Council of Europe says new Turkish judicial body does not offer judicial independence
ANKARACouncil of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks has expressed concern that the new composition of Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) is far from offering adequate safeguards for judicial independence.
The HSYK held its first meeting under the leadership of the justice minister in Ankara on June 7.
“I am concerned that the new composition of the HSYK does not offer adequate safeguards for the independence of the judiciary and considerably increases the risk of it being subjected to political influence,” Muiznieks said in a written statement on June 7.
“To avert such risk, European standards foresee that at least half of the members of judicial councils that are in charge of overseeing the professional conduct of judges and prosecutors (including appointments, promotions, transfers, disciplinary measures and dismissals of judges and public prosecutors) should be elected by the judiciary from within the profession,” he added.
“Against this background, I will follow the work of the HSYK and the extent to which it ensures in practice adherence to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, without which there can be no effective protection of human rights in Turkey,” Muiznieks said.
He also recalled that the new formation of the board had four members appointed directly by the president and seven members elected by parliament, while arguing that it lacked a procedure guaranteeing the involvement of all political parties and interests.