NI-CO practitioners have recently arrived in Astana to commence work on their first ever EU funded Grant programme in Kazakhstan. The €5.5 million project will see NI-CO work alongside the UK Ministry of Justice, the Dutch Probation Service and the Polish National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution to strengthen the rule of law and the reform of the judiciary in Kazakhstan through supporting the implementation of the national policy of humanization of the justice system.
Over a 36 month period, NI-CO will work closely with a range of key stakeholder institutions and groups, namely the Ministries of Justice and Interior, Supreme Court, probation service, prison service and a host of legal professionals to implement both the Kazakh President’s “Action Plan on Implementing New Criminal Legislation” and the EU Annual Action Plan for Kazakhstan. Of crucial importance to the project will be the involvement of civil society organisations in the design of new initiatives to raise public awareness of reforms and build public confidence in the justice system.
As well as providing a comprehensive training package for legal professionals on relevant legal subjects, modern training techniques and technical subjects relating to the duty of care within the penal system, the NI-CO led team will be tasked with developing guidelines for pre-trial detention, implementing principles for alternative forms of criminal punishment and developing recommendations and advice on practical support to those who have completed a custodial sentence.