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RAPPORTS SUR LA SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE PAR LES ORGANISATIONS MEMBRES DE MEDEL

SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN ALLEMAGNE
1. La République Fédérale Allemande se comprend comme un état de droit démocratique et
social (Art. 20 de la constitution, Grundgesetz (GG), Loi Fondamentale). L’accès à la justice,
aux juges, auxquels le pouvoir de rendre la justice est confiée (Art. 92), est garanti par la
constitution (Art. 19 alinéa 4). La Cour Constitutionnelle puissante est souvent l’arbitre entre
les autres pouvoirs, l’exécutif et le législatif, soit, sur recours constitutionnel individuel soit
sur recours introduit par un magistrat en vue d’un contrôle de constitutionnalité, entre le
citoyen et «l’état».
2. La justice est, en général, dans le domaine des Länder (=les états qui forment la fédération),
seules les Cours Suprêmes et la Cour Constitutionnelle Fédérale sont des cours fédérales. La
législation sur la justice et son organisation ainsi que – en principe – le statut des magistrats
sont aussi du ressort de la fédération, seule la rémunération est en partie, en vertu d’une loi
fédérale, entre les mains des Länder en ce qui concerne les détails (voir infra sub 7.)
3. Les juges et les magistrats du parquet ont, en principe, un statut assez confortable et ils
gardent leurs droits de citoyen (conception du juge-citoyen), y compris le droit d’être
membre actif d’un parti politique et/ou d’un syndicat. Les magistrats du parquet ont –hélas –
le statut de fonctionnaires et le parquet est fortement hiérarchisé.
4. En ce qui concerne les organisations professionnelles de magistrats, il en existe trois: La
traditionnelle Association Allemande de Magistrats (Deutscher Richterbund, DRiB, largement
majoritaire) et les deux groupes progressistes, membres de MEDEL: Les Magistrats ver.di
(Syndicat Unifié des Services Publics et Privés,)Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaf) et la
Nouvelle Association des Magistrats (Neue Richtervereinigung, NRV).
5. Pour l’administration et la gestion de l’institution judiciaire, il n’existe pas d’organe du type
CSM (conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature) comme dans le reste de l’Europe, ni au niveau de
la fédération ni des Länder. On peut donc parler d’une séparation des pouvoirs de l’état
inachevée. La création de tels organes est donc revendiquée par les trois organisations de
magistrats, mais elle n’est ni sérieusement discutée ni revendiquée dans et par le politique
(des exceptions existent toutefois). Un certain espoir s’est fait jour : Le bureau et la
présidence de notre Syndicat ver.di, avec ses deux millions de membres, soutiennent notre
revendication d’une administration et d’une gestion du système judiciaire indépendantes
(autonomes).
6. Bien qu’il manque un système de ce type, existent in nuce des éléments d’autonomie et/ou
protégeant l’indépendance des magistrats :
– L’autogestion des cours et tribunaux par un organisme (le Präsidium) élu par les juges
qui fixe la composition des chambres et la distribution des affaires selon des critères
abstraits-généraux, pour garantir le juge naturel et éviter toute manipulation ;
– La nécessité d’un avis des représentants élus des magistrats à chaque acte
administratif à l’intérieur du tribunal qui concerne les juges (la Mitbestimmung,
cogestion). Le degré de Mitbestimmung oscille selon les différents Länder entre l’avis
simple et l’avis conforme ;
– La discipline est confiée, pour les magistrats (sauf l’avertissement qui est de la
compétence du président) à des tribunaux indépendants composés de juges (selon la
législation de quelques Länder, complétés par un avocat) ; la discipline est, d’ailleurs,
appliquée très restrictivement si l’on compare la pratique avec d’autres pays;.
– Pour les Cours Fédérales, et dans une grande partie des Länder, les juges ne sont pas
choisis et nommés par le seul ministre de la justice mais en commun avec une
commission parlementaire (et donc pluraliste). Ce système a été, après la chute du
système d’injustice nazi avec sa politisation de la justice, y compris sa partialité, créé et
choisi pour garantir une composition pluraliste de la justice qui correspond à la
pluralité sociale et représente celle-ci.
7. Pour conclure, trois touches sur des problèmes actuels, outre la lutte pour un système CSM
d’autogestion et, par cela, l’achèvement de la séparation des pouvoirs :
– La réforme du système PeBB§y (Personalbedarfsberechnungssystem, système
d’évaluation des charges de travail servant de base à la fixation des chiffres de dossiers
considérés comme devant être traitées par le personnel dans le budget de la justice et
favorisant une répartition des charges égale et juste au sein des cours et tribunaux);
– La misère des salaires d’une grande partie des magistrats (surtout les juges de base et
parmi eux surtout les jeunes) : La Cour Constitutionnelle vient de déclarer le système,
dans plusieurs Länder, incompatible avec la constitution qui garantit pour les magistrats
une rémunération adéquate à la fonction de juge et/ou de membre du parquet
(jugement du 5 mai 2015 -!-);
– La menace que représenteraient des accords comme TTIP etc… pour un état de droit
démocratique qui pourraient remplacer les compétences des justices nationales
indépendantes par un système d’arbitrage aux critères et avec le personnel du capital
international.
SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN BELGIQUE : EXSANGUE ET OUTRAGEE
1. La justice belge est exsangue car les gouvernements qui se sont succédés depuis plus de dix ans
ont oeuvré au désengagement de l’Etat dans ce domaine qui relève pourtant à la fois d’un service
public mais également et surtout d’un pouvoir constitué.
Dans le rapport qu’elle a rendu public en 2014, la CEPEJ a évalué pour 2012 à 0,7% la part du budget
national consacrée à la justice alors que la moyenne européenne est de 2,2%. La Belgique se situait
ainsi en avant-dernière position.
En 2014 et 2015, le gouvernement a imposé au secteur de nouvelles mesures d’austérité qui vont
nécessairement aggraver son état de faillite. Exemples : dans les 4 prochaines années, sur 6
magistrats qui partent, un seul sera remplacé ; de nombreux palais sont insalubres ; l’informatique
est préhistorique et défectueuse ; de nombreux greffes connaissent des périodes de fermeture
régulière par manque de personnel ; le ministère public a renoncé à poursuivre toute une série
d’infractions ; un arriéré de plus de 100 millions d’euros était dû à la fin 2014 aux experts et
traducteurs…
La justice belge est donc placée dans l’impossibilité matérielle d’exercer bon nombre de ses missions.
