June 26, 2019
Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the recent disbarment of Sergey Sizintsev, a senior partner at the De Facto law firm in Kazakhstan and former Executive Director of the Republican Bar Association.
According to our information, Sergey Sizintsev served as the Executive Director of the Republican Bar Association from 2016 to 2018. In this capacity, he actively criticized the law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’, adopted in July 2018, which could undermine the independence of the legal profession in Kazakhstan. Moreover, he made public statements in multiple international and national settings with respect to issues related to the independence of the legal profession and has been critical about the work and functioning of the Ministry of Justice.
On 23 October 2018, Sizintsev was unexpectedly dismissed from his position as Executive Director of the Republic Bar Association. In March 2019, disbarment proceedings against him were initiated by the Ministry of Justice, based on Article 44 of the 2018 law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’. The official ground for these proceedings was that Sizintsev from 2016 to 2018 occupied the function of Executive Director of the National Bar Association, while at the same time continuing his legal practice and received salary for both functions.
On 21 May 2019, Sergey Sizintsev was disbarred by the Petropavlovsk Court. The court stated that Mr Sizintsev violated the law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’, which would prohibit legal practice alongside paid employment that is not related to educational, scientific or creative activities.