President of the Constitutional Court of Turkiye, Mr. Zühtü Arslan and Constitutional Justice of the Republic of Indonesia M. Guntur Hamzah deliver presentation in the second session of the international conference to commemorate Kazakhstan’s Constitution Day and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Thursday-Friday, September 7-9, 2023 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Thirty constitutional jurisdictions and relevant institutions including the Venice Commission, the Ombudsman of several European countries, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) attended the conference on “Constitutional Justice: Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All,” which was divided into four sessions.
The conference was opened officially by Chief Justice Azimova Elvira Abilkhasimovna at the grand hall of the Constitutional Court of Kazakhstan. In her remarks, she emphasized that constitutional justice is one of the most important elements of a democratic society as it is the protector of the dignity, liberty, and justice for all, and guarantor of the protection of the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and justice in courts. “In January 2023, the Constitutional Court of Kazakhstan started as the substitute to the Constitutional Council. Thus, it is important that it learns from other constitutional courts through this conference,” she said.
President Arslan noting that “the mere existence of constitutional or supreme courts is not sufficient to protect fundamental rights and freedoms”, underlined that an effective and functional constitutional judiciary depended on the fulfilment of external and internal conditions. He further stated “Both are related to the institutional quality of the constitutional order. … The external condition is the predominance of the principle of separation of powers in the constitutional system. This principle is based on the idea that in cases where the legislative, executive and judicial powers are not divided into separate branches, the protection of rights and freedoms becomes impossible. … The internal condition for an effective constitutional jurisdiction is that the constitutional courts adopt a rights-based paradigm. … The rights-based paradigm requires that the constitution be interpreted in favour of freedoms by giving priority to fundamental rights vis-a-vis any kind of social and political interests.”.
In the same session, Justice Guntur delivered a presentation on “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a Universal Document on Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Access of Citizens to Justice and Equal Opportunities: Ideas and Perspectives”. He emphasized the importance of constitutional justice from the perspective of judicial technology and digital transformation, and revealed how the MKRI uses technology to ensure access to justice. He stressed that since its establishment, the MKRI had carried the concept of a modern court and continued to endeavor to provide information technology-based support facilities and equipment within the scope of both general administration and judicial administration systems.
“In order to realize an efficient, effective, transparent, and accountable work process and improve the quality of public services, the MKRI has built and provided ICT-based applications and services to support both case handling and general administration. It has broken conservative court procedural law in Indonesia through electronic-based case management,” he added.
Aside from the conference, the Constitutional Court of Kazakhstan also held a seminar on “Constitutional Law in the 21st Century: The Rule of Law and the Protection of Human Rights Towards the Rule of Law and Security.” Delegation members, foreign legal experts, representatives of state institutions and organization of the Republic of Kazakhstan, students of M. Narikbayev KAZGUU University, students of L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, students of the Academy of Public Adminsitration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Academy of Justice, the Law Enforcement Academy, and legal practitioners attended the seminar.