Sergey Sizintsev disbarred
26 mei 2019

Sergey Sizintsev disbarred

Kazachstan

On 21 May 2019, the Petropavlovsk Court disbarred lawyer Sergey Sizintsev. The ground for his disbarment is the fact that Sizintsev occupied a function in the Republican Bar Association while at the same time continuing his legal work. This is a practice, according to our information, not prohibited by law in Kazakhstan.

Sergey Sizintsev is a senior partner at the De Facto law firm from Kazakhstan and from 2016 to 2018 he served as the Executive Director of the Republican Bar Association until he was unexpectedly dismissed. As the Executive Director of the Republic Bar Organization Sizintsev actively criticized the newly adopted law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’, which poses a threat to the independence of the legal profession in Kazakhstan.

In March 2019 disbarment proceedings against him were initiated by the Ministry of Justice. The official ground for these proceedings was that Sizintsev from 2016 to 2018 occupied the function of Executive Director of the National Bar Association, while at the same time continuing his legal practice and received salary for both functions. However this is a practice according to our information not prohibited by the law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’, since Article 33 (11) explicitly states that lawyers are allowed to take up paid elective or appointive office in a regional bar association, the Republican Bar Association or international public bar associations.

On 21 May 2019, Sergey Sizintsev was disbarred by the Petropavlovsk Court. The court stated that Mr Sizintzev violated the law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’, which prohibits legal practice alongside paid employment that is not related to educational, scientific or creative activities. As stated before, this is not in accordance with the laws of Kazakhstan. It is feared that these proceedings and the disbarment are a retaliation for Sergey Sizintsev’s open criticism of the recent reforms of the legal profession in Kazakhstan.

Lawyers for Lawyers therefore calls on the relevant authorities to reconsider this decision in accordance with article 33.11 of the law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’.

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