ICJ-IHOP Briefing Paper on Turkey’s Judicial Reform Strategy and Judicial Independence

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Human Rights Joint Platform (IHOP) have issued a briefing paper on “Turkey’s Judicial Reform Strategy and Judicial Independence.”

The ICJ and IHOP welcome all sincere and effective efforts by Turkey to reform the Turkish justice system in light of the principles of independence and impartiality of the judiciary, in full respect of the rule of law and in accordance with international standards. The aims of the Justice Reform Strategy correspond to the mission of the ICJ and IHOP to uphold the rule of law and human rights and the two organizations stand ready to provide feedback and recommendations to the authorities of Turkey and to all stakeholders involved to effectively reach these goals.

The ICJ and IHOP welcome the commitment of the Turkish authorities to reform the systems of discipline, transfer, accession, promotion and ethics of judges and prosecutors in line with international standards.

However, along with these measures, it is also essential that further reforms be implemented before any amendment to the disciplinary, transfer, accession and promotion system may be envisaged, in order to ensure that these latter reforms can bear fruit. Essential measures include, in line with the above:

• reform of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors,
• reform of the Criminal Peace Judgeships system and
• repeal of Law no. 7145 that still allows for arbitrary dismissals of judges and prosecutors, among other civil servants
• introduction of judicial review for all decisions of the CJP
• introduction of a transparent and fair process of selection and appointment of judges and prosecutors ensuring the independence of the committee and process from the executive. The full report is available in PDF