Turkish judiciary expresses concern over new law
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 2/14/2011 12:00:00 AM |
The heads of the supreme judiciary expressed their concern Monday that a new law that will reshape the two top courts is unlikely to solve the problems of the judiciary.
The heads of the supreme judiciary expressed their concern Monday that a law approved by the president that will reshape the two top courts is unlikely to solve the problems of the judiciary.
“I hope the law will be beneficial. I hope the law will prevent the statute of limitations [from being triggered] on cases [currently being handled by the judiciary],” Hasan Gerçeker, chief judge at the Supreme Court of Appeals, told reporters. “But we’ve already expressed our view that the problem can’t be overcome by increasing the number of members and departments in the courts.”
Gerçeker made the comments in response to Gül’s remarks that 200,000 cases could have faced the statute of limitations if he had not approved the bill.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, announced Monday that they would take the law, which was approved by President Abdullah Gül on Sunday, to the Constitutional Court to seek its annulment.
Gül approved the government-proposed law to reshape the Supreme Court of Appeals and Council of State despite being visited by the two courts’ heads Friday to request that he veto the bill and despite calls from the opposition asking him to “think twice” before signing it.
Gerçeker said the bill’s measures were temporary solutions to the problem of the statute of limitations for many cases.
“Deep-rooted reforms are needed in the judiciary. Otherwise, it is not possible to solve the judiciary’s problems by reducing the number of cases pending at the court,” Gerçeker said.
“Priority should be given to the establishment of regional courts of justice. Otherwise, you have to add six other chambers to the court next year in addition to the six departments set up this year,” he said.
Gerçeker has argued that once the regional courts are established, there will be no need to expand the departments in the court.
Echoing concerns voiced by Gerçeker, Mustafa Birden, chief judge of the Council of State, said Monday the law would not lessen the load of the council.
Birden said the law was approved by the president and added that there was no room left for mere words.
The motive behind the law was ostensibly to halt the triggering of the statute of limitations on the backlog of cases pending at the high courts, Birden said, but added that the council did not face such a problem.
Recalling that they prepared a report in 2010 on their proposals to reduce the workload of the council and submitted it to Justice Ministry and the Prime Ministry, Birden said: “If our proposals had been taken into consideration, our workload would have been reduced. The law will not lessen our load.”
Birden said that while they had conveyed their concerns to Gül, they would now have to implement the law.