Today, the ICJ filed a submission to the Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in advance of its review of Kazakhstan’s human rights record in October-November 2019.
In its submission, the ICJ considered the situation with the independence of the legal profession in Kazakhstan and provided information on the status of international human rights treaties ratified by Kazakhstan.
The ICJ called on the Human Rights Council and the Working Group to recommend Kazakhstan:
• to amend the current legislation to ensure that representatives of the executive, such as the Ministry of Justice, are not included in the disciplinary bodies of the legal profession;
• to amend the current legislation to ensure that the qualification procedures are fully governed by the legal profession in Kazakhstan in line with international law and standards on the role of lawyers; in particular, the Qualification Commissions should be bodies of the Bar Association while their composition should predominantly consist of lawyers delegated by the Bar Association itself;
• to ensure that as the main stakeholder in any reforms affecting the legal profession, the Bar Association participates in such reforms in a meaningful way;
• to take effective measures to prevent further interference by the executive and law enforcement bodies in the exercise of lawyers’ professional duties, in particular prevent the practice of bringing disciplinary complaints against lawyers solely for their defence of their clients or legitimate exercise of their right of freedom of expression;
• to ensure that the right of lawyers to freedom of expression is respected, especially in regard to matters of public interest and law.
Furthermore the ICJ suggested:
• To ratify the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court.
• To ratify the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families as well as the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on civil and Political Rights.
Kazakhstan-ICJ UPR 2019-Advocacy-Non legal submissions-2019-ENG (full text of submission, in PDF)AdvocacyNon-legal submissions