Aims and Objectives

EU project: Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan
Implementing partner: EU-MS
Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) Ltd, Public Law Body
Duration: 15 October 2015 –14 October 2018

The global objective of the project is to strengthen the rule of law and the reform of the judiciary in Kazakhstan through supporting the implementation of the national policy of humanization of the justice system.

The specific objective is to enhance the protection of individual rights, in particular in the wider criminal justice system, and to foster its approximation towards European and internationally recognised standards, as such to provide support to the reform of the penal process and of the procedure for enforcing judicial acts.

The expected results are as follows:
1 - Increased effectiveness of the recently introduced reforms, and clarification of the means by which the impact of future reforms will be assessed;
2 - Modernisation of sentencing rules and practices, including sharing of information and responsibilities so that new laws are implemented effectively and efficiently. A system of measurement to provide ongoing assessment of the impact of the different sentences available to, and passed by the criminal courts in the Republic;

Component 1 – Criminal Justice Policy and Strategy

This component aims to increase the effectiveness of the recently introduced criminal justice reforms, and provide clarification of the means by which the impact of future reforms will be assessed. It will involve conducting a detailed analysis of the current legislative and strategic framework with a view to identifying the gaps between the intention of the legislation and its application in practice.

The project shall promote interagency cooperation on overlapping criminal justice issues, aimed towards greater goals of the justice system. The activities will focus on the common challenges of all stakeholders and will be based on joint implementation.

A major part of this component will involve strengthening public awareness and improving communication activities to encourage multi-agency dialogue with civil society on understanding and evaluating the reform processes and achievements.

The important element of this component is the development of the process and capacity of generating and communicating high-quality data on the functioning of the criminal justice system. Modern approaches to policy development require solid evidentiary basis. The institutions generating such evidence shall be provided with tools, information, and expertise to improve their instruments and procedures of collecting, analyzing, interpreting and applying data in the criminal justice system.

​Component 2 – Modernising Sentencing

This component will support the modernisation of sentencing rules and practices, including the sharing of information and responsibilities so that new laws and their implementation are conducted effectively and efficiently. Building on the analysis carried out in Component 1, the project will review all recent amendments drafted and enacted regarding the process of criminal justice with specific reference to the ways in which defendants and convicted offenders are dealt with. It will provide support at all the key stages of the process, including pre-trial, sentencing, detention (and alternatives to detention) and support for rehabilitation and reintegration into society upon release. A key priority for action running throughout this component will be support for the further development and enhanced role of the probation service in not only control of, but support to, offenders at various stages of the system. This will support and complement the work on juvenile justice currently being facilitated by UNICEF and other interventions.

Component 3 - Training and Capacity Building

This overarching component will provide training, capacity building and support for the institutions and staff involved in the criminal justice system. It will facilitate enhanced qualifications and skills of the legal professions and those responsible for the implementation of the Government’s criminal justice services and polices. After a detailed training needs analysis, tailored training plans will be developed for key stakeholder institutions to enable them to fulfil their roles and achieve their objectives within the framework of criminal justice reform. Training materials, toolkits and methodologies will be developed, along with innovative methods of learning including e-learning, international exchange programmes and networks. The potential of using international resources to enhance local knowledge and practice will build on what has already been achieved in Kazakhstan through its membership of the International Association of Prosecutors.

Co-ordination with other Projects

In order to ensure co-ordination with the large number of national and regional projects being implemented in this sector, the project will set up and monitor a donor co-ordination group which will be chaired by a representative of the project as lead actors entrusted with the implementation of the largest EU funded activity in this field.

Other project implementers and multi-lateral and bilateral donors involved in other projects will be invited to sit on the group which will meet on a regular basis (twice a year). This will greatly assist in activity planning, enhance the possibilities for synergies and joint working in the sector, and will avoid any unnecessary duplication and waste of resources.

Project partners

Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas is a not for profit, public body dedicated to the pursuit of building efficient, accountable and sustainable public sector institutions capable of managing donor aid effectively and implementing positive change.

UK Ministry of Justice is the central body of the British Government to provide legal support to the state in protecting the rights and legitimate interests of citizens and organisations of Great Britain. This ministry has an experience in international cooperation in the field of teaching competence of the Criminal Law.

The Dutch Probation Service represented by Reclassering Nederland is engaged in executive and administrative functions to ensure the execution of criminal penalties without isolation from society and assists prisoners on their account in receiving of socio-right assistance. The Dutch Probation Service will share experience of providing alternative legal sanctions and rehabilitation programmes for the state organisation of the Netherlands as well as developing and strengthening the capacity of international partners.

The National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution is Poland's central institution responsible for the initial, continuing education and postgraduate training of the personnel of the judiciary and the prosecutor's office in Poland. It also participates in international programmes for the development of competencies in this area.