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July 01, 2015

Kazakhstani Judges Attend Decision-Writing Training

July 2015

From April 22–23, 35 judges from Kazakhstan’s 16 regions attended a training the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) organized in cooperation with the Institute of Justice. The seminar focused on preparing a case and composing judgments on certain categories of civil cases.

The third and final in a series of two-day judicial decision-writing seminars ABA ROLI developed since 2013, the April workshop was designed for judges of first instance courts with fewer than three years of judicial experience. It covered methodology for preparing a case and writing a decision, as well as the procedural and substantial peculiarities of judicial decision writing on cases that involve moral damage and maintenance obligations. Heinrich Schnitger, a retired judge of the District Court of Bremen city, discussed the German methodology for judicial decision writing on civil cases. Schnitger explained how the methodology helps to compose concise and clear judicial decisions and to avoid unnecessary repetitions in a decision. Schnitger said that the method leads to a more reader-friendly decision.

Nikolay Mamontov, retired justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Inessa Kuanova, former judge of the North Kazakhstan Oblast (regional) court, engaged participants in group work. They employed case studies to demonstrate how the German methodology might be used in the framework of Kazakhstan’s rules and legislation. The local experts also highlighted procedural and substantial peculiarities of cases on moral damages and maintenance obligations, including the need to demonstrate objective emotional suffering in moral damages cases and the application of substantive as well as procedural laws to these cases.

The judicial decision-writing trainings are organized to equip participants with more refined skills to differentiate undisputable and controversial circumstances of a case and to compose easy-to-read judgments, which will benefit both parties involved in a case.

ABA ROLI, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, works to increase the decision-writing capacity of Kazakhstan’s judges to help reduce appeals by making it evident to both parties that the judge took a well-reasoned and comprehensive approach to the decision.

To learn more about our work in Kazakhstan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].