A bill that includes a series of reforms related to Turkey’s attorneys and bar associations has become law after being published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday.
The Turkish Parliament passed the legislation amending the law on Saturday, after long debates and approval by the Parliament’s Justice Commission.
The enactment includes a series of reforms on the establishment and dissolution of bar associations, their representation at the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) and their duties, as well as more flexible attire regulations.
According to the new law, there will no longer be one bar association for each province. The associations will still be administrated, however, from one united center, which is the TBB. The government has said the law would create a “more democratic and pluralistic” system.
The regulation for the multiple bar association system was opposed by all 80 existing bar associations, 29 of which marched to Ankara last month.
The law mainly affects metropoles such as Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, due to their large number of lawyers. For instance, in Istanbul, there could be five different bar associations at the same time.
The lawyers will be able to choose any one of the bars in provinces where there is more than one bar association. If the number of lawyers falls below 2,000 in an association, the TBB will demand the association incorporate the minimum number of lawyers within six months. If the number is not provided, the TBB will end the association’s legal entity and publish this decision on its official website. Those lawyers and interns that were registered to the association will register with another association if there is one in the province within 15 days after the announcement of the TBB and will continue their work in this association. The liquidation procedures of the association will be managed by its last administrative board and under the control of the TBB, while the union will receive the remaining assets of the association.
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