Concluding observations UN Human Rights Committee
1 August 2016

Concluding observations UN Human Rights Committee


In June 2016, the UN Human Rights Committee reviewed Kazakhstan’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. The Committee has hereafter issued the concluding observations of this review.

Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the recommendation in which the Committee calls on the Kazakh authorities to “review the powers of the Office of the Prosecutor General to ensure that the independence of judiciary is not undermined and the equality of arms principle is strictly observed”, and to “ensure sufficient safeguards to guarantee, in practice, the independence of lawyers, refrain from taking any actions that may constitute harassment or persecution or undue interference in their work, and bring to justice those responsible for any such actions.”

In a submission, Lawyers for Lawyers highlighted that the Kazakh authorities do not always uphold the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession in practice. Lawyers are regularly subject to improper interference, attempts to put pressure on them, including by judges and public prosecutors or disciplinary actions on improper grounds. Some lawyers are even subjected to criminal proceedings or forced psychiatric confinement, in connection to their legitimate professional activities. Furthermore, public prosecutors still play a dominant role in legal proceedings. The prosecution calls lawyers as witnesses in the cases against their clients. As a result, lawyers are not in an equal position to represent their clients.

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