2. L’équilibre des institutions a récemment été rompu par le législateur en sorte que la justice va
également être placée dans l’impossibilité d’exercer son rôle de pouvoir constitué, contre-pouvoir
des pouvoirs législatif et exécutif.
Cette rupture d’équilibre est le résultat de deux lois récentes :
– la loi du 1er décembre 2013 qui impose pour des raisons budgétaires aux magistrats d’être «
mobiles » au sein d’un espace élargi, parfois très vaste, et permet donc de les « déplacer », au mépris
de la Constitution qui garantit leur indépendance par leur inamovibilité ;
– la loi du 18 février 2014 qui prétend introduire la « gestion autonome » des entités judiciaires et qui
a fait de la justice un département ministériel. Les moyens – c’est à dire une enveloppe fermée
réduite comme on le devine à peau de chagrin – seront désormais alloués par le ministre de la justice
aux entités judiciaires, placées en concurrence, après évaluation de leurs « résultats » et de leur
production, suivant des critères et des objectifs qui seront définis par le ministre lequel a déjà prévu
l’obligation de traiter dans un délai d’un an tous les dossiers entrants dans une structure. La mise
sous tutelle est donc évidente et lorsqu’elle est conjuguée à l’absence de moyens, l’on aperçoit
l’ampleur du coup qui est porté à la démocratie belge.
C’est pour ces raisons que les magistrats belges ont lancé deux recours contre ces lois auprès de la
Cour constitutionnelle et qu’ils vont introduire auprès de la Commission européenne une plainte
fondée sur l’article 47 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux.
C’est dans ce contexte également qu’a été organisée le 20 mars dernier une journée d’alerte qui a
réuni l’ensemble des acteurs du monde judiciaire, avec le Barreau, le personnel, les experts et les
traducteurs.
Athènes, 23 mai 2015, Vinciane Boon Porte-parole de l’Association syndicale des magistrats et M&M
SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN BULGARIE
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, the judiciary shall be independent
from the other two branches of the state power. The Supreme Judicial Council /SJC/ is entitled to
elect, promote, demote, transfer, to impose disciplinary sanctions on judges, prosecutors and
investigating magistrates and dismiss them from office. The judiciary has an independent budget
which is administered by the SJC.
The current set up of the Supreme Judicial Council enables strong political influence over the
functioning of the Council. According to the Constitution, the SJC consist of 25 members. The
President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the President of the Supreme Administrative Court, and
the Prosecutor General are ex officio members of the Council. Eleven of the members of the SJC are
elected by the Parliament and eleven are elected by the judicial authorities which includes courts,
prosecutors’ offices and offices of investigating magistrates. The ‘professional quota’ of the Council
comprises of 6 judges, 4 prosecutors and 1 investigating magistrates.
On several occasions the Bulgarian Judges Association expressed concern that the structure of the
SJC opens a wide range of possibilities for political interference in the process of administration of
the judiciary, especially in elections of the presidents of courts and appointments of the Prosecutor
General and the presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative
Court. The current structure of the Council and the number of its ‘Parliament quota’ members
enables politization of the process of appointing the candidates nominated by the parliamentary
represented political parties1.
Another issue arising from the existing structure of the SJC is bringing together powers relating to
judges, prosecutors and investigating magistrates into a single body – all functions of the Council
regarding these three types of magistrates are executed by the plenary of the SJC. In a series of
opinions and recommendations the institutions of the Council of Europe consistently highlight that
1 Opinion CDL-INF (99) 5 of 22-23 March 1999; Opinion of 5-6 July 2002 (CDL-AD (2002) 15);
Opinions Nos 444/2007 and 515/2009 of the European Commission for Democracy through Law /The Venice
Commission/.
one of the major instruments that guarantee judicial independence and the effective management of
the judiciary is creating safeguards, which ensure that matters relating to the status of judges and
prosecutors will be addressed independently.2 The Venice Commission and the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council recommended reconsideration of the common administration of the affairs
of judges, prosecutors and investigating magistrates.3
The Bulgarian Judges Association has addressed these problems and has drawn up several proposals
for amendments of the Judicial System Act aiming at institutional accordance of the administration of
Bulgarian judiciary with best European practices. There are some reasons for optimism as the
present Government and especially the Minister of Justice in the beginning of this year announced a
plan for judicial reform that includes a draft for a Constitutional amendment in conformity with the
abovementioned recommendations.
The political influence over the SJC hinders the fulfillment of one of its basic duties – to protect
judicial independence. In Bulgaria judges operate in an environment, which makes their work
strongly dependent on public opinion formed to a large extent by the arbitrary public comments on
the work of courts by representatives of the executive power. This places the discretion of judges in
relation to their professional duties, under disconcerting pressure and compromises the principle of
fair adjudication on the basis of the law and collected evidence only.
The Bulgarian Judges Association appealed several times to the SJC and insisted that the Council is
the body that is bound to protect the independence of the judiciary and to assure an efficient, fair
and transparent judicial administration. Unfortunately, the majority of the Council’s members fail to
understand the importance of the issues we raise and our organization is criticised by them for too
much ‘activism’.
There were two recent significant examples of undue and vague practices of the SJS. Judge Nelli
Kutzkova, the former Spokesperson and ex-member of the Board of the Bulgarian Judges Association,
was the only candidate for the position of the President of the Sofia Appellate Court. Her candidature
was supported by 40 of 58 judges at that court. During the session of the Council held on 30 April
2015, before the election, 11 members of the SJC spoke in favor of her nomination saying that she is
the proper candidate. No one of the Council’s members did express a negative opinion. As a result of
the secret voting only 9 members of the Council voted for judge Kutzkova, 4 members voted against
her and other 6 abstained. After the voting one of the Council’s members declared that he voted
against judge Kutzkova as she was ‘politically affined’ and once elected she would contribute to
disunion within the professional community.
During the same session of the SJC another scandalous decision was made. An agenda item was the
approval of the status of irremovability4 of judge Krasimir Mazgalov, member of the Bulgarian Judges
Association and one of the 24 judges from the Sofia City Court who some weeks ago criticized the
2 Opinion no.10 (2007) and Opinion no.12 (2009) of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
3 Opinion No 515/2009 of the Venice Commission; Resolution No 1730 (2010) of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe
4 After completing the fifth year of service and upon attestation by the SJC’s Nomination and Attestation
Commission, affirmed by the SJC’s resolution, a judge is appointed indefinitely and acquires life tenure.
