The Affirmation Ceremony for Chief Justice of AIFC Court Lord Mance

Today, with the participation of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, the Official Affirmation Ceremony of the new Chief Justice of the AIFC Court, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mance was conducted online. The ceremony was also attended by the first Chief Justice of the AIFC Court, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Woolf CH and by the AIFC Governor, Dr. Kairat Kelimbetov.

Lord Mance commented:

“It is a great honour to serve as Chief Justice of the AIFC Court in succession to Lord Woolf. The purpose of the AIFC Court, to provide a secure common law foundation for business and investment, is of very real importance not only in Kazakhstan, but for the Central Asian region generally. I am impressed with the vision displayed by the leadership of Kazakhstan in promoting the AIFC Court and the whole “Astana” International Financial Centre. I am confident that both institutions will continue to achieve outstanding results.”


Lord Mance served as Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court from 2017 until 2018. He has many years of experience in commercial law and international trade, in public and private international law and in European law.

Lord Woolf added:

“I am grateful to the leadership of the Republic of Kazakhstan for their trust and I am proud of the work that the AIFC Court team has done over the past two and a half years. A system, unique for the Central Asian region, was created from scratch, and now outstanding judges with vast experience work in it. There is a growing interest from other countries to learn about the experience of the AIFC Court and the new high standards of administration of justice that it has set.”


The AIFC Court began its operations in 2018 and has already achieved considerable success and more quickly than the experience of similar common law courts at other international financial centres. All of its operations are now provided online without disruption using the most up to date digital technology with its world class eJustice e-filing system and video hearings. It is currently considering its third case having already given two judgments which were successfully enforced to 100% satisfaction using its specially designed step by step procedure with the Kazakhstan enforcement authorities.

It has been included in the dispute resolution clauses of thousands of business contracts including in standard contracts at the energy corporation, Chevron. 172 lawyers from 23 jurisdictions around the world have registered at the AIFC Court for rights of audience. 22 Memoranda of understanding have been agreed with other local, regional and international dispute resolution centres.

More than 1000 lawyers have been trained on common law advocacy, international commercial law, and accredited as international standard mediators. New services have been launched including judicial mediation. Additional services will be launched later this year to ensure it is always innovative.

President Tokayev thanked Lord Woolf for his work as the first Chief Justice of the AIFC Court and wished Lord Mance good luck as his successor as the new Chief Justice of the AIFC Court.




The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mance,
Chief Justice of the AIFC Court

In 2005 Lord Mance was appointed a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in the House of Lords. In 2009 he and nine other Lords of Appeal became Justices of the UK Supreme Court upon that court’s inauguration. He was appointed Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court in 2017.

From 2012 to 2018 he was appointed High Steward of Oxford University, where he read Jurisprudence, holds an honorary doctorate of Civil Law and is an Honorary Fellow of University College and Wolfson College.

AIFC. The AIFC was established on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. In December 2015 President Nazarbayev approved the Constitutional Statute “On the Astana International Financial Centre” (AIFC). The aim of the AIFC is to establish a leading international centre for financial services. The objectives of the AIFC are to attract investment into the economy through the establishment of an attractive environment for investment in financial services, develop local capital markets, ensuring their integration with the international capital markets.

The AIFC Court is an independent legal entity. It has its own procedural rules modelled on English common law procedures and leading international practice. The AIFC Court is separate and independent from the courts of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It consists of two tiers: a Court of First Instance, which includes a specialist division known as the Small Claims Court; and a Court of Appeal. It has exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising out of the activities and operations of the AIFC and jurisdiction in the case of other disputes in which all parties agree in writing to give the AIFC Court jurisdiction. It does not have jurisdiction in relation to any disputes that are of a criminal or administrative nature. It applies the most up to date and efficient case management practices.

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