The International Commission of Jurists and the Human Rights Joint Platform (IHOP) published the briefing paper assessing the reforms proposed by the Turkish Government in its Judicial Reform Strategy.
The briefing paper assesses the proposed reforms in light of the international standards and jurisprudence on the independence of the judiciary.
In their briefing paper, the ICJ and IHOP welcome the commitment of the Turkish authorities to reform the systems of discipline, transfer, accession, promotion and ethics of judges and prosecutors in line with international standards.
However, these measures are deemed insufficient without essential further reforms:
- reform of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors,
- reform of the Criminal Peace Judgeships system and
- repeal of Law no. 7145 that still allows for arbitrary dismissals of judges and prosecutors, among other civil servants
- introduction of judicial review for all decisions of the CJP
- introduction of a transparent and fair process of selection and appointment of judges and prosecutors ensuring the independence of the committee and process from the executive.
Similarly, in its five-page report the Amnesty International defined the reform package as follows:
Proposed amendments represent cosmetic changes which fail to address the structural flaws in a judiciary buckled and broken under sustained political pressure. It would fail to prevent politically motivated and abusive pre-trial detentions and convictions without credible evidence that have become routine and do little or nothing to stem the tide of prosecutions that leave political activists, journalists and human rights defenders to face jail sentences simply for carrying out their work.