Council for its inactivity to identify and condemn some dubious practices of the administration of
that court. The judge Mazgalov’s performance evaluation was excellent and no one member of the
Council expressed a negative opinion. However as a result of the secret voting there were not
prevailing votes for his irremovabality which was equivalent to his removal from the office. That was
averted only because of the reaction of two of the SJC members who proposed a new voting during
which the proposal for his irremovability was approved with a very slight majority.
Atanas Atanasov, Judge of Sofia City Court, Member of the Board of the Bulgarian Judges Association
SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE A CHYPRE
In regard of the problems of the Judges in Cyprus I would like to inform you the following:
As you may know Cyprus had a very strong and wealthy economy before 2013. The development of
the Cyprus economy was one of the best in Europe.
After continuous strategic mistakes of Cyprus banks and the decision of bail in to Cyprus banks in
March 2013, the whole country faced an incredible economic crisis.
Trying to save the economy of total collapse, Cyprus government made an application for assistance
to the E.U and the International Monetary Fund.
One of the first demands of the representatives of troika was the salary’s reduction of the public
servants in a percentage of 20%. .
Although there is a strict prohibition in the Constitution of Cyprus which does not allow the reduction
of judge’s salary and other benefits, the parliament decided to include the members of the judiciary
to the reduction Law.
We have cautioned the government and the parliament about the infringement of the Constitution
but with no result. After that all members of our association filed an application to the Supreme
Court of Cyprus against the law of the parliament.
The Supreme Court found unconstitutional the reduction of the judge’s salary and cancelled the law.
But all this period the members of the judiciary were facing an unbelievable attack from politicians
and the media. They were accusing us of been indifferent to the problems of the economy. But for
our association this was not a matter of money but a matter of a clear violence of the Constitution.
Proving that, after the judgement of the Supreme Court who cancelled the law, all members of our
association offered voluntary 20% of their salary. The government accepted that offer. We do not
believe of course that the economic crisis will be solved with our offer but we thought that this will
be a symbolic action for the people of Cyprus who suffers from the measures taken by the troika.
If we add also another 15% of new income taxes after March 2013 the whole reduction of judge’s
salary amounts approximately to 35%. Of course we have warned the government that any other
reduction is not acceptable because it will affect the decent living and the integrity of the members
of the judiciary.
Economic crisis does not affect only the salary of the judges. Also affected the whole society and the
people of Cyprus began to doubt the system including the judiciary. The media are criticizing the
judgments of the Courts in many cases unfairly and in most cases without even reading the
judgement.
Also the number of cases coming in to the courts increased dramatically due to the economic crisis.
The judges doing their best to manage the increasing work. But because of the embargo of new
employments the problem remains.
Of course we must not forget the infringement of human rights in Cyprus by the Turkish army who
occupies approximately 40% of the island since 1974.
Under these circumstances Cyprus judges keep their independence and continue to serve the rule of
law and democracy.
SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN ESPAGNE
Since 2012, the Spanish government has been introducing reforms that, taken collectively, would
seriously weaken the rule of law.
A Court Fees Act and an initial reform to the Organic Law of the Judiciary were passed in 2012; a law
to reform the Judicial Council (Consejo General del Poder Judicial) was passed in 2013; and reforms
to the Criminal Code and the Citizen Security and Public Safety Act have been passed in March 2015.
Proposed reforms to the Legal Aid Act, the Criminal Procedure Act and additional reforms of the
Organic Law of the Judiciary are still under discussion in parliament.
We are deeply concerned that these legislative reforms adversely affect the proper functioning of
the institutions responsible for safeguarding the rule of law, and attack the following elements of the
rule of law: access to justice and independent and effective judicial review; non- discrimination and
equality before the law; separation of powers and judicial independence; legal certainty and respect
for human rights; and a transparent, accountable, democratic and pluralistic process for enacting
law.
The principles and values are threatened in Spain as a result of legislative reforms, some of which
have been adopted and others which are in the course of being approved, and how domestic rule of
law safeguards have not been capable of containing such threats.
Judges for Democracy, ( JPD) and Progressive Union of Prosecutors, ( UPF) express their grave
concern in relation to serious threats to the rule of law in Spain.
The government should reopen the reforms to proper consultations with the aim of ensuring the
reforms lead to an effective reorganization and modernization of the judicial system. Our judiciary
should be organized and resourced in such a way as to secure independence and to ensure the
judiciary can secure the rule of law, including an adequate number of judges and prosecutors, proper
facilities and resources, etc. Remind the Spanish government that political and executive interference
with the judiciary is inconsistent with the requirement for an independent judiciary.
The proposed laws infringe the principle of legal certainty and the freedoms of expression and
assembly, fundamental rights in a democratic society governed by the rule of law and the new
immigration law legalizes summary returns.
JPD UPF
SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN FRANCE
L’alternance politique de 2012 n’a pas permis à la justice française de revenir sur dix années de
populisme sécuritaire et de pénurie budgétaire. Faute d’ambition politique, elle n’a pas été réformée
en profondeur et reste profondément inégalitaire et maltraitante pour ses usagers.
Une justice dont l’indépendance n’est toujours pas garantie
Aucune réforme constitutionnelle n’est venue renforcer l’indépendance de la justice. Si le pouvoir
exécutif n’intervient plus dans le cours des affaires individuelles, son emprise reste très forte sur la
carrière des magistrats. Les magistrats du parquet n’ont toujours pas conquis leur indépendance, et
de nombreux scandales politico-financiers, mettant en jeu des personnalités politiques de premier
plan comme un ancien président de la République, sont un prétexte pour alimenter le soupçon d’une
justice instrumentalisée. Le syndicalisme judiciaire a été la cible de violentes attaques qui laissent
craindre, pour les années à venir, une remise en cause fondamentale.
Les libertés individuelles en danger
Depuis 1986, la France renforce son arsenal répressif au nom de la lutte contre le terrorisme. La
dernière loi votée restreint le contrôle du juge judiciaire sur les atteintes aux libertés individuelles au
profit de l’administration, notamment en créant l’interdiction administrative de sortie du territoire
pour les « candidats au djihad » ou en autorisant le blocage de sites internet sur décision
administrative.
