Developing Mediation Practices in Civil Disputes in Turkey
The Project on “The Development of Mediation Practices in Civil Disputes in Turkey" is co-funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Republic of Turkey, and implemented by the Council of Europe. The Project started on 1 December 2014 and will be completed on 30 September 2017. The Ministry of Justice of Turkey is the main beneficiary of the Project. The purpose of the Project is to improve the efficiency of justice by reducing the cost and time needed to resolve civil disputes through an effective implementation of mediation practices.
Implementation period of the project is 34 months. The Project started on 1 December 2014 and will be completed on 30 September 2017.
Budget of the project is 1,757,693.12 Euros, 62,5 % of which is funded by the Sida, 37,5 % by the Republic of Turkey.
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Turkey is the beneficiary of this Project.
The Mediation Department of the DG Civil Law Affairs of the Ministry of Justice is the main target group. Other target groups are mediators, 32 judges and court staff of the 6 pilot courts selected in the scope of the Project, UYAP (National Judiciary Informatics System), the law faculties, academicians and trainers in training institutions, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, local bar associations, industry and trade chambers, NGOs and the Turkish Justice Academy.
The project activities will be carried out under 4 components:
- Improvement of Legislation
The activities under this component aim at supporting the review and the adoption of the amendments to mediation legislation by a group of national experts and project stakeholders led by the Council of Europe CEPEJ Experts. The legislative amendments will be elaborated by a large group of stakeholders on the basis of the results and proposals from pilot practices as well as the findings of the “baseline survey”, which then be prepared as a draft law for further adoption by national authorities.
- Pilot Practices, Monitoring and Evaluation
Models of mediation practices are designed, implemented and monitored in 32 pilot courts selected in 6 jurisdictions and results are evaluated and fine-tuned for the dissemination and sustainability of these practices as a strategy in the long-term. Accordingly, a Manual for Court-based Mediation Services will be developed for the use of court staff, mediators and other stakeholders of mediation. “Baseline and end-line researches/surveys” will be conducted to measure the progress of the Project within its duration and to follow-up the results of public awareness and communication strategies. Preparation of a Strategic Road Map and Action Plan for mediation services is another activity foreseen under this component.
The activities under this component aim at developing a training system which covers basic mediation knowledge and skills at internationally accepted standards. Accordingly, existing curricula and training modules will be reviewed in light of CEPEJ Mediation Guidelines, and the basic mediation training curriculum will be developed together with a training methodology with a view to gender aspect. In addition, the training materials will be standardised by national experts with the support of CEPEJ experts.
- Awareness Raising
The activities under this component aim at raising the awareness of judiciary and all sections of the society on mediation services and its benefits. A “Public Awareness and Communication Strategy” on mediation will be developed for future sustainability of publicity and awareness-raising actions on mediation.
The expected results under the Project can be summarised under 4 main headings:
1- The Ministry of Justice is supported in the preparation of draft legal amendments to strengthen the implementation of mediation in civil disputes. The activities under this heading will aim at supporting the review and the adoption of the amendments to the 2012 Law on mediation. The CoE will provide the MoJ with the necessary expertise in drafting the required amendments.
2- A model for implementing mediation in civil law disputes is piloted in selected courts and ready for adoption and further dissemination. Up to 32 Pilot courts (each civil court refers to one judge with its registry) within a maximum of 6 pilot courthouses are selected for designing the model of the mediation practices. A working group for this model development will be established, including national and international experts and a small number of relevant stakeholders. This working group along with the relevant WGs will develop action plan(s) for each pilot jurisdiction, and these action plans will be applied in 6 selected pilot jurisdictions/pilot courthouses.
3- Clear, adequate, standardised and CEPEJ- compliant basic training curricula for mediators are developed and adopted for implementation by the Mediation Department. A standardised and updated curriculum will be developed for basic mediation training and the training of mediation trainers in line with the CoE /CEPEJ and International standards.
4- A public awareness and communication strategy about mediation in civil disputes is developed and adopted for implementation by the Mediation Department. Framed and targeted communication initiatives are carried out to contribute to awareness-raising about mediation. Selected decision makers are given a clearer understanding of mediation practices in other European countries.