The Legal Policy Research Centre is a non-political, independent think tank established by a group of Kazakhstan lawyers in April 2008. It is based in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and operates in the region of Central Asia. The LPRC conducts policy research, proposes alternative policy solutions, and provides resources and support to policy makers and researchers. Specifically, LPRC evaluates programs and pilot projects to inform policy debates and influence policy, promotes open, informed and inclusive dialogue in decision making, identifies and creates effective instruments of interaction with political and business elites aimed at promotion of the rule of law and liberal values, promotes a holistic approach to the implementation of policy, and supports strengthening the role of the expert community in informing policy debates and influencing legal policy.
The Mission of the Legal Policy Research Centre is to strengthen the rule of law and democratic values through effective legal reform.
THE OVERARCHING GOALS of the organization are to:
Promote innovative approaches to development of legal policy and implementation of legal reforms in the framework of general democratization of the society;
Contribute to development of effective instruments of civil society interaction with political and business elites for informed decision making;
Strengthen the role of independent expert community in the process of legal policy formulation.
Adhere to professional standards of excellence, integrity and objectivity;
Provide high-quality outputs in our work;
Practice Equality and Respect to all individuals we work with;
Demonstrate transparency and accountability in our actions;
Share, involve, engage and take leadership to promote common good.
Conduct high-quality policy research, programme evaluations and pilot projects with the objective of informing policy debates and influencing legal policy;
Communicate the results of the work to policymakers and other interested stakeholders including political parties, non-governmental organizations, business and the public, to influence legal policy;
Contribute to development of the decision making culture in the field of legal policy based on open, informed and inclusive dialogue;
Advance the development of different professional groups in the area of legal policy development and implementation;
Identify and create effective instruments of interaction with political and business elites aimed at promotion of the rule of law and liberal values in legal policy;
Promote holistic approach in implementation of legal policy in the framework of its integration in the process of general democratization of society;
Conduct research aiming at bringing national legislation and law enforcement practices in conformity with international standards and political commitments;
Identify problems that require studying and analyzing options, making findings widely available for the public and advocating for policy changes;
Elaborate effective strategies of co-operation with private sector on strengthening the rule of law and promoting of liberal values.
Independence from political parties and government;
Adherence to the principles of humanism, freedom and democracy;
Transparency in implementing projects;
Responsiveness to the agenda of policy makers;
Special attention to medium and longer-term issues, even when those are not (yet) issues for policy makers;
Consensus building with government and private sector on policy development.
LPRC’S METHODS OF OPERATION include:
Empirical and legal research & analysis on key issues of legal policy reform in the region;
Monitoring of legislation on its compliance with international human rights standards;
Advocacy to promote strategic objectives and encourage dialogue among key actors on issues of legal policy development.
LPRC’S WORKS IN THE FOLLOWING STRATEGIC AREAS:
Rule of law
In the area of rule of law LPRC is focused on criminal justice policy, independence of the judiciary and administrative justice reform.
In criminal justice area, LPRC’s objective is to promote universal standards of fair trial, enshrined in the international human rights law. Specifically, LPRC works to enhance judicial review of investigation, including judicial sanctioning of measures restricting individual freedoms; to strengthen criminal procedures that ensure equality of parties between the prosecution and defense; to reform rules of evidence and standards to proof to guarantee effective justice system; to promote early access to legal aid for all; to improve safeguards against torture, including principles on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture (Istanbul protocol).
In the area of judicial independence, LPRC is working to promote the standards and principles embodied in the Kyiv Recommendations on Judicial Independence in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia, designed under the auspices of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) together with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Based on the in-depth research of legal systems and practices, the recommendations are focused on three strategic themes that have significant impact on independence of individual judges. The themes are: (1) Judicial Administration with a focus on judicial councils, judicial self-governing bodies and the role of court chairs; (2) Judicial Selection – criteria and procedures; and (3) Accountability of Judges and Judicial Independence in Adjudication.
In the area of administrative justice reform, LPRC’s objective to promote establishment of the proper administrative process that enables individuals and businesses raise grievances, challenge and resolve disputes against administrative or executive decisions made by or on behalf of the state. LPRC will promote the administrative justice system based on the principles of fairness, accessibility and efficiency. The work will entail technical expertise on drafting of the new Administrative Procedure Code, the law on Administrative procedures, regulating the process of making administrative decisions and on developing proper institutional framework in the country.
International Human Rights Standards & Mechanisms
LPRC continues to employ international mechanisms to promote compliance with international human rights treaties. The work includes alternative reporting to the UN treaty bodies on country’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture, as well as under the Universal Periodic Review. LPRC builds on this on-going work to promote human rights instruments at the national level, such as National Action Plan on Human Rights, etc.
In addition to providing analysis on the status of human rights in the country, LPRC is working to streamline the process of collecting and processing human rights data. The objective is to integrate OHCRH Human Rights Indicators in the work of NGOs to standardize human rights monitoring and reporting process.
Human rights based public policy
LPRC seeks to promote advocacy oriented research and policy analysis that questions existing government policies and practices, explores alternatives and provides the basis for policy reforms integrating human rights standards.
LPRC’s first initiative is to promote implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights under the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework.