Kazakhstan - annual report 2017

Working visit by a delegation of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the topic of “Regional constitutional court jurisdiction in Germany” at the Constitutional Court of Rhineland-Palatinate: President of the Constitutional Court of Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr. Lars Brocker, (3 rd from left)
Working visit by a delegation of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the topic of “Regional constitutional court jurisdiction in Germany” at the Constitutional Court of Rhineland-Palatinate: President of the Constitutional Court of Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr. Lars Brocker, (3 rd from left)

Legal Policy Situation

As early as 2015, the EU and Kazakhstan negotiated an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was ratified in Kazakhstan on 25 March 2016. The main contents of the cooperation agreed therein relate to foreign and security policy, sustainable economic development, legislation and the rule of law, finance, science and technology.

The cooperation in this Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in turn hails from the EU’s Central Asia Strategy, which was adopted already in 2007. It is against this background that the 13th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting was held in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) on 10 November 2017, at which the strategy was reviewed and questions of its continuation and future shape were discussed.

As a result, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Central Asia Strategy, the will was underscored to continue cooperation between the Central Asian states and the EU. Furthermore, priorities for cooperation were also discussed already, which will be incorporated into the future EU-Central Asia strategy to be adopted by 2019.

On 10 March 2017, a constitutional reform was passed in Kazakhstan, which led to a transfer of powers from the president to parliament and government. The aim of this reform is to strengthen the independence of the judiciary. Even after the reform, however, the President remains vested with far-reaching powers: for example, he is not accountable politically to Parliament and, even after the end of his term of office, he retains a constitutionally guaranteed extensive immunity.

Overall Concept

Since the end of 2009, the IRZ has been supporting the Republic of Kazakhstan in comprehensive judicial reforms. Particularly noteworthy is the reform of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, both of which are based recognisably on German standards. Intensive consultations on individual topics in criminal and criminal procedure law were expressly requested by the Kazakh partners. In addition, the focus in the year under review was on constitutional law, civil procedural law, patent and trademark law, legislative proceedings as well as basic and further training.

In the course of the constitutional reform the IRZ also supported an international conference on the “Constitution and modernisation of society and the state” with the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Astana.

The IRZ has continued to cooperate intensively with the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Council. The focus of the cooperation with the Prosecutor General’s Office was the deliberations on the Code of Criminal Procedure and the new draft law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Kazakhstan. The main focus of the joint events with the Supreme Court was on the principles of criminal justice.

The IRZ continued its successful cooperation with the Constitutional Council in the area of constitutional law and criminal and civil law with regard to the protection of human rights. From 8 to 10 November 2017, for example, a high-ranking delegation of the Constitutional Council paid a working visit to Koblenz on the subject of “Regional constitutional Court jurisdiction in Germany”, during which members of the delegation and staff of the Constitutional Court of Rhineland-Palatinate were able to exchange views on various issues of constitutional jurisdiction at federal and state level in Germany.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the IRZ organised a working stay in Berlin in November 2017 for a delegation from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the subject of regulatory offences.

Foci of Activity 2017

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • International Conference on the “Constitution and modernisation of society and the state” in Astana
  • Working visit to Koblenz on the topic „Regional constitutional Court jurisdiction in Germany“.
  • Translation of the German Court Constitution Act into Russian

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Study trip for four representatives of the Patent Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the German Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office in Munich

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Study trip to Frankfurt and Braunschweig on the topic of “Law and security at the airport”
  • International conference on “Efficient criminal law policy and optimal judicial criminal procedure model as a priority development of a modern legal protection system” in Ak-Bulak
  • International Conference on the subject of “Criminal proceedings concerning fraud” in Astana
  • Working visit on “Criminal investigation” in Frankfurt/Main
  • International round table on the reform of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Almaty
  • Seminar on the topic of “Execution of sentence” in Astana
  • Study trip to Kempten on the subject of “Criminal offences against the judiciary and the penitentiary system”
  • Round table “Development prospects of criminal proceedings in the context of the modernisation of criminal proceedings legislation” in Astana
  • Round table on the subject of “Cybercrime and data protection” in Astana
  • Working visit of four representatives of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Berlin on “Challenges in the prosecution of criminal offences and regulatory offences”

