New Law on Supreme Judicial Council of Kazakhstan22 february 2016, 17:34
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 new Law on Supreme Judicial Council.
LAW ON SUPREME JUDICIAL COUNCIL
The Law on Supreme Judicial Council (Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 4 December 2015 no. 436-V “On the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan”) came into effect from 1 January 2016 and replaced the previous law on the same subject. The Law on Supreme Judicial Council is aimed on improvement of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council, improvement and reforming of the court system in the framework of realisation of the President’s Plan of the Nation – 100 Particular Steps for Realisation of 5 Institutional Reforms.
The Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the “Council”) is a state body created to ensure the constitutional powers of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the formation of courts, guarantees of judicial independence and integrity. The Supreme Judicial Council plays an important role in appointment of Kazakh state judges to their positions (by the President).
Confirmation of the Supreme Judicial Council Legal Status
Under the Law on Supreme Judicial Council, the Council is now established as a separate legal entity (previously, the Council was established as an institution that was not a legal entity).
Non-interference in the Supreme Judicial Council’s Activities
The Law on Supreme Judicial Council prohibited interference in the activities of the Council when it exercises its power to strengthen its status, as well as prohibited interference of the chairman and members of the Council in the activities of courts and judges on execution of justice.
Expansion of the Supreme Judicial Council’s Composition
The following persons are now included to the composition of the Supreme Judicial Council by default: the Chairman of the Supreme Court, the General Public Prosecutor, the Minister of Justice, the head of the authorised body on civil service and fight against corruption, the chairmen of the relevant specialised committees of the Senate and the Majilis. Other persons, including legal scholars, lawyers and foreign experts, representatives of associations may be assigned to become members of the Council by the President. Judges and retired judges shall now constitute half of the Supreme Judicial Council’s members.
Extension of Supreme Judicial Council’s Powers
The Law on Supreme Judicial Council extended the powers of the Council. Now the Council, inter alia, is entitled to organise the electronic personal records of judges and (together with the Supreme Court) the records of candidates to chairmen of the courts and court panels.
Strengthening Requirements to Candidates for Judges
The Law on Supreme Judicial Council introduces stricter provisions for the candidate’s selection for judicial positions that include, inter alia, the qualification examination.
Qualification commission of the Council carries the admission of qualification examination of the candidates for judges to determine the level of their knowledge and ability to apply them in practice.
Under the Law on Supreme Judicial Council qualification exam now includes three stages:
· computer test on knowledge of the law and the ability to apply it on practice;
· examination of the candidate’s knowledge and the ability to apply it on practice by examination tickets that modulate particular situations from the court practice;
· psychological test.
The Law on Supreme Judicial Council also introduces the requirement of polygraph test:
· candidates who have successfully passed the qualification examination also shall pass a polygraph test to obtain more information about a candidate and to check the reliability of the reported information;
· polygraph test conclusions are considered as recommendations.
The professional activity of the newly appointed judges is now subject to mandatory assessment by qualification commission of the Court Jury (Court Jury is a special commission consisting of experienced judges for the purposes of judges professional activity assessment, considering judges resignation and disciplinary liability issues).
The Law on Supreme Judicial Council established a work experience that can be counted as a legal experience, which is directly related to participation in the judicial proceedings (required for appointment of a candidate as a judge):
1) court secretary;
2) consultant (assistant) of the judge;
3) prosecutor, who participates in the judicial proceedings;
4) lawyers involved in litigation;
The Law on Supreme Judicial Council establishes the limitation for chairmen (chairmen of district courts, chairmen and chairmen of the judicial boards of the regional courts, the chairmen of the Supreme Court): they cannot be appointed to the same positions in the relevant court for more than two times in a row.
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