Kazakh Senate adopts measures to humanise criminal justice system further

ASTANA – The Kazakh Parliament’s Senate (upper chamber) adopted June 21 amendments to humanise the criminal and criminal procedural legislation and improve the activities of law enforcement and special state agencies, Parliament’s press service reports.

6d25760e-27b5-49ee-9cea-80256e7e34dfThe new amendments include, but are not limited to the following: criminal legislation is being humanised; the range of sentences alternative to imprisonment in the form of public works, restriction of freedom, fines and others is being expanded; the scope of the preventive measure in the form of detention is reduced and opportunities for other measures of restraint, including home arrest and bail, are expanded; limitation periods for bringing to criminal responsibility and execution of conviction for grave and especially grave crimes are decreased; terms of deprivation of liberty for certain official, economic and other crimes not connected with grave consequences are reduced; and the possibility of exemption from criminal liability for active repentance or reconciliation in cases of torture is excluded.

While preserving the principle of one-man management in the internal affairs bodies’ system, the role of akims (governors and mayors) in the provision of law and order in the territory of the corresponding administrative-territorial unit is increased.

For instance, the plan is to unite local police services and internal affairs departments into unified police departments. The right to appoint and dismiss the heads of these departments will be given to akims of regions, cities of national significance and the capital. The Minister of Internal Affairs will propose the candidates. They will be chosen out of the police officers of the Presidential Reserve of the leadership of law enforcement and special state agencies.

In addition, the law provides the akims with the right to set tasks before the territorial police authority, which are now within the competence of the local police service, without interfering with operational-search and procedural activities. The law improves the effectiveness of measures to prevent crime, counter terrorism and fight domestic violence and recidivism.

To implement these and other goals, amendments were made to the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedural Code and the Penal Enforcement Code of Kazakhstan, as well as to 12 laws.

The bill has now been sent to President Nursultan Nazarbayev for his consideration.