- Published: May 18, 2016
Kazakhstan - annual report 2015
Legal policy starting point
Early presidential elections took place in the Republic of Kazakhstan in the spring of 2015. This led to five institutional reforms being announced in the "100 specific steps" programme. As well as modernising state institutions and promoting industrialisation and economic growth, this envisioned safeguarding the rule of law, as well as forming a transparent, accountable state. There was public criticism at national level of the fact that this programme provides for virtually no latitude for political reforms.
The protocol on Kazakhstan's accession to the World Trade Organization, which had been signed in the summer, was ratified by Parliament on 1 October. This paved the way for Kazakhstan to officially become the 162nd Member State of the WTO at the end of the year.
This is to further pursue the ambitious goal of belonging among the 30 most developed countries in the world in 2050.
The IRZ has been providing guidance to the Republic of Kazakhstan in comprehensive judicial reforms for six years. Amongst other laws, the new Criminal Code, the new Code of Criminal Procedure, the Prison Code, as well as the Act on Regulatory Offences, came into force at the start of 2015. The new Code of Civil Procedure was adopted by Parliament in September, and is to come into force from January 2016 onwards.
The focus of cooperation with the General Prosecutor's Office, as well as with the Supreme Court, was on consultation on the application of the new provisions of criminal law. Whilst the IRZ focussed intensively on the topics of the fight against terrorism and corruption, as well as criminal misdemeanours, in cooperation with the General Prosecutor's Office, the main focus of the joint events with the Supreme Court was placed on the introduction of investigating judges in criminal procedure, as well as on criminal offences in economic crime.
The IRZ continued its successful cooperation with the Constitutional Council in constitutional law and with the administrative courts.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the IRZ stepped up its consultations in the field of intellectual property and of patent law. A multilateral conference on the Hague Conventions took place in Astana in the autumn, also attended by participants from Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan and Russia.
Foci of activity in 2015
Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability
- IV International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs on the topic of "Protection of Fundamental Rights and possible Restrictions, and Consumer Protection on the Internet", in Berlin
- International conference entitled "The Constitution – the unity of a people, stability and prosperity" with the Constitutional Council in Astana
Civil and commercial law
- Seminar entitled "Patent information resources, access by the authorities to the appropriate databases, as well as exchange of experience when establishing patent information centres" with the Ministry of Justice in Almaty
- Roundtable discussion on the topics of
- parallel import of goods that are protected as intellectual property
- measures undertaken by the customs authorities against product piracy and product counterfeiting
- court and public prosecution office practice in dealing with disputes in accordance with the principle of the exhaustion of the legal channels with the Ministry of Justice in Astana
- Multilateral conference entitled "International Family Law, Legal Cooperation and Commerce: Promoting the Rule of Law and cross-border Trade in Central Asia through the Hague Conventions" with the Ministry of Justice and HCCH in Astana
Administration of justice
- Study visit to Berlin on the topic of "Legislative procedure and legal monitoring of normative legal acts" with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
- Attendance at the international conference in Chișinău entitled "Administrative courts as a tool of the rule of law" with the Union of Judges of the Republic of Kazakhstan
- International conference on the topic of "Legal tools abroad in public law and the fight against corruption" with the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Civil Service and Anti-Corruption in Kostanai
- International conference with the General Prosecutor's Office and the Constitutional Council on the topic of "Modernisation of criminal proceedings as a guarantee of the effectiveness of the system of legal protection and realisation of the human rights potential of the constitution of the RK" in Ak-Bulak/Almaty
- Working visit of the General Prosecutors's Office of the RK on the topic of "Detection and investigation of criminal misdemeanours in criminal matters" in Frankfurt a.M. and Wiesbaden
- Two events in Astana and Bremen on the topic of "The introduction of investigating judges in criminal proceedings", with the Supreme Court
- International conference in Shuchinsk entitled "The economic security of the State. Criminal offences in economic crime" with the Supreme Court
- Study trip to Berlin on the fight against terrorism and religious extremism with the General Prosecutor's Office and in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
- Study visit to Kiel on the topic of "Criminal cases in medical criminal law, as well as criminal law on young people" with the General Prosecutor's Office
- Roundtable discussion in Taraz on the topic of "Information technologies: Enhanced role in the fight against extremism and terrorism"
Basic and further training
- Attendance by a Kazakh lawyer at the course of the Goethe-Institut entitled "German for lawyers" in Bonn
The focus of cooperation with Kazakh partner institutions for 2016 continues to be placed on consultation on the application of the Criminal Code and of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Furthermore, the IRZ will be providing consultation on the application of the provisions of the new Code of Civil Procedure. Cooperation with the General Prosecutor's Office, the Constitutional Council, the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice is to be continued. Events on the administrative courts will be held with the Union of Judges of Kazakhstan, which takes the chair in 2016. Cooperation with the Chamber of Notaries, as well as with the Bar, is to be stepped up.
Further topics for consultation will be the optimisation of the court system from a five-stage to a three-stage system of instances and the introduction of obligatory health insurance.