The opening conference of the Project on ‘Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of the Court of Cassation’ co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe was held at Hilton Hotel in Ankara on 20-21 June 2019. Almost 330 participants, including representatives from the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, the Court of Accounts, the Ministry of Justice, the Directorate for EU Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the Council of Europe and the Central Finance and Contracts Unit, heads and members of civil law and criminal law chambers, rapporteur judges and public prosecutors of the Court of Cassation, judges and public prosecutors at appellate courts and first instance courts, representatives of the institutions in the justice sector and high courts, embassies and international organizations attended the conference.
On the first day of the conference, Mr Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Mr Christian Berger, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, Ambassador Mr Faruk Kaymakcı, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU Affairs, Mr Abdulhamit Gül, Minister of Justice and Mr İsmail Rüştü Cirit, First President of the Court of Cassation made their opening remarks. Following the opening remarks, the project was presented by Dr Mustafa Saldırım, Deputy Secretary-General of the Court of Cassation and Ms Sophio Gelashvili, Head of Justice Sector Reform Unit of the Council of Europe. The representatives of the stakeholders of the project, consisting of the institutions in the justice sector, reflected on the project’s foreseen outcomes in two sessions. At the end of the first day, an expert lecture on relevant international standards and examples of good practices was delivered by Mr Georg Stawa, former president of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) of the Council of Europe.
On the second day of the programme, a workshop on ‘The Efficiency of the Judiciary’ where participants discussed the topics previously determined within the scope of the project was organised. In this regard, participants were divided into groups as members, rapporteur judges and public prosecutors of the Court of Cassation, judges at appellate courts and first instance courts, public prosecutors at first instance courts, and the staff of the Court of Cassation to conduct a group work. The outputs of group works were shared with participants in two sessions.