Situation in Turkey

Statement of the Consultative Council of European Judges

Council of EuropeThe Bureau of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) has recently, by its comments of 5 July 2016 on certain aspects of the legislation in Turkey, strongly recommended that the Turkish authorities improve the legislation and domestic system in order to safeguard the independence of the judiciary in a transparent manner. During the last days, the CCJE has received several notifications reporting that a large number of judges in Turkey have been removed from their offices, and that some even have been detained without any procedure previous to such decisions. The Bureau of the CCJE reiterates that irremovability of judges is an essential element of judicial independence. European and international standards provide only for very limited and specific exceptions from this principle to be applied only within the framework of due procedure.

The Bureau of the CCJE reiterates its previous recommendation and respectfully urges Turkish authorities to guarantee the independence of judges and to secure the principles of due process for the judges concerned.

The Bureau of the CCJE also respectfully urges Turkish authorities to limit suspensions of members of the judiciary only to those against whom a concrete suspicion of an involvement in the “coup d’état” occurs and to respect the independence and irrevocability of other judges and to secure the principles of due process for the judges concerned.

The Bureau of the CCJE also welcomes all relevant international organisations in their efforts to preserve rule of law and independence of the judiciary in Turkey.

Strasbourg, 20 July 2016

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