The USAID-funded Kazakhstan Rule of Law Program (2020-2025) supports improvements to the investment and business climate and the legal framework for civil society organizations (CSOs), the modernization of the judiciary, and the elimination of real and perceived bias to increase judicial independence and professionalism. The program builds on a nearly three-decade partnership between Kazakhstan and the U.S. to modernize the judicial system, build public trust in the judiciary, and implement judicial reforms.
The program supports judicial transparency and openness by providing opportunities for businesses, CSOs, lawyers, and other interested stakeholders to interact with each other and advocate for change. The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), the implementing partner of the program, is bringing in new voices to ensure a more effective application of laws in Kazakhstan by:
OBJECTIVE 1. STRENGTHEN THE LEGAL ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR BUSINESSES
The program works with the Supreme Court, Academy of Justice, National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, bar associations, and the business community to strengthen the legal enabling environment for businesses and implement reforms needed to guarantee the protection of investors’ activities, including fair and transparent judicial considerations of investment disputes between investors and state bodies.
- Through improvement of legislation and judicial practice, foreign investors increase their confidence and trust in investment dispute resolution leading to an increase in investments.
- Through access to ongoing professional development, judges improve their knowledge to oversee business-related cases, including the tax and investment disputes.
- Court administration reforms increase court effectiveness and efficiency, encouraging investment disputes to be resolved through local investment panels.
OBJECTIVE 2. STRENGTHEN THE LEGAL ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR CSOs
The program supports the Government of Kazakhstan to draft and implement legislation while increasing opportunities for CSOs, lawyers, and government entities to connect and cooperate with one another throughout the legislative drafting process. The program organizes and coordinates work of a dialogue platform to strengthen the legal environment for civil society in cooperation with the Committee for Civil Society Affairs under the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
- Government and civil society improve the quality of CSO-related legislation due to broader public participation in the law-making process.
- The Government of Kazakhstan improves implementation of civil society related legislation.
- CSOs strengthen their awareness of their rights and responsibilities.
OBJECTIVE 3. STRENGTHEN THE INDEPENDENCE AND PROFESSIONALISM OF THE JUDICIARY
To promote an independent, accountable, well-functioning judiciary as a central pillar of the rule of law and access to justice, the Kazakhstan Rule of Law program works with the Supreme Court, the Union of Judges, the Academy of Justice, and other stakeholders to strengthen independence and professionalism of the judiciary. Activities include legislative analysis, provision of technical expertise, and sharing international practices.
- The judiciary strengthens judicial processes through increasing public trust in and perception of the judiciary;
- The Academy of Justice increases access to ongoing judicial education;
- The Union of Judges ensures a strong and independent judiciary through specificity and clarity in application of ethical standards;
- The judiciary introduces new court practices that will ensure a sustainably independent and professional judges.