International Conference in Astana on “Constitution – Unity of People, Stability, Prosperity”

An international conference organised by the Constitutional Council was held in Astana on 28 and 29 August 2015 on the topic "Constitution – Unity of People, Stability, Prosperity" marking the 20th anniversary of the constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan,.

In view of the anniversary celebrations, this year's conference was particularly high-ranking both with regard to the protocol and the agenda. It was attended by almost 500 participants. Besides the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who opened the conference, the Prime Minister, the chairmen of both Chambers of Parliament as well as ministers and heads of state bodies of Kazakhstan were present. The event was also attended by many presidents and judges of other national constitutional courts as well as by representatives of the Venice Commission, the OSCE and the UN. This provided the opportunity to give an impetus on the national holiday to a large and high-ranking audience.

The second conference day took place at two venues at the same time: the Eurasian National University and the Kazakh Humanities and Law University. Mainly university professors were among the speakers. The German experts participating in the event were Dr Lars Brocker, President of the Constitutional Court and Higher Administrative Court of the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as Jens Möller, President of the Constitutional Court of Brandenburg.

Moreover, the commemorative publication "Kazakhstan trend" was presented in a ceremonial act during the conference. It includes contributions by foreign experts about the 20 years of development of the Kazakh constitution from an "outside view". Commissioned by the IRZ, Dr Lars Brocker and Professor Friedrich-Christian Schroeder contributed to the commemorative publication:

  • Dr. Lars Brocker, Verfassung und Verfassungsentwicklung in der Transformationsgesellschaft: Der Weg der Republik Kasachstan (The Constitution and Constitutional Development in a Society in Transformation: The Way of the Republic of Kazakhstan)
  • Professor Dr Dres h. c. Friedrich-Christian Schroeder, Der Beitrag des kasachischen Strafprozesskodex zur Entwicklung der Rechsstaatlichkeit: Ein Blick aus deutscher Sicht (The Contribution of the Kazakh Code of Criminal Procedure to the Development of the Rule of Law from a German Perspective).

Working visit from Kazakhstan to explore and investigate criminal offences in criminal proceedings

The IRZ organised a study trip to Frankfurt am Main and Wiesbaden from 18 to 22 May in cooperation with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan to cover the "Exploration and investigation of criminal offences in criminal proceedings". The Head of Delegation was the First Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Iogan Merkel. Other participants in this high-ranking delegation were the Deputy Chairman of the Committee for National Security, Samat Abish; the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Rashid Zhakupov; the Head of Administration for supervising legislative activities and the Deputy Head of the Department for supervising the legality of court files and for representing the interests of the state in criminal cases for the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The delegation visited the Hessian Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Public Prosecutor General and the Office of the Public Prosecutor for Frankfurt am Main, the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation in Wiesbaden and the State Office of Criminal Investigation for the Hesse region, as well as the local court in Frankfurt am Main.

The IRZ has been advising the Republic of Kazakhstan since 2010 on the reform of its criminal law. Since the new code of criminal procedure and the new penal code entered into force on 1 January 2015, this working visit was mainly about the practical implementation of legal standards and experiences of this in Germany, in particular as far as the judgement of criminal offences is concerned.

International Roundtable about the Modernisation of the Criminal Procedure in Ak-Bulak near Almaty

Bild 2 Kasachstan

From left to right: B.Imashev, Ministry of Justice of the RK; N. Ermekbayev, Presidential aid; I. Rogov, Head of the Constitutional Council; I.Merkel, First Deputy Attorney General

From 12 to 13 March 2015 an international roundtable took place in Ak-Bulak near Almaty in Kazakhstan dealing with "The Modernisation of the Criminal Procedure as a Guarantee for the Effectiveness of the System of Legal Protection and Implementation of the Human Rights Potential of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan" in cooperation with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan as well as the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The conference was attended by high-level Kazakh representatives of the Presidential Administration, the Office of the Public Prosecutor General, the Constitutional Council, Parliament, the Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs and Finance as well as of the Supreme Court, and representatives of the OSCE Astana, the United Nations and the Venice Commission. Dr Jürgen Oehlerking, retired State Secretary (Ministry of Justice of Lower Saxony) was involved from the German side with a contribution about the preliminary procedure in Germany.

The conference was a first exchange of experience gained after the new code of criminal procedure came into effect. It was kicked off with a presentation by Iogan Merkel (1st Deputy Public Prosecutor General), presenting the main amendments of the new code of criminal procedure, followed by a presentation of individual legal norms and a discussion of their application.

The IRZ has advised the Republic of Kazakhstan since 2010 about the reform of the criminal law. The new code of criminal procedure and the new criminal code came into effect on 1 January 2015. This year, the consultations will focus on the application of the new legal norms.