IRZ experts, Senior Public Prosecutor Andreas May (left) and Professor Dr. Bijan Nowrousian
IRZ experts, Senior Public Prosecutor Andreas May (left) and Professor Dr. Bijan Nowrousian

On 6 and 7 March 2019, the IRZ, together with the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan organised an international conference in Akbulak in the Almaty region. The subject of the conference was “An effective penal policy and a modern model for criminal proceedings as a prerequisite for the proper protection of citizens’ constitutional rights.”

The annual events on current legal issues held in Akbulak offer a good platform for exchange between international experts and very high-ranking Kazakh participants. This year’s conference was also followed with great interest by the media.

The IRZ experts taking part were Senior Public Prosecutor Andreas May, head of the Centre for Combating Cyber Crime at the General Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt, and Prof. Dr. Bijan Nowrousian, a professor in criminal law and administrative offences at the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster. Speakers from Kazakhstan included Marat Akhmetzhanov, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Rashid Zhakupov, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The focus of the German expert lectures was on the following topics:

  • Procedural guarantees and protecting human rights in criminal proceedings,
  • asset recovery (including virtual currencies) – basics of the new German law and initial experience,
  • legal issues in the context of corruption offences,
  • record-keeping and inspection and
  • onus of proof and appraising evidence.
  • The Kazakh speakers looked in more detail at the subjects of the constitutional requirements for changes to criminal law and criminal procedural law and the modern practice of criminal investigation in criminal cases. 

In view of the continuing need for reform, it would make sense to continue holding these kinds of events in Akbulak, provided that this is possible in the context of the current political upheaval in Kazakhstan. They offer a good opportunity for discussion with high-profile representatives, thereby gaining a wide-ranging insight into the current legal situation in the country.