PUBLIC STATEMENT BY JUDICIAL UNION
As the judges and public prosecutors who believe in rule of law, struggle for the construction of impartial and independent judiciary, believe in the fact that this struggle could be made effectively within the judicial associations, who pay and continue paying in exchange for this struggle, who were subjected to the acts such as systematic deterrence, relocation, forced retirement at the hands of Judicial Council formed in 2010 and supported by Gulen movement, deeply regret to remind once again the following issues under what has been experienced recently:
Although the fact that judges can not be involuntarily re-appointed has been adopted by the report of Venice Commission during its plenary meeting of 2010 concerning the subject of independence of judicial system, which Turkey should observe, the judges and public prosecutors who are members or board members of judicial associations have been forcefully re-appointed.
It was highlighted that this principle is a clear element of the concept of independence and needs to be provided by the domestic legal order by its highest legal documents. This principle was regularly and consistently recommended to be laid down in Constitutions.
The same report states that, as indicated by the European Charter at 3.4, this principle encompasses the prohibition of relocation of judges without his/her consent and opinion is obtained even when he/she is promoted.
In its resolution numbered R (94) 12, Council of Europe Comittee of Ministers emphasized that all the decisions regarding professional career of judges should be based on objective criteria. It was highlighted that the selection of judges and decisions on their career should be based on merits taking into account their honesty, skills and efficiencies of their work.
Despite these principles, the judges and public prosecutors who are members of our Union, who have been nominated for membership of the Judicial Council in 2014,, who possesses the dignity and honour of the profession, who defends independence of judges from those who have political and financial power, , from anyone and even from themselves and practising the profession accordingly, who seek justice, who have been the hope of the society have been forcefully relocated without considering their professional experience and merits. Some of our members facing this injustice had to leave the profession, some for family related reasons, some for being targeted by printed media whose quality is considerably controversial.
Those who remain within the profession exert efforts to uplift its reputation and honour, to find solutions to the legal issues to meet the society’s expectation of justice while attempts are made to discredit them by dissemination of false news.
It needs to be known that those who destroy the credibility of the profession are not those who stay away from playing politics with the universal principles of law and who do not make improper decisions in order to be favoured. For those who pay attention to the professional dignity, the credibility of the Turkish Judiciary precedes their personal concern for the future.
It is our expectation that as the highest institution of the judiciary, High Judicial Council (HJC) should be aware of aforementioned considerations and it should not forget that the Council is also the Council for the judges and public prosecutors who struggles to ensure that universal law principles are indispensable for the judiciary.
The HJC should appear as a Council which finds solutions to the problems of judges and public prosecutors, exert efforts for the judiciary to be independent from all Powers, be reachable, not act with prejudice, stay away from exclusionary attitude.
It should not be forgotten that the principle of seperation of Powers is still in force and no other similar principle has been invented. The primary duty of the judiciary is to protect its independence and impartiality against political Powers
The political Powers needs the judges and public prosecutors who excercise their duties without deviating from the sense of justice believing in the rule of law
The political powers needs honourable judges and public prosecutors who excercise their duties without deviating from the sense of justice believing in the rule of law. A judicial order where the judges and public prosecutors are defined as belonging to a certain political power, which shakes the whole system shakened up, should not be permitted. For the Turkish judiciary to be dignified, valued, aspired by others will be realised when we grow and continue existing.
We anxiously follow the statements of the government regarding the bar association and the fact that the Word “Turkish” is removed from the name of “Turkish Bar Association”
The fact that regulations by the presidential decrees having the power of law, which makes the duty of lawyers inefficient, is a sign of disregarding the principle of the rule of law.
The ammendments regarding the Union of Bar Associations and individual bar associations will lead to polarisation and the establishment of bar associations by each political groups. The admission into the profession of attorneyship, the dismissals of lawyers will come under the power of ministry of justice. Consequently, there will be bitter results revealed by the decisions regarding the group of lawyers considered to be opponents of the government. It needs to be known that the lawyers do not belong to the governments. As stated by Molierac, the lawyers to not make use of slaves and do not accept to be enslaved.
The issuance of regulations that result in the disintegration of the profession of attorneyship and the creation of the group of lawyers and bar associations who submitted themsels to the government runs contrary to the principle of the rule of law and independence of defence. This situation should be reversed.
We request from the general public, without being late, to be aware of the importance of the trend and to contribute to attaining a solution making use of appropriate methods.
THE BOARD OF JUDICIAL UNION