The paper considers some obstacles to the exercise of judicial independence in Central Asia ‒ in particular, corruption, structural links between the judiciary and law enforcement organs, the duration of judicial appointments, and the influence of the executive. Particular attention is paid to the academic qualifications of candidates for judicial offices, and to the role of international and comparative law in judges´ professional purview. It is suggested that the quality of the administration of justice matters not only for the resolution of specific disputes among individuals and legal entities but, more generally, for improving social welfare, and for States´ social and economic development. This goal may be reached by effectuating long-term judicial appointments of candidates from among the most qualified and experienced advocates in civil, family and criminal matters, as well as by considerably improving judges´ financial provision.
Constitutional justice is one of the types of carrying out the constitutional review which involves scrutiny by specific (quasi-)judicial bodies. Activities of constitutional councils or courts are perhaps the most important tool in ensuring real constitutionalism. This paper analyses the main features of the constitutional justice system of Kazakhstan and discusses its similarities with and differences from constitutional systems of some European countries. It looks at the current legal basis, status and practice of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan, describes several major problems faced by this key structure and attempts to explain possible reasons and factors behind them. The paper eventually offers concrete solutions based on successful constitutional judicial practice of the above-mentioned Western systems whilst taking into account the particularities of Kazakhstan's constitutional system conditioned by its own unique context within wider Central Asia.
Recent challenges against international courts from national authorities reflect different attitudes toward the international legal order, as they may reflect a recoil against western centrism or particular international institutions, and sometimes a means of populist policies. As to the Turkish case, resistance to decisions of the ECtHR may be regarded as a crucial part of the recent authoritarian turn, as local courts have so far declined the implementation of more than 1500 rulings of the ECtHR. This paper will first reveal different patterns of resistance to international court decisions from domestic courts, and will focus on remarkable international court decisions that have been declined by Turkish courts to abide. In doing so, it aims at both exploring the dynamics of recent backlash against international courts and examining the meaning of international law in illiberal democracies.