Gulsim Tanatova, a judge of the specialized economic court of Kazakhstan’s Kyzylorda Region, is one of 16 study tour participants who attended an intellectual property seminar at the CEELI Institute in Prague. With the help of the seminar, organized by the USAID Kazakhstan Judicial Education Project
, she learned international best practices on patents, trademarks, and copyrights. After the tour, she facilitated a seminar for her colleagues from the specialized economic court in Kyzylorda to share the information she had gained on international best practices in intellectual property rights enforcement.
Gulsim is an integral part of USAID’s effort to assist Kazakhstan by inspiring confidence in the ability of its courts to uphold contractual rights and fairly resolve commercial and intellectual property disputes. As a result of the study tour, she is well on her way to becoming an expert in intellectual property rights and, through peer-to-peer training, can serve as a champion for her colleagues on the application of international best practices.
Increasing the number of judges like Gulsim raises the capacity of Kazakhstan’s courts, helping ensure rulings adhere to international practices. Skilled judges are also able to make recommendations for further development of Kazakhstan’s legislation. Improved legislation will increase the transparency of commercial law procedures, making investing in Kazakhstan more attractive to foreign organizations. Gulsim says the study tour taught judges how to train colleagues, as well as how to make the right decisions in court hearings.
Gulsim thinks that to optimize the study tour’s benefits, follow-up roundtable discussions, where judges can share experience and discuss the issues that arise during court proceedings, should be organized. “The truth comes up in dispute. I encourage other judges to participate in the training and seminars provided by USAID, where they can develop new skills in new areas and share experience with other judges.”