Kazakhstan - annual report 2013

Länderbericht Kasachstan 2013Roundtable on the application of the provisions of the Civil Code with the Supreme Court in Astana: Günter Jannsen, presiding judge at Oldenburg Higher Regional Court, and Prof. Dr. Walter Rolland, Director- General, ret., at the Federal Ministry of Justice (left to right)

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

The EU's Central Asia strategy entails increased European commitment in the region. At the same time, the Republic of Kazakhstan has an ongoing interest in approchement to the Western states. In order to promote legal and justice sector reforms, state programmes are being drawn up which are to act as guides for legal policy reforms. For instance, two projects were adopted in the context of the "Kazakhstan Strategy – 2050: A new political course of a new state" programme. One project provides for the further modernisation of the legal protection system from 2014 to 2020, whilst the other project, which will be running from 2013 to 2017, aims to combat religious extremism and terrorism.

Cooperation to date

The IRZ's consultation activities in Kazakhstan began at the end of 2009 with the Kazakhstan Year in Germany. Cooperation was broad from the outset, and borrowed from institutional and statutory reforms in Kazakhstan. In 2013 the IRZ successfully continued and intensified the partnership with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General, the Supreme Court as well as the Constitutional Council. In addition to topics of constitutional and civil law, there was also consultation on the reform of criminal and criminal procedure law. In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Parliament, the IRZ organised several successful multilateral events. The Chamber of Notaries, the Association of Judges as well as the Institute of Legislation of the Ministry of Justice, have been added as new partners.

Major partners

  • Office of the Public Prosecutor General
  • Supreme Court
  • Constitutional Council
  • Parliament
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Institute of Legislation of the Ministry of Justice
  • Association of Judges
  • Chamber of Notaries

Strategy and method

The IRZ has been engaged for more than four years in effectively supporting Kazakhstan, as a state in Central Asia which is highly significant in strategic terms, in its efforts to modernise its legal system and to bring it up to international standards.

Foci of activity in 2013

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Working visit by a delegation from the Constitutional Council on the topic of "Constitutional review" at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg
  • International constitutional law conference "The Constitution as the basis for the strategic development of the State and society" in Astana
  • Participation by two Members of the Parliament of the RK at the III International Conference of Parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs "The path to legislation – The role and influence of the institutions involved" in Berlin

Civil and commercial law

  • Roundtable with the Supreme Court on the topic of "Application of the provisions of the Civil Code of the RK/law on obligations" in Astana
  • Participation by a Kazakh expert at the international conference "The Moldovan Civil Code: 10 years after its introduction – successes, reserves and prospects" in Chisinau
  • Study visit to Berlin by a delegation from the Supreme Court on the topic of "Court practice in the application of the Consumer Protection Act"

Administration of justice

  • Study visit by a delegation of the Chamber of Notaries on the topic of "The notariat. Electronic registration of real estate" in Koblenz Public law
  • International conference "Promotion of international cooperation by the Hague Conventions" in Tbilisi with representatives of the Ministry of Justice, of the Supreme Court and of the Institute of Legislation of the Ministry of Justice
  • International conference "Administrative justice: specialisation and simplification of court procedure, increasing the efficiency of legal protection" with the Association of Judges in Astana
  • Seminar with the Institute of Legislation of the Ministry of Justice on the topic of "Normative legal acts and legal acts of governmental authorities: problems of regulation and application of the law (experience in Germany and other EU Member States)" in Astana

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • International conference with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on the topic of "Reforming the Code of Criminal Procedure of Kazakhstan on the basis of principles of the rule of law" in Ak-Bulak/Almaty
  • First forum on the reform of the prison system "Instead of prison – probation and electronic monitoring" with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General and Penal Reform International in Astana
  • Two study visits by delegations from the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on the topic of "Combating religious extremism and terrorism" in Berlin and Kiel
  • Seminar on the topic of "Accelerated criminal proceedings" with the Supreme Court in Astana
  • Roundtable with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General and the public prosecution office of the Karaganda area on the topic of "Application of information technologies in the main hearing within criminal proceedings" in Karaganda
  • Study visit to Düsseldorf on the topic of "Communication in criminal proceedings" with the Supreme Court

Basic and further training

  • Participation by two legal experts at the Goethe Institute's "German for legal experts" course in Bonn

Outlook

Cooperation with the Kazakh partner institutions for the year 2014 provides for final consultation on the Criminal Code and on the Code of Criminal Procedure, which are to come into force in Kazakhstan at the beginning of 2015. Furthermore, there will be consultation on the reform of the Code of Civil Procedure. There are already plans for events on mediation and on crime prevention, as well as a workshop for investigating judges.

