Tahir Elçi Human Rights Foundation published a report named Lawyers without Licence on the Turkish Ministry of Justice’s relatively new policy against those perceived as the member of the opposition groups.
The report written by Adv. Benan Molu and Idil Özcan demonstrates that the pressure on lawyers and the interferences with the profession of a lawyer have increased especially during and after the state of emergency period.
‘Lawyers are being targeted and are subject to serious legal harassment through investigations and prosecutions, arrests and detention, and prison sentences. This legal harassment creates a chilling effect on lawyers and affects not only their rights but also the rights of their clients. One of these tools of pressure and interference is preventing individuals, who are being investigated or prosecuted or who were dismissed by emergency decrees, from registering on the traineeship list or the bar roll.’
‘The legal basis for withholding these lawyers’ licences is Article 5 of the Attorneyship Law. However, the interpretation and the application of Article 5 of the Attorneyship Law disregards the discretion of the bar associations and their autonomy, especially when deciding on admissions to the profession, and disproportionately restricts the rights of candidate lawyers in breach of their presumption of innocence. As for individuals dismissed by emergency decrees, the legal basis is the emergency decree provision preventing the dismissed individuals from taking up any work in public service. The Ministry of Justice and the administrative courts believe that the profession of lawyer constitutes public service and those dismissed are indefinitely banned from practicing as a lawyer. Even when the investigations are concluded with decisions of non-prosecution or the prosecutions result with the suspension of the pronouncement of the verdict or acquittal, the Ministry of Justice and administrative courts argue that those dismissed cannot practice as lawyers. This is one of the rights violations created by the emergency decrees, causing a lifelong deprivation of rights and a condemnation to civil death.’
‘It is evident that being prevented from practicing as a lawyer affects not only the individual concerned, but also others who need to be defended.’
said in the report.
See also followings: The Dehumanization Continues Against State Of Emergency Decree Victims
Categories: Unjust / Wrongful Convictions