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№21 (108) 5 - 18 November 2003

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Dmitry Maslov, Ruslan Kabasov

The sore spot

The Supreme Court of Kazakhstan has elaborated a program intended for improvement of the existent judicial system. It will be put into effect in 2004-2006. 32.4 billion of tenge is necessary for its realization. On October,24 in Astana at the Highest Court session Vladimir Borisov(the chairman of the Judicial Administration Committee told about it. He was quoted as saying "the program is likely to solve different problems. There are such innovations as a jury institution, courts of different jurisdiction(where the juvenile tax evasion cases would be heard), independence of courts from other law enforcement agencies, the protection of judges victims and witnesses."

The efficiency of the Kazakhstani judicial system is really a sore spot for our people, because practically each of us may face the situation when it is necessary to sue. Kazakhstani court is a real hell kitchen. According to the words of Kairat Mami( the Chairman of the Supreme Court) the reforming of the judicial system is practically completed and main problems are solved. In reality it is not really so. The numerous complaints of the Chief prosecutor, MPs, general public addressed to the Head of State question the efficiency of reform.

On April,24 Rashid Tusupbekov-(the Chief Prosecutor Of our republic) wrote an open letter to the president. He said that judges are deeply corrupt. In 2002 14548 ruling were either abrogated or changed. This data demonstrate dangerous trend: it gives an evidence either to the low professionalism of judges or to the deep corruption of these people. The Chief Prosecutor's opinion sounds like a final verdict - the existent judicial system cannot function properly. The main institutions fail to accomplish their main mission, which goes as follows - administering justice.

It would be difficult to bring in any slight changes to make everything work. We should revamp the system. Unfortunately, the western concept of the appointment of judges, the principle of their independence) had the adverse effect on the Kazakhstan soil.. These two basic principles of the western judicial systems are regarded by Kazakhstani judges as a permission to do everything they want and be free from any responsibility.

The same principle of appointment (judges are appointed for life )and independence of the judicial branch leads to the professional degradation of judges. They misinterpret the above mentioned principles. These principles become the main arguments when it comes to the pereatestaziya (the examination that prove the professionalism of this or that person). The importance of this procedure is generally acknowledged and is really critical .Our judges really love the closed sessions. But there are other interesting features. According to the advocates there are numerous examples in the work of the Kazakhstani courts that may seem shocking. The judges accepted a plaint from the deceased person (written of the behalf of deceased), or from the representatives of firm, which was founded by the individual who had only Soviet passport at his or her disposal.

The main problem of the local judicial system is the malfunction of the adversary system. Experts believe that "practice shows that the opinion of the lawyers for the opposing sides of the case is not taken into account. Only the position of judge really plays any role."Another problem with the local judicial system is the following: judges who should respect the law in fact become the main offenders. For example for certain mass media the access to the court room is denied. The hearings are not recordered .

One should also pay attention to a fact that among the corrupted state entities and different governmental bodies courts rank high. Georgiy Kim the Chairman of the commission charged of combating corruption says that corruption of the law enforcement agencies causes serious concern . The judges took the bribes and continue to take them.

These numerous cases of corruption became the basis , the fundament of the whole system. It is evident that advocates won't support these anti-corruprtion campaign, there are clients that are not interested in the settlement of the conflicts according to the law they are looking for the intricate ways to give a bribe. It is a disease. It is a virus.

It is dangerous to introduce such an innovation like a trial by jury. The jury will soon contract the disease as all the institutions of the Kazakhstani judicial system are highly corrupted.One should take into account the mentality of our people. They mostly rely on their system of values and personal relations (antipathy or sympathy)

May be we should elect judges. The independence and long term of their public service seem to be advantages only in the conditions of highly developed democratic institutions and civil society. In our case it leads to the permissiveness and corruption

New project

Almaty akimat begins to realize a new transportation project. Victor Khrapunov has already signed an cooperation agreement with the Head of the company "Lohr industrie" on the construction of monorail roads in the former capital of Kazkahstan.

The problem is really an urgent one. The number of vehicles of different type is really great and traffic jams became a disaster . It is necessary to widen the roads, but due to different reasons it is difficult to do.

Will new project help to some extent? Almaty had a sad experience of cooperation with foreign companies in different fields : transportation, power distribution , and communications. In Kazakhtsan the authorities try to do their best but all their programs often produce zero result. Finally it turns out that in reality Almaty people finance rather shady adventures. Is the new project really such a thing? Fi How the realization of this project will influence the city? Is it a costly undertaking? It seems that considerable sum will be taken out from the city coffers. Will these invested millions tenge return taking into account the fact that the cost of ticket in new comfortable tram cars would be higher than the bus fare.

People of all nations welcome to Kazakhstan

On October, 29 the Mazhilis deputies (MP-s) approved the amendments to the law "Employment of the population". They demonstrated their critical attitude to the opinion of Gulzhan Karagusova - the Minister of Labor and welfare. But this time they seem to be mistaken.

Under the draft law, proposed by the Minister from January, 1 2004 the local authorities are entitled to issue the permissions for the employment of foreigners though within the framework of quota established by the federal government. This new document doesn't infringe the rights of local governing institutions and even gives them additional leverages of power. At the same time the federal government really has more means to control the illegal labor force migration.

Having considered all pros and cons the MPs introduced the amendment that allows the local authorities set up quota for foreign labor force inflow for each region. But it seems that they made such a bold move because they don't like the personality of our Minister.

The desire of MPs to contribute to the development of local governing institutions is quite natural but the regulation of the labor market is not a good thing to begin with. The deputies should take into account the high level of corruption of the local governing institutions and the ability of foreign companies to pay for the "services" rendered by these structures. The MPs seem to forget that in addition to democratization there are other pivotal social problems . One of them is the ability of the state to maintain the national security. The uncontrolled influx of labor force really undermines the stability of the country. By the new amendments the MPs deprived the state of means that could help to control the illegal immigration

Crayfish swan and pike

The eleventh forum of the the Kazakhstani businessmen held under the auspices of the president resembled the performance given in the theater. This time the participants of the conference played certain roles trying to look better than they really are.

It is really necessary to develop the small and middle-sized business. It is generally acknowledged practice that brings certain results worldwide. The President also likes to discuss this issue.

What favorable conditions can the government create for businessmen? Is there a possibility that such a policy will have a boomerang effect? (The businessmen who get certain privileges lose creative abilities. Nazirbayev expressed the same idea. He said that the government can't always care for the small businesses.

Businessmen continue to repeat that they are under constant pressure and ask for new privileges. Officials say that entrepreneurs should do something and stop ask for new subsidies

Each side has its own vision on the problem. Raimbek Batalov - the chairman of the forum believes that " some laws that have been adopted recently which are really vital for the economy in fact play in hands of bureaucrats "

Daniyal Akhmetov says that government use all means to promote the development of small business but they don't see that the businessmen really work.

The situation is like the one described in the famous fable. The problem won't be resolved till we elaborate the rules of play which are the same for all the market participants.

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