Address to Kazakhstan Legal Professionals
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
After gaining independence, Kazakhstan entered a new phase in its history as a sovereign and active member of the international community. The changes that were taking place in different areas of the country’s life required new approaches to law, building a state governed by the rule of law and its institutions, the legal behavior of its citizens and, accordingly, rethinking the place and role of legal professionals in the society. Judicial reforms are a key tool in the state-building process, but implementation of large-scale efforts related to lawmaking, judicial system, legal education, and promotion of legal awareness and information often face serious challenges.
As you all know, currently providers of legal services in Kazakhstan are attorneys, law firms and individual entrepreneurs with virtually no regulation of the legal services market in place and legal services are sometimes offered by people with very little or no knowledge of Kazakh law, by former law-enforcement officers and attorneys dismissed from work on reputation grounds or for violation of the legislation governing attorney professional practice or even by persons with no legal training whatsoever.
However, the approaches to regulation of this market applied in advanced economy counties are very different from those used in Kazakhstan.
In Western Europe, admission to practice law is granted only to those who have gained professional legal training in a respective country, passed a qualification exam and joined a self-regulating association of legal professionals. A breach of the established standards of ethics may entail revocation of the admission to practice law.
To efficiently deal with these challenges and to improve the quality of legal services, we need to develop fundamental legal principles which will govern the activities of all legal services practitioners based on self-regulation.
Thus, we have proposed to set up Kazakhstan Bar Association which will be formed by voluntary members who will have to meet with the mandatory qualification requirements ultimately aimed at minimization of the revealed problems of the market of legal services, development and improvement of professional expertise and gaining more trust to legal professionals from people and businesses.
As an important requirement for admission of new members to the Association, candidates will have to accept the Code of ethics which will match the highest standards established in developed countries. The Association will also make decisions on recommending legal professionals to practice law based on the results of delivery of specialized tests on knowledge of law and the Code of ethics. We want to build a large-scale and strong organization to furnish legal professionals to practice law based on the principle of self-regulation but with the support from the government on the legislative level similarly to other countries. Members of the Kazakhstan Bar Association will have wide access to legal practice, will be able to participate in drafting of regulations in various fields of law and share knowledge and experience with their peers. Our professional association will have an important role in the development and maintenance of professional qualification and competence level.
The Kazakhstan Bar Association’s Conference is scheduled to take place on April 27, 2012. The main agenda items of the Conference will be: election of the Association’s governing bodies, presentations on international legal practices of bar associations, as well as admission of new members and expansion of geographical presence. To prepare for the Conference, we need to know the number of attendees and determine its venue. If you are a lawyer who meets the eligibility criteria and if you wish to join the Association, please fill in the application and send it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference will be held in the hall located in Rahat Palace Hotel to the address: 29/6, Satpayev Ave., Almaty.
Please be informed the amount of annual membership dues makes 20.000 tenge, thus the entrance fee isn't provided.
Enclosure: Draft Charter of the Kazakhstan Lawyers Association.
We look forward to cooperating with you in the future.