murat.arslan.webMurat Arslan: "This trial is a revenge against YARSAV". Report about the first day of trial in the criminal proceedings against the chairman of YARSAV, the banned Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors. 

Murat Arslan began his career in law at the Turkish National Court of Accounts (Sayıştay). He changed paths in 2005 when he became a reporter judge for the Constitutional Court. He first became active in YARSAV, the Turkish association of judges and prosecutors founded in 2006, as a member of the board. Later he became the vice-president of the association, and was elected president in 2011. He was reelected several times and was the chairman of YARSAV until the organization was banned by an emergency decree after the attempted coup d’état on 15.07.2015. Murat Arslan had already been transferred back to the national Court of Accounts in 2015. After the attempted coup d’état, he was dismissed and from 19.10.2016 on he has been in detention pending trial.

Comunicado sobre las injerencias políticas en el Poder Judicial y en el Tribunal ConstitucionalDe forma constante nos vemos obligados a recordar el informe anual de la Comisión Europea sobre el estado de la justicia en los países de la Unión Europea. España figura como el tercer Estado donde un mayor porcentaje de personas percibe que la justicia no es independiente. Hasta un 58% de los españoles la consideran como “mala” (39%) o “muy mala” (19%), lo que supone que sólo dos de los 28 países están peor: Bulgaria y Eslovaquia. Según el citado estudio, son las “interferencias y presiones del Gobierno y políticas” el primer motivo de la percepción de la falta de independencia aducido por la ciudadanía.

Palazzo Quirinale (Photo: Wikipedia)Signor Presidente, le continue violazioni dei diritti umani e le ripetute epurazioni in Turchia destano grande preoccupazione.

Magistrati, giornalisti, avvocati, insegnanti, funzionari pubblici, medici, militari sono stati licenziati, in molte occasioni arrestati, e ancora si trovano in stato di detenzione in assenza di contestazioni puntuali delle condotte a loro attribuite e in uno stato di sospensione dei diritti difensivi.

Questa situazione viola i principi fondamentali dello Stato di diritto ed è stata ripetutamente segnalata da tutta la Comunità internazionale.

Supreme Court of PolandJudges of the Supreme Court gathered at the General Assembly on 16 January 2018, declare:

1. Adopted by both chambers of Parliament and signed by the President of the Republic of Poland new laws: on the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary and common courts have been prepared in violation of fundamental rules of law, without adequate consultation, with disrespect to revealed scientific opinions and positions of legal and academic organizations. They are, in a number of provisions, contrary to the prevailing standards of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and in breach of the rule of separation of state powers, the independence of the courts, judges and their irremovability.

Syndicat de la magistratureLettre ouverte que le Syndicat de la Magistrature vient d’adresser au Président de la République E. Macron au sujet de sa rencontre prévue demain avec Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Président de la Turquie:

Monsieur le Président de la République, Vous allez recevoir demain Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Président de la Turquie.

Nous avons déjà eu l’occasion de vous alerter sur les graves dérives frappant ce pays depuis le coup d’Etat manqué du 15 juillet 2016, en particulier la mainmise du pouvoir exécutif sur la justice et la dégradation générale de l’Etat de droit.

Sous couvert d’état d’urgence et de lutte anti-terroriste, des dizaines de milliers de personnes sont victimes d’une répression arbitraire ne cessant de s’aggraver et atteignant toutes les catégories de la population : avocats, journalistes, enseignants, universitaires, chercheurs… Ainsi 150 000 agents publics, au moins, ont été révoqués, près de 50 000 sont en prison, plus de 170 journalistes sont en détention, plusieurs dizaines d’avocats sont incarcérés… Quant à nos collègues, juges et procureurs, cibles prioritaires de cette persécution, ils sont environ 4500 à être révoqués et 2500 incarcérés. Cette véritable purge de la justice a pour objet de l’inféoder au pouvoir exécutif en étouffant toute velléité d’indépendance.

Protests in PolandFilipe Marques, president of MEDEL, gave an interview to a Portuguese news radio station (TSF) about the situation in Poland and the decision of the EU Commission to start the article 7 procedure against Poland.

MEDELWith deep concern and regret MEDEL maintains its view presented in the statement of July 18th, 2017 on the reform of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Council in Poland. Unfortunately, the rule of law in Poland is even at higher risk than it was five months ago. The act on the system of common courts, adopted on July 28th, 2017 empowers the Minister of Justice to revoke current Presidents of all levels of all ordinary courts without any justification, based on his arbitrary decision. 33 presidents were dismissed so far, usually by a single-sentence fax sent overnight.

The retirement age of judges has been decreased to 60 years for women and 65 for men, with mandatory dismissal of the judge from the post when reaching retirement age. A judge may only keep the post upon arbitrary permission of the Minister of Justice.

MEDEL CA in Kraków

On December 9th, 2017, MEDEL held its Council of Administration meeting in Kraków, Poland, preceded by a conference held on December 8th in the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University, co-organized by Iustitia, MEDEL and the Jagiellonian University, subject to the theme “COURTS MANAGEMENT AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE SYSTEM”.

The conference was highly participated and had speakers from various countries and judicial systems.

The full program can be found here.


MEDELMedel wants to recall and reassure all its partners, all European Prosecutors and Judges and the public opinion, its commitment to the rule of law and the defense of the constitutionally established legality.

The questioning directed to the judicial decisions that have imposed measures that limit the rights of several former Consellers of the Generalitat de Catalunya and representatives of independentist associations investigated by the Audiencia Nacional – criticism that in the Democratic States which we live in can be exercised with total freedom ‑ should not lead us to insinuate, in any case, that in Spain the guarantees and rights of persons subjected to a criminal procedure are not comparable to those of any nation in our European area.

Murat ArslanThe Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has announced in its plenary meeting held today in Strasbourg, France, that the winner of the 2017 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is Murat Arslan, a Turkish Judge, president of YARSAV, an independent Turkish Judges Association, imprisoned since 19th of October 2016.

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the PACE in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

Murat Arslan was nominated for this prize by MEDEL – Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés, as well as by UIM – Union Internationale des Magistrats, with the support of the other international associations that form the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey – Judges for Judges and Association of European Administrative Judges.

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