European judiciary network votes to suspend observer status of Turkey’s HSYK
The European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) on Dec. 8 decided to suspend the observer status of the Turkish High Council for Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), citing concerns that the body is no longer sufficiently independent from the state’s executive and legislature branches.
In a statement on its website, the ENCJ said it had become “concerned that the procedures adopted by the High Council for Judges and Prosecutors of Turkey (HSYK) indicated that this condition was no longer satisfied.”
It said the ENCJ had been “following developments in the judiciary in Turkey since 2014 and has expressed its concern” through various declarations, adding that the ENCJ aims to improve cooperation between judicial councils and judiciary members both in EU member countries and EU membership candidate states.
The ENCJ was sent a resolution explaining the situation at the extraordinary General Assembly in The Hague on Dec. 8, as the HSYK was given an opportunity to explain its actions, the statement also said.
“The ENCJ acknowledges the huge impact and subsequent national trauma caused by the events on July 15, 2016,” it said, referring to Turkey’s failed military coup attempt and stressing that those responsible should be held accountable under a fair trial.
However, “the actions and decisions of the HSYK, and therefore, it, as an institution, cannot be seen to be in compliance with European Standards for Councils for the Judiciary,” the ENCJ statement added.