parliament on particularly serious rule-of-law concerns. Precedent also provides civic education on rights, including improving the legal literacy of the media. In addition, Precedent LLC provides law students with internships. While this adds to their resumes and improves their career prospects, it also exposes them to more socially minded and ethical ways of working.

Results

Precedent has contributed to enhancing the legal environment in Kyrgyzstan through its legal work rooted in the principles of responsibility and justice, enhancing the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan through actions not words. It has published over 50 legal education documents and opinions, registers more than 70 different organizations and drawn up over 2500 contracts. It has defended more than 100 people in court and Precedent’s trainings, seminars and outreach programs have involved over 900 people.