Right to a fair trial is at risk in Turkey: Constitutional Court report

Right to a fair trial is at risk in Turkey: Constitutional Court report

ANKARA
Right to a fair trial is at risk in Turkey: Constitutional Court report

The Constitutional Court has released statistics regarding individual applications, indicating that a majority of the decisions it has handed down regarding violations of constitutional rights relate to the right to a fair trial. 

Of the 2,536 rights violation rulings, 78 percent related to violations of the applicant’s right to receive a fair trial, the court stated in a report released on Feb. 12.

The Constitutional Court was authorized to look into individual applications as of 2012. Since then, until the end of 2017 a total of 173,479 individual applications were made to the top court, said the report.

The court also broke down the figures according to the number of applications made per year. In 2012 it received 1,342 individual applications but it received a whopping 80,756 in 2016, a year marked by Turkey’s military coup attempt. In 2017, the number of individual applications fell to 40,530.

Of the total number of applications between 2012 and 2017, some 65 percent of applicants said their right to a fair trial had been breached, 13 percent said there had been a breach of their property rights as guaranteed in the constitution, and 9 percent said they had been discriminated against.

The Constitutional Court has settled 137,063 of the cases so far, corresponding to 79 percent of the total applications. Some 36,416 applications are still waiting to be concluded.

The court found 82 percent of the settled cases (112,455) as “inadmissible.” It found that “at least one right was breached” in just 2 percent of the total settled applications, referring to a figure of 2,536.

The 2,071 “right to a fair trial” violation rulings made by the court of the cases consisted of the following: 1783 rulings (81 percent) stemming from a breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time; 154 rulings (7 percent) stemming from a breach of the right to access to the court; and 105 rulings (5 percent) stemming from a breach of the applicant’s right to receive a justified decision regarding their case from a local court.

The number of rulings handed down confirming the violation of constitutional rights increased gradually by year, according to the report. This figure was recorded at 28 in 2013, 378 in 2014, 544 in 2015, 771 in 2016, and 917 in 2017.

The court also ruled that there had been a violation of the right to property in 121 applications (5 percent of total violations), violation of the right of protection of individual and family life violation in 104 cases (4 percent), violation of the right of personal liberty and safety in 94 applications (4 percent), violation of the right of freedom of expression in 53 applications (2 percent), violation of the right to life in 52 applications (2 percent), and violation of the right for prohibition of torture in 51 applicants (2 percent).

The Constitution Court also said on its website that it will now update the statistics on individual applications every three months, posting the results online.

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