Joint Project on Supporting the Individual Application to the Constitutional Court in Turkey
The project is co-financed by the European Union, the Republic of Turkey and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe.
The stakeholders of the project are the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, the Military Court of Cassation, the High Administrative Military Court, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations and the Turkish Justice Academy.
Activities will be organized for judges and prosecutors in supreme judicial authorities and first instance courts, and for lawyers registered to the bar associations.
The budget of the project is approximately 6,4 million Euros, 64% of which is funded by the European Union, 28% by the Republic of Turkey and 8% by the Council of Europe.
The project will last for 36 months and end in December 2018.
a- Harmonising the case law of high courts
Round Table Meetings
Workshops will be organized on areas requested by the Constitutional Court for more effective functioning of individual application system; and regional round table meetings will be organized where first instance courts, supreme judicial authorities and bar associations will meet to discuss problematic areas related with fundamental rights and freedoms in individual applications.
The objective of case-law fora is to review the case-law of the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) together in relation with specific problematic areas. The fora will enable the Constitutional Court and the Turkish supreme judicial authorities to meet with the ECtHR and/or other European Courts such as the Court of Justice of the European Union. A total of three fora will be organized, in the fields of administrative judiciary, criminal judiciary and civil judiciary, with one forum each year.
b- Capacity building activities
At the initial stage, a working group consisting of national and international experts and representatives of stakeholders will be established for the preparation of the training curricula and materials on individual application procedure and fundamental rights.
In the second stage, training of trainers on fundamental rights, application procedure and adult training will be delivered to a total of 300 candidate trainers selected from judges, prosecutors and lawyers.
In the third stage, judges, prosecutors and lawyers who completed training of trainers sessions will deliver 200 trainings to their peer colleagues on specific aspects of fundamental rights and application procedure. The project aims at training of 3000 judges and prosecutors and 3000 lawyers with these training sessions.
Books, handbooks of the Council of Europe, judgments of other Constitutional Courts, policy documents and similar books which can be considered as main reference resources in the field of human rights will be translated into Turkish and made available to legal professionals via the website of the project.
Books, handbooks or guides which can function as a resource on various topics will be prepared with the contributions of national and/or international experts.
Some of the significant judgments and publications of the Constitutional Court of Turkey will be translated into English to be shared with the European institutions and legal professionals in other countries.
Various documents (books, handbooks, guides, sample judgments etc.) as well as training materials to be prepared for all target groups will be distributed as a resource for information in training activities.
c- Developing cooperation with European institutions
Nine thematic study visits will be organized to the European institutions or peer judiciary institutions in other European countries on problematic areas related with fundamental human rights and on issues related with the functioning of the individual application system. A total of 135 representatives from stakeholder institutions are expected to participate in these visits.
60 judges, prosecutors and lawyers from stakeholder institutions are planned to be placed in various European institutions, peer judiciary institutions in other European countries or research centres working on fundamental rights and freedoms for period of one or three months.
Participants will be selected according to their professional experience, future contributions to their institutions, work plans to be recommended and acceptance criteria defined by hosting institution (foreign language skills, area of expertise etc.).
d- Awareness Raising Activities
An opening conference will be organized to inform public opinion together with related stakeholders about the project’s objective and activities.
Additionally, one conference will be organized at the end of each year with the participation of project stakeholders and experts in order to assess the current situation and progress of individual application system.
Judges, prosecutors and lawyers from beneficiaries and stakeholder institutions as well as representatives of institutions working in the field of human rights, media, academia and NGOs will be invited to the conferences.
Printed materials such as brochures, booklets, posters etc. will be produced and distributed to courthouses and bar associations in order to give more accurate information to the public on the procedures and conditions for individual application and their rights secured under this system.
Media and Internet
Access to accurate information on individual application system will be encouraged through media tools such as TV programmes, spots, informative videos, newspaper coverages and comments.
Informative documents, publications and videos can be accessed through the web site of the Constitutional Court.
Project activities and outputs will also be announced through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
e- Working Group for the Assessment of Individual Application System
A working group with national and international consultants will assess the functioning of individual application system. The working group will visit the Constitutional Court, supreme judicial authorities, courthouses, bar associations and non-governmental organizations to compile their opinions and recommendations on the functioning of the system and prepare a report including recommendations for improvement of a more effective and efficient system to be shared with relevant authorities.
The project’s objective is to contribute to supporting and strengthening individual application to the Constitutional Court of Turkey by empowering the judiciary in Turkey in line with the EU acquis, the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the system of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey.
The following main results are expected to be achieved through the project:
assurance of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Turkish Constitution and the ECHR is better secured at national level;
capacity of judges, prosecutors and lawyers in Turkey on the individual application mechanism to the Constitutional Court and implementation of fundamental rights is increased;
co-operation of national courts with the European institutions is increased; and
awareness of Turkish public on the individual application mechanism to the Constitutional Court and implementation of fundamental rights is increased.
The Regional Round Table Meeting on “Emerging Issues in the Individual Application to the Constitutional Court” under the Joint Project on “Supporting Individual Application to the Constitutional Court in Turkey”