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On 20th March, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Woolf, Chief Justice of the Astana International Financial Centre Court, presented his gown to the Royal Court of Justice, London. The ceremony was attended by Sir Christopher Floyd, Lord Justice of Appeal in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales; Barbara Dohmann QC, Chairman of the AIFC International Arbitration Centre; Christopher Campbell-Holt, AIFC Court & IAC Registrar; His Excellency Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK; Kairat Kelimbetov, Governor of the AIFC, as well as members of the AIFC Court and Legal Advisory Council of the AIFC.
Speaking at the ceremony, Lord Woolf said that the gown of the Chief Justice of the AIFC Court would become an important part of the Royal Court of Justice's museum and be placed adjacent to the ancient judicial and legal robes of the UK that are also on display at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Lord Woolf noted that, “It was an honour for the judges of the Astana International Financial Centre Court and myself as the Chief Justice of that Court to have our appointments formally acknowledged in the presence of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. We are delighted to know that one of the gowns that was worn during the inauguration of the AIFC Court will be on display at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and we hope it will provide an enduring indication of the commitment that has been made to promoting the rule of law in Kazakhstan and the Eurasia region.”
In turn, Ambassador Idrissov noted that the use of the norms and principles of English law in AIFC, the establishment of an independent court and the creation of an international arbitration centre, as well as the use of English as a working language, would further improve the investment climate in Kazakhstan. This will also help the enhance the AIFC's international reputation and increase foreign businesses' interest in Kazakhstan, according to the Ambassador.
The Astana International Financial Centre has been operational since January 2018. It aims to become a leading international centre for financial services; as well as a mechanism to help develop local capital markets and Kazakhstan's insurance, banking services, and Islamic financing markets. The AIFC's independent court and International Arbitration Centre, will be based on English common law. English is the official language of the AIFC.