La mobilisation nationale pour la liberté d’expression qui a suivi les attentats de janvier 2015 a vite
été récupérée par un gouvernement qui a déclaré la « guerre » au terrorisme et justifie toutes les
dérives sécuritaires. Le Parlement s’apprête à voter une loi, qui, sous prétexte d’encadrer les
pouvoirs des services de renseignement, autorisera la surveillance de masse des citoyens sans
contrôle d’une autorité indépendante. Les exigences de fermeté et d’exemplarité dans la lutte contre
le racisme et le terrorisme conduisent au démantèlement continu de la loi sur la liberté de la presse,
qui protège la liberté d’expression. Le délit d’apologie du terrorisme est devenu une infraction de
droit commun, sévèrement réprimée par les tribunaux, comme le seront bientôt les injures et
diffamations à caractère raciste.
En matière pénale, le gouvernement a renoncé à réformer en profondeur. La loi pénale votée en
2014 a certes supprimé le mécanisme des peines planchers, et créé une nouvelle peine, la probation.
Mais les parlementaires et le pouvoir exécutif ont préféré donner des gages de fermeté à l’opinion
publique plutôt que de mettre en oeuvre une politique réellement progressiste. Et le gouvernement
a abandonné toute velléité de réformer la justice des mineurs, pourtant saccagée par dix années de
politique sécuritaire, ou de supprimer la rétention de sûreté.
Pour la justice du quotidien, des logiques gestionnaires
Le service public de la justice n’a cessé de se dégrader ces dernières années. Pour faire face au flux
des procédures, les juridictions, sous la pression de la hiérarchie judiciaire, ont cédé à la logique
gestionnaire. Le contradictoire, l’écoute du justiciable, la collégialité disparaissent des prétoires au
profit de procédures expéditives dans lesquelles le juge devient l’alibi d’un parquet tout puissant. Les
missions de protection et de garant des libertés du juge sont régulièrement remises en cause au
profit d’une justice pénale qui elle tourne à plein régime pour réprimer, toujours plus sévèrement,
les populations les plus faibles.
La justice reste inaccessible pour nombre de justiciables que la crise a précipité dans la précarité, et
qui ne peuvent avoir accès à un avocat. L’Etat se désengage du budget de l’aide juridictionnelle, un
des plus faibles d’Europe, et refuse d’assurer une rémunération décente aux avocats qui se
consacrent à la défense des plus démunis.
Françoise Martres Présidente du Syndicat de la Magistrature.
LA SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN GRECE
Chaque système judiciaire évolue dans son propre contexte historique en respectant la Constitution,
la culture et la tradition judiciaire nationale
La justice grecque comporte des problèmes permanents graves, qui pourraient être attribues en
grande partie au manque de modernisation de son modèle d’organisation actuel.
Les retards dans l’administration et le rendement de la justice sont considérés comme l’un des
principaux problèmes.
La Grèce occupe une des premières places parmi les pays du Conseil d’ Europe dans lesquels la
justice et les litiges sont gérés à des rythmes très lents.
Dans notre système procédural le “filtrage” des affaires judiciaires n’est pas prévu, ce qui fait que
presque un million d’affaires judiciaires sont au jour d’hui pendantes devant les tribunaux grecs.
D’autres formes de règlement des litiges, comme la médiation, ne sont pas encore développées.
La surcharge de l’appareil judiciaire de la justice grecque n’est pas seulement liée à la production
continue et fragmentaire des règles, ce qui engendre un excès de matière judiciaire (une énorme
quantité de matière judiciaire), surtout pour les tribunaux administratifs et pénaux, mais aussi au fait
qu’un certain nombre de graves problèmes juridiques apparaissent concernant des citoyens ayant
des croyances, des visions du monde et des religions différentes émanant de la création de nouvelles
paramètres culturelles.
Compte tenu de l’analyse du sociologue Max Weber à propos de la relation entre le droit et
l’économie, à savoir du lien étroit entre les institutions et le marché, on dirait que le système
d’administration de la justice a subi un coup supplémentaire pour une autre raison, notamment à
cause de l’environnement économique créé par la crise financière.
Choisissant alors une solution facile afin de faire face au coût de la justice, l’état a réduit des services
et des dépenses nécessaires pour le fonctionnement du système, cela ayant comme résultat la
carence apparente non seulement en infrastructure logistique mais aussi en ressources humaines, vu
que des postes de magistrats et de greffiers restent vacants.
Dans le cadre de ces réductions le gouvernement, ayant reproché aux magistrats grecs de former une
“élite”, un groupe privilégié, a procédé dans une période de deux ans à la diminution de leurs
rémunérations de 60%.
Le non-respect de l’exécutif aux décisions judiciaires conduit à l’augmentation des pouvoirs de ce
dernier, au détriment de l’état de droit.
Dans le corps judiciaire il ya un point de vue qui est très rependu, selon lequel dans la magistrature
grecque la discipline doit être supérieure à celle régnant dans l’armée et que c’ est une impiété de la
part des juges d’ exprimer leurs avis.
La haute hiérarchie judiciaire maintenait un certain scepticisme à l’égard des actes des juges,
jouissant d’une indépendance réelle
Ce point de vue a été une entrave aux efforts déployés par l’Association grecque pour la démocratie
et la liberté tout au long de son existence et ayant pour objectif d’attirer un nombre important de
membres parmi les juges, même si elle a réussi a jeter des ponts entre les magistrats desservant les
différents secteurs de justice, y compris les magistrats retraités, et cela grâce au principe du
pluralisme sur lequel elle est fondée en vertu de ses objectifs statutaires, qui lui permettent de s’
exprimer non seulement concernant le cadre étroit de l’administration et de rendement de la
justice, mais aussi sur les questions qui préoccupent largement l’opinion publique.
En vue de ces problèmes susmentionnés, on pourrait prétendre que l’administration de la justice
dans des palais de justice aux colonnes grecques ainsi que la rationalisation du système administratif
et judiciaire restent pour l’instant un rêve insaisissable pour la magistrature.
Evi Palaiologou Presidente de l’association Grecque Athènes 23.5.2015
LA SITUATION JUDICIAIRE EN ITALIE.
Since taking up office, the new Prime Minister has announced “epoch – making reforms” to increase
the quality and efficiency of justice.
Publicized as a « watershed » between the past and the future of the Judiciary, two reforms
concerning the judges’ and prosecutors’ status have been recently approved.
The slogan on the government website announced the first reform, adopted to reduce the days off
( Act 162/2014): “ less days off for magistrates: civil justice more efficient”.
