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In Astana experts reviewed the problems of ensuring the rights of suspects and accused at the pre-trial stage

15 December 2017
Press Releases
Astana – On December 14, 2017, the Academy of Law Enforcement in partnership with the European Union project “Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan” (EUCJ) held a regular session of the Criminological Forum on "Suspect and Accused: Are Their Rights Really Protected?" The meeting was held at the Eurasian National University named after LN Gumilev. The session was devoted to the problems of ensuring the rights of citizens involved in the criminal prosecution. Deputies of the Parliament, heads of law enforcement bodies, representatives of the scientific and legal community, non-governmental organizations, international and national experts took part in the discussion of topical issues on the agenda. “The right to a fair trial includes the protection of the rights of suspects and accused at the pre-trial stage. Any rights are meaningful only if they are effective, i.e. are observed in practice. Therefore, the very first main question is to what extent the rights of suspects and accused are observed in the course of criminal prosecution? What are the key reasons that influence the rights of participants in the process? And the second is how to improve the practice so that the rights of suspects and accused in Kazakhstan are fully respected? These important issues - we are discussing for the first time in the format of expert debate. We hope that such a format of discussions will allow us to achieve better mutual understanding between the main participants and lead to a real improvement in practice”, said Nazgul Yergaliyeva, EUCJ Senior national Expert. As noted by speakers, consistent measures are being taken in Kazakhstan to establish an effective mechanism for the protection of human rights and freedoms. Legislative and practical innovations are aimed at strengthening the rule of law in the criminal legal sphere, enhancing the capacity of citizens to protect their rights. Recently the Head of State signed the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan aimed at further modernizing the criminal process in the context of strengthening the protection of human rights and increasing the adversarial nature of the parties, simplifying the procedure for investigation. At the same time, the issues of effective protection of the rights of the suspect and the accused remain one of the critical problems of the criminal process. It is here where the fundamental rights and freedoms are affected and infringed. Despite the current legislative mechanisms, in practice, the requirements of the law are not always respected. Based on the results of the discussions, taking into account the views of all stakeholders, the Academy of Law Enforcement Authorities developed recommendations containing a set of legal and practical initiatives aimed at strengthening the rule of law, ensuring the legitimate rights of suspects and accused. The EUCJ project ("Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan"), funded by the European Union, is part of the programme "Support for Judicial Reform in Kazakhstan". The project is implemented by Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NI-CO) in partnership with the Ministry of Justice of the United Kingdom, the Dutch Probation Service and the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution, Poland. For additional information please contact Ms Mira Beisenova, EUCJ National Expert on Stakeholder Relations, at phone + 7 (7172) 23 70 21 or e-mail: or Ms Elnara Bainazarova, Press and Information Officer, the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, at phone +7(7172) 97 45 67 or e-mail:

The Ambassadors learned about the recent GPO reforms

14 December 2017
Press Releases
On the eve of International Human Rights Day the heads and experts of the embassies and international organisations in Astana had a tour at the General Prosecutor's Office (GPO) to learn more about their recent reforms. The Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan mr. Traian Hristea, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan mr. Norimasa Shimomura, Ambassador, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana mr. György Szabó and other delegates met with the General Prosecutor Zhakip Asanov and his team to get familiar with the GPO's flagship projects supported by the European Union in Kazakhstan. They are the Justice Services Centre and Project Office. General prosecutor's office is a core of our law enforcement system whose role was stipulated in the Kazakh Constitution. It is the public sector organization in Kazakhstan which aims to turn into a modern public service-oriented organisation from a post-Soviet law supervisory state body. EUCJ team is a partner of the Change Programme in the General prosecutor's office within the EU-funded project on enhancing criminal justice in Kazakhstan. Just recently General prosecutor's office became the winner of the international contest “Project Olympus” in Moscow with its 5 projects. We are proud to inform you that these projects are just the first results of the Change programme facilitated by the EUCJ. You can learn more about the awards here: about the Justice services centre here:

The EUCJ Project Operational Leader Saule Mektepbayeva gave a guest lecture at KAZGUU

