Reading employees' private emails against law: Top Turkish court
In a groundbreaking decision, the Turkish Constitutional Court has ruled on Oct. 14 that a multinational law firm and its Turkish partner breached European Convention on Human Rights by accessing the private email correspondence of two Turkish lawyer employees in a disciplinary proceeding and thus, dismissing two lawyers based on the content of these emails.
As the lawyers’ claims against the firm B.M Consultancy -as stated in the court decision- were rejected in the first instance and appellate courts, they applied to the Turkish Constitutional Court as the last resort.
Considering the seriousness of the breaches and the need for setting clear guidance to avoid similar future breaches, the high court referred the case to the highest court chamber of the country, the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court.
The chamber published 25 pages of a judgment given by the unanimous decision of 16 high judges on the Official Gazette on Oct. 14, 2020.
In its judgment, the Grand Chamber accepts the claims of the reclaimant lawyers that their freedom of communication and right of protection of private life, personal data (both based on related articles of the Turkish Constitution and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) were breached as the firm tried to find a cause to dismiss them.