October 01, 2014

Seminar Familiarizes Judges with Kazakhstan’s New Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes

October 2014

From September 25–26, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), in cooperation with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Union of Judges of Kazakhstan and the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation, conducted a seminar on the application of Kazakhstan’s new criminal and criminal procedure codes. Held in at the Burabai Regional Court of Akmol oblast, the training was attended by 45 judges, including chairpersons of criminal-case divisions from oblast and regional courts, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Prosecutor’s Office.

The workshop was part of ABA ROLI’s cooperation with the Supreme Court in familiarizing judges with the international experience in implementing those provisions of the new criminal and criminal procedure codes that are new for Kazakhstan, such as plea bargaining, Miranda rights, criminal infraction and the role of an investigating judge.

Adopted in July, the new codes go into effect in January 2015. The workshop was part of ABA ROLI’s cooperation with the Supreme Court in familiarizing judges with the international experience in implementing those provisions of the new criminal and criminal procedure codes that are new for Kazakhstan, such as plea bargaining, Miranda rights, criminal infraction and the role of an investigating judge. Akyltai Kasimov, chairperson of the Judicial Division on Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, moderated the seminar.

Serik Baibatyrov, chairperson of the Union of Judges of Kazakhstan, said, “This seminar will contribute to the discussion of pressing issues and [will improve the application] of new legislation in the courtroom.” Local and international experts, including justices of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan and judge Innokentiy Menshikov of Narva, Estonia, led discussions on changes and new concepts in the criminal and criminal procedure codes. Menshikov gave a comparative analysis of approaches in implementing the procedures of plea bargaining and criminal infraction.

Seminar participants’ inputs will inform the Supreme Court’s official recommendations for the application of the new legislation, which will be printed and distributed to all of the country’s criminal judges.

This workshop is part of ABA ROLI’s U.S. Agency for International Development-funded judicial reform program, which is implemented in partnership with the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, the Union of Judges and the Institute of Justice.

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