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

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

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: mbeisenova@nico.org.uk or Ms Elnara Bainazarova, Press and Information Officer, the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, at phone +7(7172) 97 45 67 or e-mail: Elnara.BAINAZAROVA@eeas.europa.eu.

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