Last February, the law on compensation for damage caused in the exercise of judicial functions and
the civil liability of judges and prosecutors was significantly changed ( Act 18/2015).
Actions for damages are no longer subject to a “recognition of admissibility” to be granted by the
Court upon verification “prima facie” of existence of all pre-requisites for the suit (e.g the
inapplicability of any remedy such as appeal or complaints), even though the Italian Constitutional
Court (judgment no. 468 of 1990), had qualified the “filter” as an indispensable tool to avoid civil
liability being used to destabilising judges responsible for a case or to either directly or indirectly
attack their independence.
The reform raises the threshold of economic compensation for the damage, which can be up to half
the salary of the judge.
Judges’ liability is still « indirect » and precluded in relation to the interpretation of provisions of law
and assessment of facts and of the evidence. Nevertheless, the “misrepresentation of the facts and
evidence” and the “manifest infringement of law” ( instead of the “serious breach of law resulting
from gross negligence”, ) are provided as new cases of liability. These provisions directly involve the
judges’ activity of evaluation and interpretation, that is the essence of judicial activity: courts, facing
divergent or conflicting arguments, must normally interpret the relevant legal rules in order to
resolve the dispute brought before them, and in almost all appeals to the Supreme Court parties
contest the “misrepresentation” of facts or “misinterpretation” of law.
The reform was carried out « in the name of Europe ». Actually, the EU Court of Justice , in 2006
( Case C-173/03) and in 2011 ( C -379/10) ruled that the exclusion of State liability, or the limitation
of State liability to cases of intentional fault or gross negligence, was contrary to the general principle
that Member States are liable for an infringement of EU law by a court whose decision is not open to
appeal.
Public statements by institutions representatives emphasized that the new law will « finally » make
judges and prosecutors liable, to embody the idea of a reform against the « privileges » of
« magistrates’ caste », and new provisions to protect citizens, making « justice less injust ».
The National Association of Magistrates expressed its concerns and critical opinions: as many
commentators have pointed out, the reform could lead to a « defensive » jurisprudence, avoiding
any innovative interpretative effort to protect rights ; the abolition of « filter » could turn out to be a
dangerous tool to get rid of an « uncomfortable » judge and condition his conduct during the
proceedings.
-Last April, the European Court of Human Rights – section IV (case Cestaro v. Italy – application no.
688/11), ruling on the actions of Italian police officers in Genoa at the end of the G8 summit in July
2001, held that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or
degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights on account of ill-treatment
sustained by the applicant when the police stormed the Diaz-Pertini school. According to the ECHR
judgment, there had been a further violation of article 3 because of the Italian criminal legislation
concerning the punishment of acts of torture which – despite the obligations resulting from the UN
Convention against the torture, ratified in 1989- is still an ineffective deterrent to prevent the
repetition of such acts.
The events occurred during the G8 summit in Genoa represent one of the most painful moments of
the recent history of the Italian Republic.
The ECHR judgement has reminded public powers and institutions of their own responsibilities. The
Court noted that the failure to identify the actual perpetrators of the ill-treatment could not be
imputed to the shortcomings or negligence of the public prosecutor’s office, but to a lack of police
cooperation. On the other hand, the Court observed that the criminal proceedings had not led to any
convictions for the ill-treatment of the applicant, in particular, as the physical injury offences were
time-barred, but underlined that the Italian courts have shown an “exemplary firmness” (“une
fermeté exemplaire “), rightly appreciating the extraordinary seriousness of the facts.
What we need, in Italy as in Europe, is a judiciary system capable of responding with “exemplary
firmness” to every violation of rights. A system that can reaffirm the principles of equality and
solidarity compromised by social and economic crisis, and that guarantees the effectiveness of the
“inviolable” rights enshrined in our Constitution and in the Charter of fundamental rights of EU: first
of all, the right of a free and dignified existence for all men and women who risk their life every day
in our seas to flee from tragedies in their countries.
Justice must be able to respond to these expectations of rights and solidarity. The inefficiency of our
system, caused by the lack of resources and structural reforms, makes more and more difficult to
accomplish this task.
Last April, in the Milan Court, a judge, a lawyer , and a citizen, were killed, as it had happened a few
days before in the Istanbul Court, where the Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz was killed.
These tragic events, signs of increasing tension towards justice, should be a warning, to remind us
that the Courts must continue to be and to represent places where rights are protected and where
“Justice shields the man who fights for her” 5.
LA SITUATION JUDICIAIRE EN POLOGNE
In January, 2014 The Supreme Court, as a full court (four chambers, more than 80 judges) issued a
resolution stating, that the judge may be transferred from court to court only by the Minister of
Justice. This decision can not be taken by the Secretary of State or Sub-Secretary of State
(traditionally called deputy ministers). So the Supreme Court agreed with several hundred Polish
judges, who have been transferred to other courts by the deputy ministers of justice. For a period
about three months they refused to judge in the new courts, stating that they are not authorised to
do it, because they were transferred against the law. The dispute was began by the answer of
Supreme Court for the law question in the ordinary case (3 judges), expressing this same view. Due
to the open conflict of judges with the Minister of Justice Marek Biernacki, who along with officials of
the Ministry would force judges to rule against their conviction, the issue was referred to the
decision by the full Supreme Court bench. The decision about this way was taken by the First (Main)
President of the Supreme Court Stanislaw Dabrowski, who died just a few days before the release of
this resolution.
5 Aeschylus, The Suppliants.
After the resolution the Supreme Court decided, that this interpretation is valid from the date of the
resolution; the different view could make invalid hundreds of thousands of decisions taken by 550
improperly transferred judges for a period of about a year. The judges returned this time to service.
The response of the Ministry of Justice was the intensification of the supervision over judges, and the
introduction of systems having recorded any action taken by the judge in each case, to control the
activities of judges by their superiors and officials of the Ministry. The actions of judges shall be
recorded in computer systems by court clerks. Moreover, in the ministry began the work on another
change of the law of common courts. This change shall to pick up the rest of allowances of bodies
dating from the democratic choices (made by the judges) and to delegate all decisions to the
presidents of courts, appointed by the Minister. It was such another change in the period of last 10
years, during which time the judge’s government in Poland has lost almost all powers od selfgoverment.
The opinions of the National Judiciary Council or judges, including the “Iustitia”, were
rejected by the minister. The minister did not lead any interviews with the judges.
