The “Istanbul Regional Case Law Forum” was held on 12-14 May 2022 in Istanbul under the Joint Project on “Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of Court of Cassation”. Bekir Şahin, Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation, and chamber presidents, bench members, rapporteur judges and public prosecutors of the Court of Cassation, chamber presidents and bench members from Istanbul and Bursa regional courts of appeal, judges from first instance courts, as well as national and international experts attended the three-day event where group work and plenary sessions were held.
In his opening remarks, Mehmet Akarca, President of the Court of Cassation, stated that the most important duty of the Court of Cassation and its greatest responsibility towards society is to ensure case law unity with a view to guaranteeing legal security, equality before the law and legal foreseeability. Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, emphasised the importance of courts of appeal with his following remarks: “Today, the duty of courts of appeal, and in particular courts of cassation, is not limited to reviewing the legality of judgments. Above and beyond that, they play a key role in ensuring legal security and foreseeability, improving case law consistency and unity, ensuring efficiency and safety of document management, preventing unreasonable delays in judicial reviews and unnecessary recourse to remedies through accessible and clear case law.” Fevzi Yıldırım, Secretary General of the Court of Cassation, made a presentation on the “Results of the Project Activities and the Road Map for the Improvement of Case Law Unity” following the opening remarks.
The sessions were moderated by Eyup Yeşil, First Vice President and Head of the General Assembly of Criminal Chambers, and Adem Albayrak, First Vice President and Head of the General Assembly of Civil Chambers of the Court of Cassation. Speakers who contributed to these sessions with their presentations included Assoc. Prof. Saadet Yüksel, Turkish Judge from the European Court of Human Rights, Osman Atalay, President of the 1st Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation, Nevzat Boztaş, President of the 14th Civil Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Appeal, Şamil İnan, President of the 32nd Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Appeal, Assoc. Prof. Ali Ersoy Kontacı, Council of Europe Consultant and Faculty Member at the Faculty of Law of Ankara University, and Javier Luis Parra García, Council of Europe Consultant and Secretary General of Murcia Supreme Court of Justice.
In the three-day forum where group work and plenary sessions were held, vital steps were taken to strengthen the case law unity and to increase the judicial quality.
The Joint Project on “Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of Court of Cassation” is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and the Court of Cassation of Turkey is the end beneficiary of the Project.