Basic and Further Training

  • Participation of the President of the Association of Judges of the Republic of Kazakhstan and his advisor in the event of the memorandum group of Judges’ Associations in Tbilisi
  • Participation of an administrative and criminal judge from Almaty as well as a civilian judge from the district of Naurzum Kostanaj in the multilateral programme for German-speaking judges and prosecutors

Outlook

Cooperation with Kazakhstan’s partner institutions for the year 2018 will be based on the forthcoming legislative reforms in Kazakhstan. Accordingly, criminal and procedural law as well as civil law in particular will play an important role with regard to the activities of the IRZ. Furthermore, cooperation with the Constitutional Council and the Academy for law enforcement agencies under the Prosecutor General’s Office will be continued. Moreover, it is planned to further deepen the cooperation on intellectual property established in recent years with the Kazakh Ministry of Justice and to extend it to other specialist areas. In addition to the continuation of cooperation with the Supreme Court, the partnership with Kazakh lawyers and notaries is to be further expanded. Basic and Further Training

Kazakhstan - annual report 2016

Seminar on “Criminal law offences in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan”: Yerbol Rakhimbekov, Judge at the Supreme Court; Abai Rakhmetulin, Presiding Judge at the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court; Christian Roch, Sonthofen District Court (from left to right)

Seminar on “Criminal law offences in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan”: Yerbol Rakhimbekov, Judge at the Supreme Court; Abai Rakhmetulin, Presiding Judge at the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court; Christian Roch, Sonthofen District Court (from left to right)

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

The European Union and the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an extensive partnership and cooperation agreement in December 2015. This continues and extends the EU’s Central Asian Strategy dating from 2007. Numerous EU projects in the sphere of the rule of law, business, education and the environment are supported and implemented. The IRZ also participated in an event of the EU project “Rule of Law” in 2016.

Early elections to the Lower House of Parliament (Mazhilis) took place in Kazakhstan on 20 March 2016. The President’s party “Nur Otan” was victorious in securing 82.15 % of the votes. Two of the opposition parties, “Ak Zhol” (7.18 %) and the “Communist People’s Party” (7.14 %), were once again voted into Parliament. According to the electoral authorities, election turnout was around 77.1 %.

The Republic of Kazakhstan celebrated 25 years of independence on 16 December 2016. Many events took place to celebrate this anniversary, amongst other things also including the Constitutional Law Conference, which takes place every year in August on the Day of the Constitution.

Overall Concept

Since the end of 2009, the IRZ has supported the Republic of Kazakhstan with extensive judicial reforms. The IRZ has intensively supported the Kazakh partners in recent years with the reform of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, which are amongst other things also oriented towards the German legislation. The consulting focus in the reporting year concentrated on the spheres of constitutional law, civil and commercial law, the administration of justice, criminal and criminal procedure law, and on basic and further training. In addition, the IRZ also conducted events on legislative procedure and patent and trademark law. The IRZ continued its intense cooperation with the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Council and the Ministry of Justice.

The cooperation with the General Prosecutor’s Office focused on consultations on the Code of Criminal Procedure and on the subject of staff management at the Public Prosecutor’s Offices.

The central focus of the joint events with the Supreme Court continued to be on the introduction of the investigating judge in criminal procedure and – regarding criminal law offences – in the distinction between criminal offences and regulatory offences.

The IRZ continued its successful cooperation with the Constitutional Council in the sphere of constitutional law as well as criminal and civil law with regard to the protection of human rights. In the autumn of 2016, the Constitutional Council participated in the OSCE Conference in Warsaw.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the IRZ intensified consultations in the spheres of intellectual property and patent law.

