The First Victory of Sayat Zholshy & Partners in the Kazakhstan Supreme Court Administrative Proceedings

With effect from 1 July 2021, Kazakhstan introduced new Code of Administrative Procedure and Proceedings No. 350-VI (the “CAPP”) resulting in the establishment of new Specialised Interdistrict Administrative Courts with jurisdiction over conflicts involving actions/omissions of government authorities and officers thereof.

On 2 July 2021, just in one day after the inception of the new Almaty City Specialised Interdistrict Administrative Court, the SZP Dispute Resolution team filed a lawsuit, on behalf of a Client, challenging an unfavourable customs administrative act in full compliance with the new CAPP.

Last week, the Administrative Division of the Kazakhstan Supreme Court issued a ruling to uphold all the relevant local court judgments issued in favour of our Client to date.

This has become the first administrative case won by SZP team in all instances of the Kazakhstan judicial system under the new CAPP.

This particular case was handled by SZP Managing Partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin, the head of the SZP Dispute Resolution Practice.

Once again we are happy to share with everyone good news.  We have won the first administrative case launched on 2 July 2021, i.e. in one day after the inception of new administrative courts in Kazakhstan.  Last week, the Kazakhstan Supreme Court gave a quietus to the litigation, agreed with our arguments and upheld all the judgments issued by the Almaty courts which declared the unfavourable customs administrative act illegal.  11 months elapsed between the date of the administrative case filing with the court of first instance and the date of the ruling issuance by the Kazakhstan Supreme Court with regard to the case.  I deem such time frame to be reasonable, considering that the resolution of tax and customs disputes usually takes much longer compared to other lawsuits.  We’ve already shared our impressions of administrative cases handling by the interdistrict administrative courts and, now, we would like to turn attention to the way how the Administrative Division of the Kazakhstan Supreme Court handles such cases.  In our opinion, the new practices differ radically from the practices applied by the Civil Division to similar cases in the past.  Could you ever have imagined that the Kazakhstan Supreme Court hears a cassational appeal for hours?!  That’s incredible!  However, it’s new reality.  Our practice has shown that the Administrative Division judges of the Kazakhstan Supreme Court hardly limit the time accorded to speakers at all.  They try to preserve the adversarial nature of the judicial process and to get to the nub of the case.  They address a whole host of questions to the representatives of government authorities asking them to justify the legality of their unfavourable administrative act.  It cannot but please us!” says Vitaliy Vodolazkin, Managing Partner of Sayat Zholshy & Partners.

For over 25 years, Sayat Zholshy & Partners has been specialising in resolving and managing disputes involving government authorities, including, but not limited to, tax, customs and antitrust authorities.  SZP Dispute Resolution Practice has been repeatedly awarded and ranked by many international legal guides and rating agencies.  The Practice Leader, Managing Partner Vitaliy Vodolazkin, has been recognised by the leading international ranking agencies as a leading dispute resolution lawyer.