Kazakhstan: Final Opinion on Draft Domestic Violence Law Published
Friday, November 6, 2009 9:00 AM

6 November 09


The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published a final opinion on the Draft Domestic Violence Law on 27 October 2009.  The Advocates for Human Rights had also reviewed the draft law, once in August 2008 and more recently in May 2009.  Based on both the OSCE/ODIHR final opinion and The Advocates' review of the law, the following observations can be made.  The key improvements to the most recent Draft Domestic Violence Law include:

  • The provision for “official notice” of the impermissibility of committing domestic violence has been removed from the Domestic Violence Law, however, this term remains in the Draft Law on Crime Prevention.  The latter law is considered to be supreme to the Domestic Violence Law.  OSCE/ODIHR has recommended that the term be removed from the Draft Law on Crime Prevention.
  • Protection orders may be issued immediately by the police and while they are to last 5 days, may be extended to 30 days on application to the prosecutor.  

The key remaining concerns include:

  • The definition of domestic violence does not clearly include those who were formerly in a romantic or sexual relationship who no longer live together.  OSCE/ODIHR has recommended that the broader definition of “family relations” used in The Code of Administrative Offenses be used instead.
  • There is reference to a Law on Special Social Services for provisions related to victim services.   Therefore there are not specific provisions on victim services in the Draft Domestic Violence Law.  The Republic of Kazakhstan should make a draft of the Law on Special Services available for review.  
  • There is a provision for a “preventive interview” with the perpetrator by the police in the Draft Domestic Violence Law, which may have the same effect of an “official notice” or warning.  The provision for a “preventive interview” seems to direct the police to find out the “causes and conditions for domestic violence,” a role that is inappropriate for police and which diverts their attention from protecting the victim.

Compiled from:  OSCE/ODIHR Final opinion on the draft law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on prevention of domestic violence, 27 October 2009; The Advocates for Human Rights Draft Comments on the Draft Domestic Violence Law, August 2008 and May 2009.