LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
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Summary of Lawsuits in 2008
by the Ecological Society Green Salvation



1. Lawsuit on the Refusal by the Statistics Department of Western Kazakhstan Oblast
to Provide Environmental Information*.

The lawsuit was filed in the interests of citizens on February 14, 2007 in the Court of the City of Uralsk, and then in the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Western Kazakhstan Oblast (SIEC WKO).

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize the actions of the defendant—the Head of the Statistics Department of Western Kazakhstan Oblast, who refused to provide the Ecological Society Green Salvation with requested information regarding emissions of polluted matter into the atmosphere by the enterprise “Karachaganak Petroleum Operating, B.V.”—in violation of the rights and legal interests of a natural entity.

2. To require the defendant to provide the Ecological Society Green Salvation with the requested information.

3. To submit a court ruling to the Statistics Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the lack of compliance with the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the part of the Head of the Statistics Department of Western Kazakhstan Oblast.

On May 7, the SIEC WKO refused to satisfy the lawsuit demands.
On June 12, the Board of Appeals for Civic Affairs of the Western Kazakhstan Oblast Court retained the decision of the SIEC WKO without changes, and the appellate complaint without satisfaction.
The Review Board of the Western Kazakhstan Oblast Court refused to file a complaint for review.
In December, a complaint for review was filed with the Supreme Court’s Review Board on Civic Affairs.
On March 26, 2008, the Supreme Court’s Review Board on Civic Affairs made a decision on the satisfaction of the complaint: “The decision of the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Western Kazakhstan Oblast from May 7, 2007 and the court ruling by the Board on Civ ic Affairs of the Western Kazakhstan Oblast Court from June 12, 2007 have been repealed. The Statistics Department of Western Kazakhstan Oblast is required to provide the ES Green Salvation with the requested environmental information.” A decision substantiated by the statutes of the Aarhus Convention!

The decision entered into legal force. On April 29, 2008, The Statistics Department of Western Kazakhstan Oblast provided the requested information.



2. Lawsuit on the Refusal of the Subsidiary State Enterprise “AlmatygorNPTSzem”
to Provide Environmental Information.

The lawsuit was filed in the interests of local residents on September 24, 2007 in the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Almaty City.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize the actions of the defendant—the Director of “AlmatygorNPTSzem”, who refused to provide the Ecological Society Green Salvation with a copy of the state act on the right to private ownership of a land plot, which was allocated as a water conservation zone, as well as information on its registration in the “Center for Real Estate of Almaty City”—as an omission.

2. To require the Director of “AlmatygorNPTSzem” to provide the Ecological Society Green Salvation with a copy of the state act on the land plot, and information on its registration with the “Center for Real Estate of Almaty City”.

3. To submit a court ruling to the Akim of Almaty City on the lack of compliance with the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the part of the Director of “AlmatygorNPTSzem”.

On November 23, the Court refused to satisfy the lawsuit demands.

The verdict was received on January 31, 2008.
On February 5, an oversight complaint was submitted to the Review Board on Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court.
On April 1, the Review Board issued a decree of the court on the partial satisfaction of the complaint. The court ruling was denied.
The decision entered into legal force.
The subsidiary state enterprise “AlmatygorNPTSzem” provided the information.



3. Lawsuit on the Repeal of the Decision by the Akimat of Almaty City on the Allocation of the Land Plot
in the Water Protection Strip of the Yesentai River, which is under Private Construction.

The lawsuit was filed in the interests of local residents on January 8, 2008 in the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Almaty City, and then on January 17 in Court No. 1 of the Bostandykskу District of Almaty City, and then on February 1 in the Medeu District Court of Almaty City.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize as illegal the decision of the Akimat of Almaty City to grant the right of private ownership of the land plot and a buy/sell agreement for this land plot, and to repeal them.

2. To recognize as illegal the State Act on the Right to Private Property on the land provided to “AlmatygorNPTSzem”, and repeal it.