12 December 2017
Press Releases
The EUCJ Project Operational Leader Saule Mektepbayeva gave a guest lecture at KAZGUU about the results of a project "10 measures to reduce the prison population". This project was launched in 2012 in a partnership with the General Prosecutor Office launched. This joint project on November 22, 2017 received the “Best Project of the Year” award in the category "Management of a complex project" at the international competition for professional project management in the public sector "Project Olympus" held in Moscow. This project allowed Kazakhstan to move up in the international ranking in the size of prison population: from 35th to 70th place (out of the total 222), in just five years, and rise above some of the of European countries. In the course of the project, the number of prisoners fell by a quarter (from 49,000 in the 2012, to 35,000 today). The reduction in the prison population resulted in the closure of 8 prisons in 2016 and about 12 billion tenge in state budget savings. This exhibition is supported by the European Union project "Enhancing criminal justice system in Kazakhstan" (EUCJ).

EUCJ supported the General Prosecutor Office's photo exhibition about convicts held at KAZGUU

11 December 2017
Press Releases
The General Prosecutor Office has launched a photo exhibition about convicts, held at KAZGUU Astana, December 8, 2017. On the eve of the International Human Rights Day, the General Prosecutor Office presented the photo exhibition "Earn your freedom" at KAZGUU, dedicated to the lives of convicts who got their release through exemplary behaviour and hard work, and successfully integrated into the society. The exhibition is arranged in the framework of the prison reform and provides an opportunity to see real life stories behind the dry statistics. The exhibition is open until December 16. 2017 in KAZGUU. The heroes of the project: Anar Suleimenova, 38, from Semey. Mother of six. Her sixth child was born while she was incarcerated. Anar served time for fraud. She started working in the prison kindergarten at the Chemolgan prison as a volunteer nurse, but later gained official employment there. Now, thanks to the probation programme, she is taking a course in cooking and baking and undergoing an internship at a local school. Kazbek Nurtazin, 33, from Uralsk. He served time for three offences: robbery, extortion, and kidnapping. During his two years in prison, he started a business manufacturing light-weight concrete blocks, rings and metal structures. His business employed more than 20 prisoners serving time in the industrial zone. Now he owns a construction and heavy transport rental business. His staff include many ex-convicts. Alexander Nekrasov, 28, from Karaganda. Alexander served time for group robbery. While in prison, he worked as an apprentice carpenter and also learned welding. Thanks to the probation programme, he took a short-term course in gas metal-arc welding, and is now working for "Aspap" company. After release from prison, he got married, and now he and his wife are expecting their first child. Saule Mektepbayeva, the EUCJ operations manager opened the photoexbition along with the KAZGUU representatives. She also gave a guest lecture about the project on 10 measures to reduce the prison population. This joint project was launched by the General Prosecutor Office in 2012. On November 22, 2017 it was recognized as the “Best Project of the Year” award in the category "Management of a complex project" at the international competition for professional project management in the public sector "Project Olympus" held in Moscow.

​Academy of Justice teaching staff to learn modern training delivery techniques

06 March 2017
Press Releases
ASTANA - March 6, 2017. The 5-days ‘Train the Trainer ’training course was launched by the Academy of Justice in Astana with the support of the EU project "Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan".

EU international experts spoke about development of probation service in Europe

03 May 2016
On May 3, 2016. in Astana the international experts of the European Union in criminal justice Leo Tigges and Steve Pitts met with the students and teachers of the KazGUU Higher School of Law.

International expert Ben Zengerink delivered a presentation in the Mazhilis of the Parliaments of the Republic of Kazakhstan

11 November 2016
On November 11, 2016, in Astana the draft law "On Probation" was presented by the by Vice-Minister of Internal Affairs Rashid Zhakupov to the deputies in the Mazhilis. The International expert Ben Zengerink, concurrently Deputy Project Leader delivered a presentation in the Mazhilis on the international standards in the probation field.

International Round Table will help to revise Law draft on probation

21 June 2016
On July 21, 2016 the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in cooperation with the Committee on Legislation and Judicial-Legal Reform Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan held Round Table with support of the European Union project "Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan" within the framework of implementation of the 33rd Step of Plan of the Nation – “100 Concrete Steps”.