In December 2017, the IBA (BIC), represented by its Senior Vice-Chair, Péter Koves, prepared an Expert Analysis on the Draft Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On advocacy and legal assistance” (hereinafter “Draft Law”), further to the official request from the new member of IBA, the Republican Collegium of Advocates of Kazakhstan (the “RCA”), to participate in the independent expert analysis of this Draft Law, which believed to substantially limit the independence and guarantees of the advocacy in Kazakhstan.
The initiative of the RCA is also symbolic, it will be 20 years since Kazakhstan has adopted the law “On advocacy” and currently the Ministry of Justice sees the need for its reformation and revision (of the current model on provision of legal assistance) in the view of solving various problematic issues. However, it is understood, that the Draft Law had caused significant concern within the legal profession community of Kazakhstan, especially within the advocacy.
IBA (BIC) is pleased to be part of the independent expert analysis and the development of the advocacy in Kazakhstan and honoured to present its views on the various questions posed by the RCA mainly concerning the independence of the profession and the possible state intervention into the activities of the advocates. The expert analysis raised additional issues of concern, in particular, inter alia, the state advocacy shall not be created in democratic state and advocacy in its principle should operate independent from the state and from executive interference. Additionally, the raised issues of concern included, unclear and narrow definition of “conflict of interest” notion, excessive state control and supervision over advocates and its associations, unjustified separation of legal profession into “advocates” and “legal consultants” and danger in disclosure of protected attorney-client privilege information.
The expert analysis included recommendations aimed at improving the Draft Law and in overall development of advocacy as an institution of civil society. As a result and the product of the above work, Péter Köves, has been invited by the RCA to take part in the Annual Forum of Advocates in Kazakhstan in December 2017 dedicated to discuss the “Actual Issues of the Reform of Advocacy in the RK”.