3. To require the owners to remove all of the waste from the aforementioned land plot, located in the water protection strip, and to recultivate the plot.

4. To issue a court ruling on the violations of the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan by state bodies.

On January 14, the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court refused to admit the lawsuit in connection with the court’s lack of jurisdiction.
On January 17, the lawsuit was filed with Court No. 1 of the Bostandykskу District of Almaty City.
On January 24, Court No. 1 of the Bostandykskу District refused to admit the lawsuit in connection with the court’s lack of jurisdiction.
On February 1, the lawsuit was filed in the Medeu District Court of Almaty City.
On April 22, the Medeu District Court refused to satisfy the lawsuit.
On May 5, the Board of Appeals for Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court rejected the appellate complaint.
On July 8, a complaint for review was filed in the Review Board on Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court.
On July 16, the Review Board on Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court refused to consider the complaint for review.
On July 31, a complaint for review was filed with the Supreme Court’s Review Board on Civic Affairs.
On September 25, the Supreme Court’s Review Board on Civic Affairs refused to renew the complaint.



4. Lawsuit against the Administrator of the Courts of Almaty City
for Failing to Implement the Decision of the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Almaty City
regarding the Liquidation of the Unsanctioned Dumping Ground
for Construction and Household Waste by the “Chimbulak” Mountain Ski Resort.

The lawsuit was filed on May 19, 2008, in the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court (SIEC) of Almaty City.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize as an omission the failure of the Administrator of the Courts to implement the September 10, 2007 decision by the SIEC of Almaty City.

2. To oblige the Administrator of the Courts of Almaty City to implement the September 10, 2007 decision the SIEC, in accordance with the Law “On Executive Legal Proceedings”.

On May 23, the SIEC refused to admit the lawsuit in connection with the court’s lack of jurisdiction.
On June 9, the lawsuit was filed in Court No. 1 of the Bostandyksky District of Almaty City.
On June 11, Court No. 1 of the Bostandyksky District refused to admit the lawsuit in connection with the court’s lack of jurisdiction.
On June 20, a private complaint was filed in the Almaty City Court.
On July 23, the Board on Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court determined the jurisdiction.
On August 26, the lawsuit was filed for a second time in the SIEC.
On October 2, the SIEC began to review the lawsuit.
On October 21, the SIEC of Almaty City made a decision on the satisfaction of the complaint. The decision entered into legal force.

For more detailed information, please see…


5. Lawsuit on the Government of Kazakhstan’s Failure to Act,
which has Led to the Violation of the Rights and Legal Interests of Citizens,
and on Acknowledging as Invalid the Conclusion of the Senior Sanitary Doctor
regarding the Reduction of the Sanitary Protection Zone (SPZ).

The lawsuit was submitted in the interests of the residents of the village of Berezovka (Western Kazakhstan Oblast) on June 19, 2008 in the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Astana City. The lawsuit was filed jointly with the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law and the Nationwide Public Organization “Shanyrak”.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize that the Government’s failure to take measures to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, specifically to ensure the legality and safety of the residents of the village of Berezovka, who have had to live within the Sanitary Protection Zone, is a violation of the rights of citizens to a healthy environment.

2. To recognize the Government’s failure to control the activities of the Ministries and other central and local executive bodies in regards to implementing laws and international agreements.

3. To recognize the Government’s failure to comply with its obligations by committing violations to the provisions of the Aarhus Convention (Articles 3.2, 3.3, 3.9, 4 and 6) and the 1997 Law “On Environmental Assessment” (Articles 13, 14, 15.1, 16 and 36) when deciding to reduce the SPZ.

4. To recognize as invalid the conclusion of the Senior State Sanitary Doctor (#07-2, January 16, 2004) in the Addendum to the Draft “The Sanitary Protection Zone of the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field” from December 25, 2003.

