Rule of Law
After gaining independence from the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan's Rule of Law was prioritized, and efforts were focused to build a legislative system that keeps the government and its officials as well as individuals equally accountable under the law. One of the first reforms introduced by President Nursultan Nazarbayev was changing the post-Soviet criminal code and criminal procedure code to develop well-defined and established laws.
Kazakhstan successfully incorporated the principles of the UN’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights into its founding documents and introduced a Western-styled judicial system of due process. The Astana International Finance Center follows English Common Law and provides the same investor protections and investor recourse as is expected in the United Kingdom or United States.
Another important initiative was providing a continuous education for justice sector professionals and civilians on such topics as human rights, business law, jury trials and media law. Kazakhstan partners with the American Bar Association, which in 2012 began to implement a four-year program The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) to support the modernization of the Kazakhstan’s judicial system and to increase public trust in that system. One of the main outcomes of the program was that Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court announced its readiness and took steps to modernize the country’s legal system and increase its transparency.
Furthermore, Kazakhstan works closely with the United States on developing a formal intergovernmental mechanism for the provision of evidence and other forms of law enforcement assistance in criminal investigations, prosecutions, and related proceedings. In 2015, the countries signed a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, which aims to more effectively counter criminal activities.
NGOs in Kazakhstan also play a critical part in social modernization and development. Kazakhstan’ Government supports the active and independent functioning of civil society organizations.