International conference launches forensic capacity strengthening project

5 December 2016: An international scientific and practical conference held at Hilton Garden Inn Astana launched a forensic capacity strengthening project between Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Justice, KAZGUU University with global partners, and the World Bank. Presided by the Minister of Justice the event gathered together representatives from Kazakhstan’s government agencies, academia, private sector and international experts and practitioners.

In his opening address Marat Beketayev, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Justice, emphasized that since the 1st of July this year all types of forensic expertise are under the purview of his ministry and ‘further development of our justice system requires improvement of many different institutions, including the system of forensic expertise. Therefore this conference is dedicated to the practical issues in the forensics, as well as the idea of creating a chamber of private forensic experts.’ The increasing importance of further development of forensic expertise areas, necessity of raising standards and implementing international best practice corresponds with the main objective of the current project.  Designed to last two years, it would seek to examine ways of improving the legislative and regulatory environments, suggesting and piloting operating standards and performance measurements, and training a large number of local experts overseas.

Talgat Narikbayev, Rector of KAZGUU University which serves as the lead consultant to this project, noted that ‘it is the first time a project of such scale and strategic importance is being implemented by the university, which is another acknowledgement of our scientific potential at the highest level. We are pleased to work together with leading institutions in education and expert community as only a systemic and multidimensional approach can ensure objective and reliable results.’  KAZGUU’s international partners include universities, labs and consulting companies such as King’s College London, Key Forensic Services and QPA Strategies, with Astana Garant Consulting serving as a partner in Kazakhstan.

‘It is a great honour to be involved in the modernization of the justice sector in Kazakhstan and lead such a wide scale programme,’ said Yury Bikbaev, Project Leader. ‘The main objective is to build a modern system of forensic expertise based on best international practice and standards, and knowing the vast scale of experience project partners bring together I’m more than sure of a successful and mutually beneficial cooperation.’