In the spring of 2014, Minister Marek Biernacki was dismissed and he was replaced by Cezary
Grabarczyk, one of the leaders of the ruling party (PO – Citizen Platform, the party of the new UE
President Donald Tusk), professional advocate. He cancelled developed by the predecessor
dangerous draft law ordering obligatory publication in the internet the assets declarations of the
judges (anti-corruption). It would expose judges to danger from criminals, because it revealed their
place of residence and pointed owned assets. Minister Cezary Grabarczyk also announced the
reappointment of the courts, liquidated from 1 January 2013. by then Justice Minister Jaroslaw
Gowin (non-lawyer) against the negative opinions of lawyers of all specialties. The number of
liquidated courts was 79. 34 of them have been newly created from 1 January 2015., from 1 July
2015 will be created another 41, about one court the dispute is continuing, and the last three courts
only were really too small and their liquidation was not questioned.
Minister Cezary Grabarczyk would continue the work on changes of the law of common courts,
planned by Marek Biernacki. In this law was a very dangerous change, giving the Minister of Justice
the right to require at any time the file of every court case (also in progress) and control it. The
minister`s project also gave him the right of inspection of all the documents in the court computer
networks, including the testimony of all the witnesses and all the statements by the participants of
case. This rules were written in the ministry, but from the project were it deleted, and later were it
given to one of the MPs from the ruling party with the order to propose this change as a proposal of
the MP. In this way, the Minister avoided consulting the draft law with the National Judiciary Council
and judges from “Iustitia”.
The law was a project of the government, so it was accepted, because all government projects are in
Polish parliament accepted (the MPs receive from the party leaders the commands, how to vote). In
contrast, the President od Poland has not signed this bill and sent it to the Constitutional Court.
However, he found unconstitutional only the provisions giving the Minister of Justice access to
witness statements and documents in the case, which violate the principle of protection people’s
privacy and exposes them to disclosure sensitive data. The issue of strict subordination of judges to
superiors and limiting the judgement independence not interested in the president.
Moreover, in 2014 parliament reduced to 80 % of the remuneration of judges for the period of their
illness. The right to 100 % of salary for the period of illness MPs left now for themselves only (the
judges had this right more then 25 years).
Overall, the situation of the judiciary in Poland continues to deteriorate due to ongoing continuously
since 2005. ever closer subordination the judificature of executive power.
President of „Iustitia”, PJA
Maciej Strączyński
LA SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE AU PORTUGAL
Having been under a financial assistance programme negotiated with the European Union, the
European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund from May 2011 to May 2014, the
judicial system has suffered some of the effects of it, either from austerity measures imposed or
from reforms agreed by the Portuguese government with the so-called Troika.
1. The underfunding of the judicial system
Due to budgetary restrictions that were implemented in all the sectors of public administration, the
underfunding of the judiciary – that has been a constant problem for decades – has increased in a
dramatic way. There is a serious lack of court clerks that compromises seriously the response of the
judicial system, mainly in areas like the enforcement of civil condemnations. This is a problem
recognized by government officials but the solution is constantly being postponed, with the excuse of
the lack of means to hire more clerks.
2. The cuts in salaries of judges and prosecutors and the non-existing progression in careers
Implemented since 2011, the cuts in salaries of judges and prosecutors (that were around 20% to
25%, higher than cuts of other public servants) remains in place and has only been softened by an
increase in the payment level for some of the youngest judges and prosecutors that was put into
force when the new organization of the judicial system was approved, in September 2014. Salaries
were cut and the tax burden increased dramatically, leaving many magistrates in a very delicate
situation. This, added to the fact that all progression in career has been almost completely frozen
since mid-2006, leads to a huge decrease in the economic condition of all magistrates, seriously
threatening not only the quality, but also the independence of the judiciary, as it was imposed
unilaterally by the legislative and executive powers.
3. New laws and new judicial organization
Some reforms intended to bring more effectiveness to the judicial system have been approved by the
government and parliament. In September 2013, a new Civil Procedure Code entered into force,
aiming to reduce formality in the procedure and this year a new Administrative Procedure Code was
approved and entered into force. The reform that was presented as the more radical was the
changing of the organization of the judiciary that came to light in September 2014. The former
division of the country in more than 300 districts gave place to only 23 districts with a larger area of
jurisdiction. Specialization was spread to the whole country, with labour, civil, criminal, family,
commerce and intellectual property cases attributed to different and specialized courts. Each of the
new 23 districts has its own president, appointed by the Superior Council, with administrative
functions set to improve efficiency. The system is still in the beginning and evaluation of the first
results, but its implementation revealed the serious lack of resources of the judicial system. The
computer system wasn’t ready for the overload that was necessary during the implementation and it
broke down – courts were in most parts of Portugal almost completely inactive for almost two
months.
4. The independence of the judiciary – the proposed new statutes of judges and prosecutors
During the last year, workgroups composed of judges, members of judges and prosecutors
associations, representatives of the government and judges and prosecutors appointed by the High
Councils of Judges and Prosecutors have elaborated drafts of new statutes for judges and
prosecutors. They were presented in the beginning of the year to the Minister of Justice and approval
by the Council of Ministers is pending, for them to be presented to the Parliament to be approved
under the form of law. They are aimed to establish more guarantees of independence and dignity to
Judges and Prosecutors, not only in the remuneration aspects, but mainly by putting into force rules
for safeguarding unilateral changes in the statutes by the legislative and executive powers – the need
for a qualified majority of 2/3 of the members of parliament is established in order to prevent
changes made in the statutes by one single party.
Legislative elections will take place in Portugal in September/October, so the Parliament will only
remain in function until the end of July. The Minister of Justice has guaranteed that she will take the
projects to Parliament in time for approval before the elections, but time is running out and until
today there are no signs that the approval of the projects by the Council of Ministers will be made
soon.
Associação Sindical dos Juízes Portugueses
May 2015
LA SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN ROUMANIE
1. The legal system modifications.
The Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Code, the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code entered
into force without simultaneously reform of the judiciary and legal system. There are still provisions
uncorrelated with the provisions of the new codes likely to create serious problems in solving the
cases. Also the lack of personnel and facilities within courts, makes, in some respects, impossible the
implementation of the new codes. The system is underfinanced and there is no political will to
change that.
