ILF Executive Director Participates in Kazakhstan Criminal Defense Roundtable

Jennifer Smith, the ILF’s executive director, recently travelled to Kazakhstan to participate in an expert roundtable discussion on enhancing the role of defense lawyers in protecting constitutional rights and freedoms in criminal proceedings. As Kazakhstan reforms its criminal procedure code, Smith highlighted the importance of ensuring that accused persons have access to a defense lawyer early in the criminal justice process. She also discussed the recently adopted UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, and the practical guidance they offer to states seeking to improving their criminal legal aid systems.

The event was organized by the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of Parliament), the Supreme Court, the Republican Collegium of Advocates, the OSCE Centre in Astana, the EU, the Legal Policy Research Centre and the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan.

A press release from the OSCE Centre in Astana is available here, and an article from the Astana Times on the event is available here.

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