Kazakhstan - annual report 2014

Länderbericht Kasachstan 2014

Working visit to Munich by a delegation of the Ministry of Justice on the topic of “Intellectual Property” with Berik Imashev, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan (centre), and Raimund Lutz, Vice-President for Legal and International Affairs at the European Patent Office (left)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

The Republic of Kazakhstan is positioning itself in the long term as a strategically significant state in Central Asia. Within the state programme entitled “Strategy – 2050”, which provides for extensive, ambitious reforms in almost all societal and political areas, a comprehensive modernisation of the Kazakh legal protection system is planned. These reform efforts have become evident through a comprehensive restructuring of several laws. For instance, on 1 January 2015, amongst other laws, the new Criminal Code, the new Code of Criminal Procedure, the Prison Code, as well as the Act on Regulatory Offences, come into force.

Overall concept

The IRZ has been providing guidance to the Republic of Kazakhstan in comprehensive judicial reforms for five years. In 2014, the focus of the cooperation with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General, as well as with the Supreme Court, was on the final consultation on the reform of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. Special attention was paid to the introduction of the investigating judge in criminal procedure, as well as in criminal misdemeanours. There was further consultation on the fight against terrorism and corruption, as well as on cybercrime. The IRZ stepped up its successful cooperation with the Constitutional Council in constitutional law and the administrative courts. The IRZ started new consultation with the Ministry of Justice in the field of intellectual property. It is to be continued in 2015.

Foci of activity in 2014

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • International constitutional law conference in Astana entitled “The Constitution: stability, peace and public concord”
  • Working visit on constitutional review to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg Administrative Court and Neustadt a.d.W. Administrative Court by a delegation of the Constitutional Council

Civil and commercial law

  • International conference in Astana entitled “Draft Corporate Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan” with the Institute of Legislation of the Ministry of Justice
  • Study visit to Munich and Berlin by a delegation of the Ministry of Justice on the topic of “Intellectual property”

Administration of justice

  • Seminar in Astana on the reform of the Code of Civil Procedure with the Supreme Court
  • Attendance at the IV Conference of Ministers of Justice on the “EU Rule of Law Initiative for Central Asia” held in Astana

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • International conference in Ak-Bulak/Almaty entitled “New Code of Criminal Procedure of the RK and the most important reforms in criminal procedure” with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General and the Constitutional Council
  • Study visit to Berlin by a delegation of the Association of Judges and of the Supreme Court on the “New Criminal Code of the RK: criminal misdemeanours” in cooperation with the American Bar Association/Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ROLI)
  • Two events in Berlin/Potsdam and Ust-Kamenogorsk for delegations from the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on the topic of “Review and investigation of criminal offences in computer technology used in state authorities and in banking”
  • Workshop in Berlin/Potsdam/Eberswalde and Mainz on the fight against religious extremism and terrorism with the further training institute of the Office of the Public Prosecutor General
  • Seminar with the Supreme Court in Pavlodar entitled “Measures against money laundering and against the legalisation of illegally-acquired assets”
  • Study visit to Kiel by a delegation from the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on the topic of “Particularities of review and supervision by competent state authorities, protection of the rights and interests of enterprises in Germany, potential to counter corruption”
  • Seminar entitled “Application and standards of the new criminal and criminal procedure legislation. Introduction of investigating judges”, in cooperation with the Supreme Court in Shchuchinsk
  • Study visit to Bonn/Cologne entitled “Investigating judges in criminal procedure. Mutual assistance” with the Supreme Court

Basic and further training

  • Roundtable entitled “Increasing the effectiveness of personnel work in the public prosecution offices” with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General
  • Attendance by a lawyer at a course of the Goethe Institute entitled “German for lawyers” in Bonn

Outlook

Consultation on the application of the Criminal Code and of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which are to come into force in January 2015, and which will form the focus of cooperation with the Kazakh partner institutions in the coming year. Furthermore, the IRZ will be providing consultation on the reform of the Code of Civil Procedure. Finally, there are plans to hold events on the fight against corruption, as well as in the field of intellectual property.