Judicial Reform Strategy Package
“Judicial Reform Strategy Package” has been presented to Grand National Assembly of Turkey by the Ministry of Justice, on 1 October 2019. With this extensive reform strategy, the government of Turkey intends to strengthen the principles of the state of law, protect and improve rights and freedoms and ensure a fast and effective judicial system.The Strategy Document mainly touches upon the following issues: strengthening the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and improving impartiality, protecting and promoting rights and freedoms more effectively, increasing the transparency of the legal system, simplifying judicial processes, facilitating access to justice, strengthening the right of defense and efficiently protecting the right to trial in a reasonable time.
You may find some of the main amendments which have been accepted on the date of 8 October 2019 hereinafter.
- The assurances for legal remedies will be increased against judicial decisions concerning freedom of expression with the aim of bringing an additional guarantee for the individuals by ensuring that the Supreme Court also reviews the decisions. Appeals in the Supreme Court is going to be opened for the punishments for a period of less than 5 years, particularly for the offenses concerning the freedom of thought and expression.
- The following clause is expected to be added to the Article in regard to terror propaganda in the Code of Anti-Terror numbered 3713 and dated 12/4/1991: “Interpretations that do not exceed the reporting limit and remain at the level of criticism do not constitute a crime”.
- Except for some types of gross misconduct, the actions of juveniles – i.e. those younger than fifteen (15) years old – will be evaluated using juvenile protection mechanisms instead of investigation and prosecution procedures, if the juvenile is a first-time offender.The custody period is going to be applied as half of the regular duration for the children who are under fifteen, and three out of four of the regular duration for the children who are under eighteen.
- Law No. 5651 on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed Through Such Broadcasts and other related legislation will be reviewed and revised as necessary, particularly with a focus on freedom of expression and the methods of blocking access on the internet. When the cyber- crime occurs, the news which are the subject matter of crime is going to be blocked instead of shutting down the whole website.
- Special (Green) passports is going to be given to those who had been practicing de facto as an attorney for at least 15 years.
- Additionally, the students which are graduated from a law faculty have to take and pass a Legal Proficiency Exam to become a judge, prosecutor, public notary or lawyer.
The following amandements are considering to be prepared as the Second Part of the Judicial Reform Strategy Package which shall be presented to Grand National Assembly of Turkey by the Ministry of Justice, soon.
- The position of judges’ and prosecutors’ assistant will be formed. Judge and prosecutor assistantship will be introduced to the Turkish judicial system as a new legal profession. Judge and prosecutor assistants will be allowed to participate in judicial services so that they can better prepare for the profession.
- The crimes as violation of work and freedom of work, abuse of trust, purchase or acceptance of crime object are included in the scope of the conciliation.
- In order to adjourn the initiation of a public prosecution, the requirement that the upper limit of the offense 1 year or less has been changed to 2 years or less.
- The deed related transactions, the contracts related to real estate, some leasing contracts shall be made under the surveillance of the attorneys and only by the attorneys. The present regulation will provide the compliance with law and prevent the dispute arising from the contracts and eventually the workload of the courthouses will be decreased as possible.
- Law No. 6698 on Protection of Personal Data will be reviewed in light of the EU acquis and works on harmonization will be completed.
- Public prosecutors can not bring a lawsuit without identifying the “direct” evidence that could be an element of a crime. Otherwise the bill of indictment will be indisputably returned by the court.
- Instead of “strong doubt”, “the concrete evidence of strong doubt” will be sought to arrest suspects. The suspect who is being under arrest more than six months could demand a release if the prosecutor had not brought a lawsuit.
- The bill of indictment shall be filed for the defendant, who confessed the crime during the investigation phase, foreseeing a penalty reduction. This article is not going to be applied to certain crimes such as terrorism.
- It is regulated that the indictment can be returned, without investigation or request for offenses whose investigation or prosecution is subject to permission or demand.
- The duration of education in the Faculty of Law is going to be 5 years.
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