5. To require the Government, in accordance with legislation, to resolve the question of relocating the residents of the village of Berezovka to a safe, healthy location and to provide them with adequate housing, taking into account their opinions.

6. To require the Government to resolve the question of compensation for material and moral damages caused to the residents of the village of Berezovka.

7. To recover the trial expenses from the defendant.

On June 23, the SIEC refused to accept the lawsuit in connection with the court’s lack of jurisdiction.
On July 7, the lawsuit was filed in the Almaty District Court of Astana City.
On July 15, the Almaty District Court of Astana City made a determination to halt the lawsuit without motion in connection with the need to incorporate changes into the lawsuit.
On July 31, an addendum to the lawsuit was sent to the Almaty District Court of Astana City.
On August 5, the Almaty District Court of Astana City refused to accept the lawsuit.
On September 29, a complaint was filed to the Astana City Court’s Board on Civic Affairs.
On December 11, the Astana City Court’s Board on Civic Affairs issued a decision on the satisfaction of the complaint and directed the lawsuit to be reviewed by the Almaty District Court of Astana City.



6. Lawsuit on the Refusal of the Statistics Department of Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast
to Provide Environmental Information**.

The lawsuit was submitted on October 9, 2008, in the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast (SIEC EKO).

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize the lawsuit as substantiated.

2. To recognize as illegal the defendant’s categorization of the requested information as information with limited access.

3. To require the defendant to provide the requested information.

4. To recover the trial expenses from the defendant.

On October 20, the court began to review the lawsuit.
On November 27, the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast issued a decision on the satisfaction of the complaint.
On December 11, the Statistics Department of Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast submitted a complaint to the Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast Court’s Board on Civic Affairs.



7. Lawsuit on Banning All Types of Economic Activity in the Water Protection Strip
of the Yesentai River (Almaty City),

and Releasing the Land Plot from Construction Soil.

The lawsuit was submitted in the interests of the residents of the city of Almaty on October 28, 2008 in the Medeu District Court of Almaty City.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To oblige the private property owner to remove the construction soil from the portion of the land plot located in the water conservation zone and water protection strip of the Yesentai River.

2. To prohibit the property owner of the land plot from undertaking construction or any other economic activity in the water protection strip.

On November 7, the court began to review the lawsuit.
On December 18, the Medeu District Court of Almaty City refused to satisfy the lawsuit requirements.



8. Lawsuit to Recognize as Invalid the Conclusions of the State Environmental Assessment,
and to Suspend the Activities of “Tsentrbeton Ltd.”.

The lawsuit was submitted in the interests of the residents of Almaty city on October 31, 2008 in Court No.2 of the Bostandyksky District of Almaty City.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize as invalid the conclusions of the state environmental assessment #03-08-543 (Februrary 27, 2007), conducted by the Almaty City Territorial Department of Environmental Protection (now the “Balkhash-Alakolsky Ecology Department of the Committee for Ecological Regulation and Control”).

2. To require the Akimat of the city of Almaty to suspend the economic activities of “Tsentrbeton Ltd.” until it is brought into full compliance with the requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s Ecological Code.

On November 7, the court began to review the lawsuit.

The lawsuit review was postponed until early 2009.



Lawyer Svetlana Philippovna Katorcha defends the rights and legal interests of the Ecological Society Green Salvation in court.

* The lawsuit on the refusal of the Statistics Department of Western Kazakhstan Oblast to provide environmental information is represented in court by Pavel Mikhailovich Kochetkov, Director of the Western Kazakhstan Branch of Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law.

** The rights and legal interests of the Ecological Society Green Salvation are represented by Alexander Anatolyevich Shitov in the lawsuit on the refusal of the Statistics Department of Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast to provide environmental information.


Translated by Michelle Kinman.
 
    




See also Green Salvation Heralds devoted to accomplishing the organization’s primary mission: defending the right of Kazakhstan’s citizens to a healthy environment.