Round table on the reform of the code of criminal procedure in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Gabit Mirazov, Senior Public Prosecutor in Almaty; Igor Rogov, Chairman of the RK Constitutional Council;  Helene Philippsen, IRZ; Prof. Dr. Bijan Nowrousian, University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management; Reinhard Müller, Deputy Director of the local court of Rendsburg (from left to right)
Gabit Mirazov, Senior Public Prosecutor in Almaty; Igor Rogov, Chairman of the RK Constitutional Council; Helene Philippsen, IRZ; Prof. Dr. Bijan Nowrousian, University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management; Reinhard Müller, Deputy Director of the local court of Rendsburg (from left to right)

On 15 September 2017, a round table discussion on the reform of the code of criminal procedure in the Republic of Kazakhstan was held in Almaty.

The event began with a presentation of the most important new developments, most of which involve changes to investigation proceedings, by Deputy Prosecutor General, Marat Akhmetzhanov. Undercover investigations, for example, must in future be ordered by a court. The period of provisional arrest will be reduced to 48 hours for adults and 24 hours for minors. Advances will be made on a step-by-step basis to increase the skills of investigative magistrates (e.g. for closing proceedings). An accelerated procedure for dealing with criminal offences will be introduced.

There were some words of criticism from the Chairman of the Republican Collegium of Lawyers, Anuar Tugel, who demanded, amongst other things, the early involvement of defence lawyers in the investigation process.

High-ranking representatives of the following judicial and government institutions took part in the meeting:

  • President’s office of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
  • Supreme Court,
  • Constitutional Council,
  • Public Prosecutor General's Office and
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The Collegium of Lawyers, the OSCE, NGOs and the Al-Farabi University were also represented.

The IRZ was represented by the speakers Reinhard Müller, Deputy Director of the local court of Rendsburg, and Prof. Dr. Bijan Nowrousian from the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management of North Rhine-Westphalia. They gave lectures on the activities of investigative magistrates in Germany and on ensuring a fair trial and the rights of the defendant in Germany.

It should be noted that the changes in the code of criminal procedure in the Republic of Kazakhstan allow for enhanced rights for the accused, but that the role of the defence counsel in the investigative proceedings needs to be strengthened still further.

High-ranking delegation from the Republic of Kazakhstan visit Frankfurt/Main and Wiesbaden on the subject of the “criminal investigation procedure”

  • Visit to the police headquarters in Frankfurt/Main

    Visit to the police headquarters in Frankfurt/Main

  • During discussions at the Public Prosecutor

    During discussions at the Public Prosecutor's Office in Frankfurt/Main: Kairat Kozhamzharov, President of the Civil Service and Anti-Corruption Agency; Igor Rogov, Chairman of the Constitutional Council; Talgat Donakov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration; Kalmukhanbet Kassymov, RK Internal Affairs Minister; Yerlik Kenenbayev, Deputy Prosecutor General (from left to right)

  • During talks with Chief Inspector David Seil (on the left)

    During talks with Chief Inspector David Seil (on the left)

Within the context of the development of new legislation for public prosecutors, which is currently being prepared in Kazakhstan, a working visit on the subject of the “criminal investigation procedure” took place on 23 and 24 May 2017 in cooperation with the Public Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK).

In view of the great interest in German legislation and legislative practice, the delegation was made up of high-ranking representatives of various authorities. The following institutions were represented:

  • President’s office
  • Constitutional Council
  • Public Prosecutor General’s Office
  • Supreme Court
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs
  • Parliament
  • Civil Service and Anti-Corruption Agency
  • National Security Committee
  • State Revenue Committee at the RK Ministry of Finance

Within the framework of the working visit, talks were held at the police headquarters, Public Prosecutor’s Office and at the local court, all in Frankfurt/Main, and at the Hessian Ministry of Justice in Wiesbaden.

The direct and practically-oriented exchange of experiences with public prosecutors, judges and police officers was particularly important to the Kazakh partners. This provided the delegation with an opportunity to learn at first hand about how the criminal investigation procedure works in Germany.

Further consultations on the application of the new standards under the code of criminal proceedings of Kazakhstan are planned in cooperation with the Public Prosecutor General’s Office throughout the year.

International conference on criminal proceedings in Ak Bulak near Almaty

  • A. Rakhmetulin, Chairman of the criminal division at the Supreme Court; G. Szabó, Head of the OSCE Programme Office; I. Rogov, Chairman of the Constitutional Council; T. Donakov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration; M. Beketayev, Minister of Justice; Y. Kenenbayev, Deputy Prosecutor General (from left to right)

    A. Rakhmetulin, Chairman of the criminal division at the Supreme Court; G. Szabó, Head of the OSCE Programme Office; I. Rogov, Chairman of the Constitutional Council; T. Donakov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration; M. Beketayev, Minister of Justice; Y. Kenenbayev, Deputy Prosecutor General (from left to right)

  • The German delegation with the Chairman of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Igor Rogov (left)

    The German delegation with the Chairman of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Igor Rogov (left)

In cooperation with the Constitutional Council, the Public Prosecutor General's Office and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an international conference on “Efficient penal policy and the ideal criminal proceedings model as a priority for the development of a modern legal protection system” was held on 17 and 18 March 2017 in Ak Bulak, near Almaty.

The conference was opened with a session on “The principles of case law and its role in protecting human rights and freedoms in criminal proceedings.” Subsequent panels dealt with the investigation process, the registration of business offences and their investigation and the modernisation of criminal sanctions in the fight against individual crimes in IT, business and corruption. The second day of the conference was devoted to the topic “Establishing criteria for the classification of criminal offences and crimes”.

Participants in the conference included high-ranking Kazakh representatives of the Presidential Administration, the Constitutional Council, the Public Prosecutor General’s Office, the Supreme Court, the Parliament, the Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs and Finance and many international partners.

Lectures were given by various speakers from the European Council, the OSCE, the Venice Commission, a judge from the Netherlands and the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt. The IRZ, supported by an institutional grant from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, was represented by three experts in the field. Christian Roch, a judge at the Local Court of Sonthofen attending as the director’s permanent representative, gave a lecture on the particularities of legal proceedings for criminal offences. In a second lecture, he spoke about the classification of offences and crimes in German criminal law. Kristina Kunert, a judge at the Local Court of Tiergarten in Berlin, outlined the main enforcement measures in criminal proceedings and their legal requirements. In her second lecture, she discussed the registration of criminal charges and the legal regulations for documenting procedures. The former public prosecutor specialising in the fight against corruption, Professor Bijan Nowrousian from the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster, presented the investigation process for corruption and economic offences. His second lecture dealt with protecting trade secrets and the interests of the companies concerned.
The German contributions were met with great interest from the participants. After the conference, Christian Roch and Bijan Nowrousian were invited to a consultation with the RK Public Prosecutor General, Zhakyp Assanov, and his First Deputy, Jogan Merkel, in Astana. This two-hour meeting dealt with the drafting of the new legislation for public prosecutors. The focus was on the position of public prosecutors in German criminal proceedings and above all in relation to the police. Based on their professional experience as a judge and public prosecutor, the German experts reported on the legal situation and legal practice in Germany.

To conclude, following the 2015 reforms of the code of criminal procedure for the Republic of Kazakhstan, the decision-making process for optimising and applying the new legal standards will be continued.