Open call before history and the public

Open call before history and the public

Why the word “supreme” was removed from the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) in the constitutional amendments, I could not receive an answer from anybody.

Could it be a reflection of the ruling party’s mentality of regarding only the “elected” as superior? If so, then we have to start worrying.

The topic became an imminent one because the deadline expired on May 4 for the application of the seven seats that would be elected by the parliament for the new Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK).  

Out of the total 13 members of the new HSK, six of them will be determined by the executive organ: The president will appoint four members, the justice minister will head the council, the undersecretary of the ministry will also be a permanent member. Parliament, on the other hand, will elect seven members. 

Will “political” views be dominant in these appointments? Or will the overriding concern be electing the members to a council that has “equal” significance as the legislation and the executive as well as one that is expected to function with independence?

First of all, can the judiciary that was formed with “appointed” judges be equal to the legislation and the executive that were formed with the “elected?”

Of course they are equal; the appointments to the judiciary are not regarded as an appointment of a general manager or an undersecretary.
Sovereignty contains three powers; the legislation, executive and judicial powers. These are equal; they only have different duties and authorizations.

If appointments are done not based on professional competence and impartiality criteria, but with the haphazardness of “let him or her be from us,” then the confidence in the judiciary will be completely destroyed; the country will suffer gravely from that.

Because of past experiences; now, in our time, judiciary appointments are done absolutely with respect to the principle of the judiciary being independent and impartial.

In the 1958 French Constitution, the head of the council that made judicial appointments was the president affiliated with a political party. The justice minister who was again a party member was the deputy head.

I have not seen any significant complaints regarding those making political appointments, nevertheless, they changed the constitution in 2008. Since they were both political personalities, both the president and the justice minister were removed from the council. They were replaced by the head of the supreme court of appeals and the chief prosecutor of the same high court. 

This was because in the Balladur Committee report, it was stated that this was required to increase the “French people’s confidence in justice.”

Moreover, in the Balladur report, it was specified that because of the president becoming a main factor in politics, the significance of the parliament in the eyes of the public was decreasing. With the 2008 reform, parliament’s powers were also increased.

In our country, though, we are going to the opposite direction of this general trend of advanced states where the rule of law reigns. I recommend the Balladur Report to all jurists working for the government.

At least, with the “harmonization laws” to be issued, these matters can be moderated to a certain extent. For instance, the 10 percent election threshold could be pulled down to near zero levels. For instance, a detailed listing of which qualification criteria would be sought in judges to be appointed to the HSK could be declared beforehand with a regulation… 

During the 2010 constitutional amendments, when an election model was suggested for the HSYK, I had opposed this and defended a computerized assessment based on experience, competence, performance and academic career. 

Now, before history and the public, I have an open call: The parliamentary commission which will determine candidates for HSK memberships should publicly announce in a detailed internal regulation on what criteria their selection process would be based on.  

This is a must to prevent political arbitrariness.

Those jurists within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who support the new system are under a historic responsibility in this matter.