Foci of Activity 2016

Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Study trip entitled “Legal regulation of demonstrations and rallies in Germany. Measures and means against public disturbance of the peace and riots” with the General Prosecutor’s Offices in Berlin and Potsdam
  • International constitutional law conference in Astana entitled “Constitution – basis for a dynamic and stable development of society and the state” with the Constitutional Council
  • Podium discussion in Warsaw entitled “Legal and judicial reforms in OSCE participant states and German support” in the course of the OSCE conference with the Constitutional Council
    Civil and Commercial Law
  • International conference in Ak-Bulak (near Almaty) entitled “Modernisation of the civil procedural law” with the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Council
  • Conference in Astana on copyright law and related intellectual property rights with the Ministry of Justice
  • Seminar in Astana on the topic of intellectual property (geographical references and statements of origin) with the Ministry of Justice
  • Roundtable in Astana in the Lower House of Parliament on reforms in the sphere of intellectual property protection

Administration of Justice

  • Study trip to the General Prosecutor’s Offices in Münster, Trier and Wiesbaden entitled “Basic and further training systems” with the Further Training Academy at the Kazakh General Prosecutor’s Office
  • Study trip to Berlin for legislative consultation with the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
  • Seminar in Almaty entitled “Ethical aspects in the work of the bailiff” with the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan
  • Participation by Kazakh representatives at the international conference entitled “Safeguarding the uniformity of jurisdiction as a task for the supreme courts” with the Association of Judges in Chișinău
  • Working visit in Berlin entitled “Legislative procedure and the legal monitoring of normative legal acts” with the Constitutional Council

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • International conference in Ak-Bulak near Almaty entitled “Modernisation of criminal procedure law” with the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Constitutional Council
  • Conference in Ust-Kamenogorsk on the role of the public prosecutor in criminal procedure together with the General Prosecutor’s Office
  • International conference in Astana entitled “Modern policy to combat corruption in the Republic of Kazakhstan: exchange of experience” with the Ministry for Affairs of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Anti-Corruption Department
  • Seminar in Astana with the Supreme Court on the special tasks of the investigative judge
  • Study trip to Berlin and Potsdam with the Supreme Court on the special tasks of the investigative judge
  • Seminar in Astana with the Supreme Court on “Criminal law offences in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan”
  • Study trip to Kempten and Sonthofen with the Supreme Court entitled “Criminal law offences. Accelerated proceedings. Domestic violence”
  • Study trip to Berlin and Potsdam with the Constitutional Council on “Criminal law investigation procedure”

Basic and Further Training

  • Participation by a lawyer at a course in Bonn offered by the Goethe Institute entitled “German for lawyers”
  • Working visit to the General Prosecutor’s Office in Mainz and Koblenz on the subject of staff management
  • Participation by Kazakh representatives of the Supreme Court in the multilateral internship programme for civil and commercial judges in Germany
  • Roundtable in Astana on the subject of staff management with the General Prosecutor’s Office

Outlook

Cooperation with the Kazakh partners in 2017 will continue to focus on consultations about the application of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. In addition, issues concerning the appointment and qualification of judges and public prosecutors are likewise intended to receive further attention. The IRZ will also advise on the application of the new Code of Civil Procedure provisions. The intention is to continue the cooperation with the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Constitutional Council, the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice. Cooperation with the Chamber of Notaries and the Bar Association is intended to be resumed.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.

Kazakhstan - annual report 2015

Länderbericht Kasachstan 2015Working visit by a delegation of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan on legislative procedure and legal monitoring of normative legal acts in Berlin: Zauresh Baimoldina, Deputy Justice Minister of the RK, and Ministerialdirektor Alfred Bindels, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Strategic framework

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.

Overall concept

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

Public law

  • 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

Penitentiary Law

  • 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

Outlook

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.