The Civil Procedure Code entered into force on 15 February 2013, and although it has been more
than two years from this date, there are still provisions that cannot be implemented because in
courts does not exist the necessary facilities. In this respect we recall the provisions relating to
hearing cases in “council chamber”, whose entry into force was initially postponed until 2016, and
now, apparently, the provisions will be further delayed, due to the lack of necessary spaces in courts.
Although the entry into force of the new Civil Procedure Code was intended to shorten the
settlement of cases it is found that the effect is contrary. The new code involves an extensive
administrative procedure and the lack of a sufficient number of clerks / administrative staff, properly
trained, which could take over some of the administrative duties of the judges has a negative
influence on the duration of settlement process.
The new Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes came into force in 2014 and their immediate
application generated a non-unitary practice given the fundamental changes brought to the main
intuitions as well as the legislative incoherence.
The mechanism created for the practice unification – a preliminary ruling by the High Court of
Cassation and Justice – was not sufficient for removing this shortcoming, because this procedure is
not governed by celerity and the High Court rules only on the merits leaving some important
procedural aspects to be dealt differently by courts.
Regarding the new criminal codes it is important to state that there is a vast jurisprudence of the
Constitutional Court by which many provisions of the criminal code and especially the Criminal
Procedure Code have been declared unconstitutional.
2. The independence of the judiciary.
The activity of the prosecutors intensified lately, especially in terms of fighting corruption
but, in the stage of criminal prosecution (the non-public phase of the criminal process) a lot of
important information from the investigated cases reached the press. Important details of criminal
cases are therefore debated in the media before reaching the judges’ table.
The entrance in force of the new criminal codes led to an avalanche of arrests and
registration of new criminal cases on the basis of the denunciations made by persons deprived of
their liberty, because the new provisions established, initially, that the denounce is a cause of
impunity. The demands for the arrest warrants and the denunciations were made public and
generated a debate likely to prejudice the image of justice.
The image of justice was affected by the publication of the National Anticorruption Directorates
activity report on 2014 in which, in Annex 3 – Presentation of the final acquittals in 2014 – is analyzed
the content of the judgments of acquittal and are made assessments on compliance of these
decisions with the administrated evidence or even with the law.
Although informed by the professional associations of judges, regarding the analyses made
by the DNA in the activity report, the Superior Council of the Magistracy had no reaction. The Plenary
of the SCM sent the complaints to one of its commissions, and, after discussions, the Commission
took note that DNA has assumed the comments made by associations and appreciated that in the
public space should not to be expressed criticism regarding the legality or the merits of the final
judicial decisions.
Also, lately, the former Romanian president, repeatedly, stated that among magistrates are
under covered agents. On the same theme the director of the Legal Division of the Romanian
Information Service said that the courts have become the “tactical fields” for the intelligence
operations.
According to the legal frame of the judiciary the judges and prosecutors have the obligation
to make an annual affidavit, under the penalty of perjury within the meaning that they are not
operative workers, including undercover, informants or collaborators of the secret services,
statements that should be checked by Supreme Council of National Defense. So far there is no
evidence showing that such checks were made and which was their result. In these conditions the
law is applied strictly in a formal manner and the consequences are reflected on the entire judiciary,
through the erosion of citizen confidence in an independent and impartial act of justice.
Judge Natalia Roman
President of the National Union of Judges in Romania
LA SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN SERBIE
Serbian judicial system has been deeply destabilized in 2009/2010. In December 2009, more than 1/3
magistrates (more than 830 judges and 220 prosecutors) had been dismissed without transparent
and contradictory procedure and without any reason. As from 2010 the organization of the judiciary
(seats and territorial jurisdictions of courts and public prosecutor’s offices) was changed (the number
of basic courts was reduced from 138 to 34).
1. Permanent reform activities – destabilization of system
Till the end of 2012 all of dismissed magistrates who wanted it, have been reinstated (630 judges and
more than 100 prosecutors). As from the 2014 the number of basic courts increased to 66.
Several dozens of laws have been changed (on organization of the judiciary, on courts’ jurisdiction;
on procedures – civil, criminal; numerous substantive laws) – for example, up till now, Law on Judges
(2008) has been amended 10 times, Law on Organisation of Courts (2008) – 6 times, Civil Procedure
Code (2011) – 4 times, Law on Enforcement ( 2011) – 4 times, and the new one is in the
parliamentary procedure for adoption, Law on privatization (2001) 11 times (3 times in 2014), while
the new one was passed in 2014; Law on Bankruptcy Proceedings (2004) was amended in 2005, and
replaced by the new one in 2009, which was later on amended 3 times; Law on Restructuring,
Bankruptcy and Liquidation of Banks (1990) 6 times, later (2005) replaced by new one, which was
amended 2 times. Criminal Code (2005) was corrected and amended in that very year, and amended
7 times. Criminal Procedure Code (2001) was amended 9 times until 2010; second Criminal
Procedure Code (2006) although it has never been enforced, was amended in 2007 and 2008, and
the actual Criminal Procedure Code (2011) had been amended even before its implementation began
(in 2011) and has been amended 5 times.
The 2013/2018 National judicial reform strategy was adopted. Serbia is in the process of the
negotiations for the EU accession and in process of drafting Chapter 23 Action Plan. All that demands
the harmonization of the laws with EU legal system.
The reform’s measures of judicial system that has been undertaken so far were not adequate for
solving the problem they addressed to and failed to fully stabilize the system. The planned activities
(time frames, priorities, articulations of the activities) do not fully meet the solutions.
2. Failure in functioning of High Judicial Council
During past years High Judicial Council failed in its role both as safeguard of the independence of
judges and courts and as manager of the judicial system and enabled executives to put huge
influence at its functioning.
3. Evaluation of judges work – based “cult of statistics”
The evaluation is not yet in function (the beginning of the evaluation is foreseen for 1.7.2015); the
bylaw on evaluation is based “cult of statistics”, quantity and rapidity which decreases the quality of
the judges ‘work.
4. Unequal burdening of judges and courts – Unequal access to justice
The judges, especially in civil cases, are over burdened. For example:
number of civil and commercial litigious cases per 100.000 inhabitants in 2012
state
number of cases
at the beggining
of 2012.
2012.
in flow
number of
resolved cases in
2012.
clearance rate
Serbia 2.990 3.214 3.727 116%
Austria 468 1.235 1.242 100,6%
Czech Republik 1.590 3.457 3.415 98,8%
France 2.143 2.575 2.555 99,2%
Germany 995 1.961 1.968 100,4%
Poland 993 2.771 2.451 88,5%
Workload of judges differs from court to court. In some basic courts, there are 400-500 criminal
cases per one judge, and in some other courts one judge has 100 cases or less; the similar situation is
with civil litigious cases. In some higher courts, in second instance, one judge deals with 700-1200
cases, and in other of such courts with 100-15 cases.
