Turkish parliament adopts first package of judicial reform

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The Turkish Parliament on Oct. 17 adopted a bill of 39 articles – the first package of the Judicial Reform Strategy Document. The bill oversees amendments in 15 pieces of legislation.

The first package of the Judicial Reform Strategy Document was presented to the parliament on Oct. 1, right after its recess was over, by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The first part of the judicial reform tackled many areas from sexual harassment to freedom of expression.

Under the new regulation, stating one’s opinion will not be regarded as an offense if it “stays within the limits of communication or criticism.”

Within the context of the first package, a lawyer who has been a senior for at least 15 years and is registered to the bar association will be able to acquire a special green passport.

Lawyers who went through investigations or proceedings regarding any offense in the anti-terror law will not be able to benefit from the new practice.

Furthermore, those who apply for a law internship or an internship at the notary’s office will have to succeed in a bar admission test.

An important part of the first package will pave the way for some citizens who were acquitted of terror charges in connection with the emergency state declared on July 21, 2016, will be able to receive their passports. Their passports had been confiscated following the coup attempt of July 15, 2016.

The passports will be given after an inquisition by the Interior Ministry.

The package also includes the usage of Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS) for administrative trial procedures.

Accelerated and simple trial procedures will also be implemented.

Also, under the reforms, the time span of the pre-sentencing detention period will not exceed six months in offenses not falling onto heavy penal court’s remit. For more serious offenses, the period will not surpass one year.

The reforms also tackled another important issue regarding the sexual harassment of children. In these cases, the children’s testimony at home will be taken by experts working in relevant social centers.

Hurriyet Daily News

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