September 01, 2015

Judges Attend Seminar on Kazakhstan’s Criminal Procedure Code

September 2015

From May 28–29, 73 Kazakhstani judges and government officials attended a seminar on the implementation of the country’s 2014 Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). Held in Astana, the event also addressed the role of investigating judges in criminal procedure.


Participants discussed ways to develop unified standards for implementing the newly adopted Criminal Procedure Code.


The seminar, which was attended by judges from 16 regions, as well as representatives from the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, was organized by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI),Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court and Union of Judges, the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation and the European Council.

A panel of international experts, including ABA ROLI legal experts—judge Reed Scott Waterfall, an ABA ROLI legal specialist from Utah, United States, and judge Innokentiy Menshikov from Estonia—spoke about plea bargaining, the role of investigative judges and the use of bail as a restriction measure in their respective countries. Additionally, participants evaluated the implementation of the CPC during the first five months since it went into effect.

In preparation for the seminar, courts around the country gathered statistics on the CPC’s implementation in their respective regions, which they presented during the workshop. This empirical information allowed workshop attendees to compare how regional courts were applying the new legislation and initiated discussion on developing unified standards. Discussions on plea bargaining and use of bail—new concepts that the 2015 CPC introduces into the Kazakhstani criminal justice system—evoked numerous questions, including on whether courts should accept property—or just money—as bail. To foster uniform application of criminal legislation, participants suggested the development of manuals and standardized training methodologies for investigative judges. They also called for additional workshops that involve prosecutors and defense attorneys as well.

The May seminar was organized as part of ABA ROLI’s U.S. Agency for International Development-funded judicial reform program.

To learn more about our work in Kazakhstan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.