Delegation from the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan on a visit to Berlin and Potsdam

From 7 to 10 June 2016, a study visit on the specific tasks handled by investigative magistrates took place in Berlin and Potsdam. Five judges from various regions of Kazakhstan took part in the visit. The event followed on from the seminar in Astana, which also dealt with the new authority of investigative magistrates.

The position of investigative magistrate was introduced in Kazakhstan alongside the new code of criminal procedure, which has been in force since January 2015. Since January 2016, the authority of investigative magistrates has been extended to allow them to order searches, body searches, inspections and seizures.

During the working visit, expert discussions were held at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, at the Regional Court of Potsdam and at the Brandenburg police headquarters. The delegation was informed about German legislation relating to the authority of investigative magistrates, as well as about their duties and those of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the police during an investigative procedure. The participants had the opportunity to discuss similarities and differences in the criminal procedure of both countries with German experts.

Further deliberations will take place on the practical application of the new legal framework. This year, there are plans for two more events in cooperation with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Delegation from the Kazakh Public Prosecutor's Office on a study visit to Berlin and Potsdam

From 23 to 27 May 2016, a delegation from the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan visited Berlin and Potsdam to learn about the "Legal regulation of demonstrations and manifestations in Germany, measures and means of dealing with disturbances of the peace and riots". The lectures and discussions held during the study visit dealt with the legal regulations concerning the authorisation of demonstrations and assemblies in Germany, as well as the cooperation of authorities working towards ensuring public order during authorised and unauthorised demonstrations and manifestations.

The participants in the delegation were also interested in the policing methods used to maintain public order during manifestations and demonstrations and in methods used to deal with people disturbing the peace.

Those participating in the delegation held talks with experts, including from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the Public Prosecutor's Office in Berlin and the police headquarters for the federal state of Brandenburg. In addition, a speaker from the Saxon Centre for Political Education came to Berlin from Dresden to discuss these topics with the Kazakh delegation

The German speakers addressed all the questions from the participants in the delegation and, during the discussions, they were also able to stress the significance and priority given to the right of assembly in Germany, which is a fundamental part of the German constitution. The speaker from the Saxon Centre for Political Education also talked about the opportunities for dialogue against the development of radicalisation movements such as Pegida, and about the process for dealing with critical opinion-forming and decision-making processes in society.

The Kazakh delegation showed a keen interest and was delighted with the wide range of information provided. In these issues, the efforts of the Kazakh partners towards orienting themselves to western – and in particular German - standards are becoming clear.

Off-site meeting of a Senate Committee for the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Oskemen)

On 8 April 2016, an off-site meeting of a Senate Committee for the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan took place in Ust-Kamenogorsk (or Oskemen) in East Kazakhstan. The Committee is responsible for constitutional legislation, the court system and law enforcement authorities. The meeting covered the application of standards in the new penal code, the criminal justice system and legislation on law enforcement. Topics of discussion also included amendments to legislation in criminal law and criminal procedural law (e.g. in the field of judicial appraisals) and enhancing the performance of investigative magistrates.

The event was organised by the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Senate of Parliament for the Republic of Kazakhstan. As well as the organisers themselves, representatives of the following institutions also attended the meeting:

  • Ministry of Justice,
  • Supreme Court,
  • Ministry of Finance,
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs,
  • National Security Committee,
  • National Anti-Corruption Bureau under the Ministry for Civil Affairs,
  • Law Council of the Republic,
  • State Law University of Kazakhstan,
  • Regional public prosecutor's offices and courts,
  • Other regional authorities.

Some of these institutions were represented by very high-ranking individuals, which meant that the First Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Iogan Merkel, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Zauresh Baimoldina, and the Deputy Internal Affairs Minster, Rashid Zhakupov, took part in the lectures and discussions.

The meeting was opened and moderated by Serik Akylbay, the Chairman of the Committee. By request of the Public Prosecutor's Office for the Republic of Kazakhstan, the IRZ was also represented by a German expert, Karin Schreitter-Skvortsov, a public prosecutor at the public prosecutor's office for the District Court in Dresden, and an employee of the IRZ from Bonn. Karin Schreitter-Skvortsov reported on the position of the public prosecutor's office within the German administrative structure and on the division of tasks between the public prosecutors' office, the police and the courts in investigative procedures in Germany. These topics were taken on board and addressed time and again by the Kazakh partners, making it clear that they are trying to orientate themselves to western - and in particular German – standards.