Round table and seminar on intellectual property on 29 and 30 September in Astana

In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a round table and seminar on intellectual property were held in Astana on 29 and 30 September 2015. The main focus of the discussions was on the exhaustion of property rights and the issue of parallel imports and border seizures. Representatives of the "Intellectual Property" division of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Justice and other experts from Kazakhstan and other countries took part in the first day of the event. A video link with the administrative unit of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Justice for the Dzhambyl region also enabled others, such as judges from specialist courts in the region, to take part in the round table discussions.

The second day of the event was targeted at around 60 specialists, most of whom were judges from specialist commercial courts in Astana and the regions. Contributions from German experts were met with great interest by the Kazakh participants. Dr. Oliver Schön, a judge from the Regional Court 1 in Munich, reported on "Parallel imports, in particular the issue of burden of proof and parallel imports in pharmaceuticals," whilst patent attorney Christian Hano reported on border seizures in Germany.

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan was represented by high-ranking officials on both days. On the first day, Deputy Minister of Justice Elvira Azimova chaired the conference, with Abzal Yestayev, Head of "Intellectual Property" at the Kazakhstan Ministry of Justice, taking over on the second day.

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.