Judicial reform partially annulled

DAILY SABAH
Published 12.04.2014 00:00
Judicial reform partially annulled

The Constitutional Court annulled part of the new Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors law passed by Parliament in January that had given the Justice Ministry greater control over the appointment of prosecutors and judges

ISTANBUL — On Friday, the Constitutional Court partly annulled the new Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutor (HSYK) law that Parliament passed in January giving the Justice Ministry greater control over the appointment of prosecutors and judges.

The Constitutional Court found unconstitutional the law enabling the justice minister to appoint the HSYK's head of Inspection and Control Board. The bill, approved by President Abdullah Gül in February, transferred some of the powers of the HSYK to its chairman, the justice minister. The court repealed the justice minister's power to appoint HSYK members to departments within the body of the HSYK.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court rejected the Republican People's Party (CHP) demand for the cancellation of the justice minister's power over the Turkish Justice Academy. The law allows the government to have more control in the training of judges by transferring their training from the judicial board to the Turkish Justice Academy.

Commenting after the court's decision, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said, "The HSYK amendment is compatible with the Constitution. We will abide by the court's decision, but rejection does no change my opinion of the amendment." Pointing out that the HSYK amendment is not on the agenda of the Constitutional Court, Bozdağ said, "The HSYK amendment has not been on the current agenda of the court, but it is obvious that certain things happened to bring the amendments onto the court's agenda."

When asked if the officials reassigned after the HSYK amendment can be reinstated, Bozdağ said, "The judgment cannot be revoked; that's why reassignment to their former posts is not possible."

The HSYK is the top body in charge of assignments of judges and prosecutors. The HSYK also acts as a high court in investigations concerning all judicial staff.

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