Changes in Kazakhstani Law on Judicial System19 february 2016, 14:13
GRATA Finance & Securities Group has released a legal alert covering important legal developments in the Kazakhstani legislation that occurred in 2015.
Most of the changes were introduced in the legislation pursuant to adoption in May 2015 of a new policy document – the Plan of the Nation: 100 Steps for Implementation of 5 Institutional Reforms – governing the development of Kazakhstan in the short-term perspective.
The legal review covers the following areas:
1. Law on Corruption Countermeasures
2. New Civil Procedure Code
3. Law on Astana International Financial Center
4. Law on Judicial System
5. Law on Supreme Judicial Council
6. Resolution on Application of Bankruptcy and Rehabilitation Legislation by the Courts
7. New Commercial Code
8. PPP Law
9. Law on WTO Accession
10. Law on Special Defensive, Antidumping and Compensational Measures
11. Law on Ownership Right Further Protection
12. Law on Amendments to Electric Power Industry
13. Law on Amendments Related to Non-performing Loans, Financial Services and Financial Organisations
14. Law on Agricultural Cooperatives
15. Privatisation Decree
16. Rules of Electronic Trades
17. New Procurement Law
Each of them is addressed in a separate release on our website, whereas the today’s release deals with the changes in the Law on Judicial System.
LAW ON JUDICIAL SYSTEM
The Law on Judicial System (Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 25 December 2000 no. 132-II “On Amendments and Additions to Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Judicial System and Status of Judges”) is aimed on comprehensive reform of the system of judges appointment, strengthening requirements to the judges as well as improvement of their social and material support in the framework of realisation of the President’s Plan of the Nation – 100 Particular Steps for Realisation of 5 Institutional Reforms.
Regular Professional Activity Assessment
The professional activity of each judge (except judges with more than 20 years of judicial experience) shall now be assessed by the Court Jury every five years.
The Law on Judicial System has amended the qualification requirements for the candidates to the judges. Now, a candidate to the judge shall, inter alia, have high moral qualities and working experience of at least five years in the judicial system (as a court secretary, court assistant, prosecutor, advocate) OR at least 10 years as a lawyer. Previously, at least 2 years of working experience as a lawyer was enough to be a judge. Moreover, a candidate shall pass polygraph test.
The Law on Judicial System has introduced mandatory suretyship requirement for the candidates for the judges of regional (oblastnoi) courts. Suretyship for such candidate shall be issued by each of two judges of the higher courts and one retired judge. In the suretyship, these judges assure that they know the candidate, have experience in working with him/her, opinion on his/her professional experience and other skills etc.
The qualification requirements to candidates to the judges of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan have also been amended. Though the Law on Judicial System did not change the requirement of overall 20 years of experience as a lawyer for such candidates, now such overall legal experience shall include not less than 10 years of experience of working as a judge, 5 years out of which as a judge of regional (oblastnoi) court. The candidate to the judge of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan shall also provide suretyship of three judges as described above. The candidate to the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan is exempt of the mentioned qualification requirements.
Introduction of Retired Judge Life Benefits
The retired judges with experience of not less than 15 years are now subject to the monthly life benefits provided that such judge has reached pension age. Such benefit is tax free and is payable for the amount of 50% - 65% of the judge’s salary at his last place of occupation and shall not exceed the amount approximately equal to USD 600.
Establishment of the Academy of Justice
The Law on Judicial System provides for the establishment of the Academy of Justice for the purposes of professional advancement and academic activities of the judges. The Academy is a state institution governed by the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan.
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