PACE rejects Turkey’s candidate list for post of judge at ECtHR

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has rejected a three-person list Turkey has submitted for the post of judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as the tenure of the Turkish judge at the court will expire in April.

The tenure of Professor Işıl Karakaş, who was elected to the ECtHR in 2008 from Turkey, will end on April 30.

Turkey needs to submit candidates to the PACE so that a new judge is elected to the court from Turkey. After the rejection of Turkey’s first candidate list, the country is expected to present a second list of candidates.

The Turkish Justice Ministry continues to receive applications from candidates.

According to the information on the PACE’s website, the Assembly expects all three of the candidates put forward by a state for election to the post of judge on the ECtHR to be fully qualified, so that it is given a proper choice in the election. If it considers otherwise, the Assembly can decide to reject a list of candidates, and request a new one.

According to the European Convention on Human Rights, judges must “be of high moral character and possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be jurisconsults of recognized competence”.

To ensure these standards are met, there are two phases to the election process – firstly a national selection procedure, in which each state party chooses a list of three qualified candidates, and secondly the election procedure undertaken by the Assembly, in which parliamentarians assess the qualifications of the three candidates before voting to decide which one should become judge.

Recently, 227 judges were dismissed by The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) in Turkey. Some 4,000 judges and prosecutors have lost their jobs while many of them have been arrested since failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. (SCF with turkishminute.com) March 3, 2017

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