Such situation causes resolving of the similar cases in different timeframe depending on workload of
judge and results in unequal access of citizens to justice, depending of the cities they are living in.
5. Continuous training needed
Lack of continuous training of judges, together with frequent changes of laws and reduced
jurisdiction of the Supreme court of cassation, causes unharmonised case law.
6. Cuts of judges salaries for 10%
The salary of the judge of the basic court is less than 800 Euros, and judge of appellate court around
1000 Euros (average salary in Serbia is 350 Euros).
7. Problems with judges from Kosovo and Metohija
In order to fully implement 2013 Brussels agreement, judges of the Republic of Serbia are invited to
apply for the posts in the judicial system other then Serbian (of Kosovo) – which jeopardize their
Serbian citizenship, permanency of their tenure, their personal security due the fact that the
safeguard of no transferability of judges does not exist in Kosovo, as well as their social insurance (no
pension higher of 90 Euro in Kosovo).
LA SITUATION DE LA JUSTICE EN REPUBLIQUE TCHEQUE
The Judiciary of the Czech Republic is set out in Constitution, which defines courts as
independent institutions within the traditional framework of checks and balances. The whole of
Chapter Four of the Constitution of the Czech Republic is dedicated to defining the role of the judicial
power in the Czech Republic. The basic regulation of the judicial function is provided by Act no.
6/2002 Coll., Courts, Judges, Lay-judges and the State Administration of Courts Act (the Judges Act
2002).
There are three distinct jurisdictions: courts of general jurisdiction, administrative courts and
the Constitutional Court. The two latter are specialised jurisdictions – their competence must be
expressly provided for in law. If no such provision exists, the matter will be dealt with by the courts of
general jurisdiction (civil courts). The majority of higher courts are seated in Brno, so as to provide a
counterbalance to the concentration of power in the capital (Prague).
There is no trial by jury. There is, however, the laic participation in the administration of
justice in the form of laypersons sitting as judges in chambers, hearing cases first hand. Laypersons
are elected by local councils. Two lay judges sit with a professional judge, hearing non-specialised
cases first hand. Appellate and Supreme courts´ chambers are composed of professional judges only.
The Czech Republic has a system of career judiciary; this system has, however, been modified
by the requirement of 30 years of age for new judges. The candidates are chosen in the previously
advertised competition. The judges are appointed by the President of the Republic and normally may
not be recalled or transferred without their will. Judges are appointed for life and can be only
removed following disciplinary proceedings conducted by The Supreme Administrative Court
(disciplinary chambres). There is one instance disciplinary proceeding.
The state administration of courts has repeatedly been criticised on international as well as
domestic forum. The Ministry of Justice administers the high courts, regional courts and district
courts within the scope of Act No 6/2002, either directly or through the Presidents of the courts; the
district courts may also be administered by the Ministry of Justice through the Presidents of the
regional courts. The state administration of the courts involves such crucial elements as the courts´
budgeting or the appointment of presidents and vice-presidents of the courts.
The selection process, appointment of judges and their promotion to the higher courts have
been widely discussed over the years. A solution, that would fit best, seems to be the
implementation of a Supreme Judicial Council as a body with competence in the processes described
above. The creation of such a body is a topical and continuous point of discussion between the
government and the representatives of the judiciary in the Czech Republic.
Czech Union of Judges
SITUATION EN JUSTICE TURQUIE
05.05.2015
Main problem of Turkey is the fact that executive and legislative power has been
accumulated in the hands of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (President). Wielding unchecked and unbalanced
legislative and executive power, he has become more authoritarian and he has created “one-man
rule” in Turkey through repressive laws enacted while he was prime minister. All state bodies and
supervisory institutions rendered unfunctional including judiciary.
Incumbent party reshaped the whole judiciary in a year and a half after major corruption
investigations revealed.
Judiciary is controlled by High Council of Judges and Prosecutors in Turkey, membership
election of which was held on October 2014 and government backed list won 15 seats total out of 22
thus government in direct control of it.
After HCJP members selected, government enacted new legislation added eight new
chambers to the Supreme Court of Appeals and two new chambers to the Council of State.
Consequently newly designed High Judicial Council assigned 144 new members to the Supreme Court
of Appeals and 39 members to the Council of State. Now both the local courts and the higher
judiciary are being subordinated to the government. The government established tutelage over the
judiciary by assigning many pro-government jurists to newly created chambers in top judicial bodies.
Government now uses HCJP to steer any case towards desired direction by, for example
reassigning local judges and prosecutors to other positions so as to change the outcome of an
important case.
In 2014, government changed Turkish Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure to create
its own special criminal judicial system which is being used against all dissidents to silence them. This
new courts and criminal procedure code allow government to apply pre-trial detention and arrest
measures arbitrarily which are used as a punishment tool for all dissidents, opponents and critics.
Newly created “Penal Magistracy of Peace” and “Specially Authorized High Criminal Courts
for Crimes against Constitutional Order” are pro-arrest and prone to become government tool to
silence dissidents,
These special courts have extensive powers to take all decisions related to the conduct of
criminal investigations, such as detention, arrest, release and seizure of property. There is a closedcircuit
system in appeal process contrary to fair trial principles.
Presently corruption investigations are dropped, prosecutors who dealt with these
investigations are referred to newly elected HCJP to be barred from profession and at the same time
they put on trial for investigating corruption facing jail sentences for years.
Graver than all these, on 30 April 2015, two judge were arrested by a High Criminal Court
because of release orders that they issued. In modern Turkish State history this is the first time
judges are arrested because of their judgment and for professional judicial activity.
Previously judges and prosecutors were intimidated by measures such as removal,
relocation, demotion or disciplinary actions. Now detention and arrest are used against judges or
prosecutors who deal with crucial cases.
Dozens of people, including journalists, activists and even high school students, have been
prosecuted on the basis of insulting the President. Penal Magistracy Courts ban Twitter accounts and
remove tweets posted by dozens of users. Journalists are sued even for writing tweets that are
critical of President or the government.
Murat Durmaz
Administrative Judge
YARSAV Board Member Responsible for International Relations