This year during April and May, Legal Policy Research Centre conducted Moot court on the rights and freedoms of migrants among Kazakhstani lawyers.

Moot court is a legal competition, simulating consideration of the hypothetical case in national or international court. This time, we conducted Moot Court simulating the process of case consideration in the UN Human Rights Committee.

Due to continuing situation concerning COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine restrictions, migrants, being one of the most vulnerable population categories, were the first affected by imposed restrictions.

Only in January-February of 2021 in the result of cooperation with International Organization for Migration, 133 thousand of migrants got back to their homeland. 647 migrants were deported from Kazakhstan. In this regard, hypothetical case, exclusively drafted for Moot court, concerned the rights of migrant workers particularly. What is more, lawyers were advocating the interests of disabled people, and children rights additionally.

Sixteen lawyers from all Kazakhstan regions were selected to participate in our moot court. Qualifying rounds were held in the end of April, semi-final on the 1st of May, and the final took place on 15th of May, where the winners were Leila Ramazanova, lawyer of the Almaty City Bar Association and Zhanara Sundetkaliyeva, lawyer of the Atyrau City Bar Association.

The judges of Moot court were Dmitry Bartenev, head of the human rights practice at Onegin Group, with Elvira Bokhanova, lawyer of the Almaty City Bar Association.

Semi-finalist Guldana Zharmagambetova, lawyer of Nur-Sultan Bar Association, noted, that Moot court was a great opportunity to refresh her memory on norms of national and international character – conventions, agreements, treaties and other. Ruslan Sherubayev, advocate of East Kazakhstan Region Bar Association and her colleague, shares her opinion and adds that competitional essence of mooting and novelty gave great experience in practical activities.

During the coronavirus pandemic, more than 3,000 foreign nationals were held administratively liable for violating migration laws. All of this concurs that quarantine has made it difficult to live for migrants in the country. By the end of the moot court, the participants shared the idea that there is a necessity to conduct a moot court in the state language for lawyers from the regions of Kazakhstan to raise their awareness of the norms of international law. According to them, lawyers in the regions encounter migrants much more often than in big cities.

Moot court is organized by the Legal Policy Research Center (LPRC) together with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the International Commission of Jurists – European Institutions (ICJ-EI), with the financial support of the European Union within the project “Enhancing legal protection of migrants rights in Kazakhstan”.

The contents of this publication are the responsibility of the Legal Policy Research Center and do not reflect the views of the European Union.

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