Kazakhstan Adopts Recommended Extradition Practices

UNODC's Legal Advisory Programme's efforts to establish best extradition practices in Kazakhstan have this year come to fruition, evident in the acceptance of a series of key amendments to national legislation. The noteworthy amendments were introduced into the provisions on the extradition of the Criminal Procedure code by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan entitled 'On the amendments to certain legislative acts with regard to further humanization of criminal legislation and strengthening of the rule of law guarantees in the criminal proceedings.

Changes include the introduction of provisions allowing for the review and appeal of the General Prosecutor's or an authorized prosecutor's decision to extradite a sought person, a ten-day time period during which the either person sought or his defence can make such an appeal. Another amendment has introduced the principle of non-refoulement, prohibiting the expulsion of a person to a state when there are grounds to believe they may be at risk of torture. Thus, a set of grounds for refusal of extradition was supplemented accordingly.

These legislative changes provide a person sought with an instrument enabling to ensure that extradition takes place only in strict accordance with the law excluding partial decisions and strengthen the right of a person sought to protection from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, which is in line with a number of international instruments and best practices.

Active in Central Asia since 2000, the Legal Advisory Programme's segment for Central Asia and Azerbaijan has been delivering a legal assistance service intended to help states in the region with ratifying and effectively implementing the UN drugs, organized crime and corruption instruments. The Programme is run by Senior Legal Adviser based at the Regional Office for Central Asia in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).

Among other objectives, the Programme strives to promote international cooperation in combating organized crime, drug and human trafficking, migrants smuggling, corruption and money laundering while drawing the States' special attention to the rule of law guarantees in the criminal proceedings.