NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has signed a controversial law regulating the work of lawyers, which has been criticized by lawyers as a move to state control over their professional activities.
According to the law it was approved With the strictly controlled parliament of the former Soviet republic in April, all lawyers in the Central Asian country become members of a state chamber, pay monthly fees to the state lawyers’ college and register with a state-controlled online information system.
Kazakh lawyers had asked Toqaev to veto the law and return it to parliament, as the law would deprive them of their independence.
The Ministry of Justice, which drafted the bill, rejects the criticism. On June 4, the Constitutional Council declared that the legislation was in line with the Constitution.
Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbaev, who, despite his almost 30-year term in office, retains major political influence in 2019, is a lifelong member of the Constitutional Council, which is chaired by a close ally, Qairat Mami.
Nazarbayev, who also heads the powerful Security Council and as “elbasy” – leader of the nation – enjoys almost limitless powers, named Toqaev, then chairman of the upper chamber of parliament, the Senate, his successor after his resignation.