April 01, 2013

Kazakhstani Jurists Discuss Comparative Legal Issues

April 2013

In November 2012, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), in cooperation with Kazakhstan’s Institute of Justice, organized an interactive panel discussion that compared the judicial systems in Kazakhstan and Canada. Canadian Justice Michael McDonald and Justice Baghlan Makulbekov of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan moderated the panel discussion, which was attended by 32 chairpersons of regional Kazakhstani courts and 16 Institute of Justice professors and researchers.

Direct dialogue between experts and participants enabled more thoughtful and in-depth discussion on issues related to court administration and effective management.

The discussion was driven by participants’ questions on topics identified by the Institute of Justice—the institute responsible for judges’ continuing legal education—and shared with participants beforehand. The format encouraged more participation by and input from the audience. Discussions covered judicial-independence and court-administration issues, including budgeting and financial administration, case and workflow management, trust and accountability, performance management and the status of judges.

The discussion, which built on a similar event that the Institute of Justice had held to compare Kazakhstani and Turkish judicial systems, helped familiarize participants with the Canadian judicial system. Following the discussion, the head of the Judicial and Anti-Corruption Section of the Institute of Justice said that the institute will continue to host similar events to increase participants’ exposure to, and understanding of, judicial systems of other countries, and to boost international relationships among judicial-sector actors.

The panel discussion was part of ABA ROLI’s U.S. Agency for International Development-funded program to strengthen judicial administrative processes and procedures in Kazakhstan.

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