Turkey’s third list of candidates to replace Judge Karakaş on ECtHR rejected

The third list of candidates to replace European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) judge from Turkey Işıl Karakaş submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) by the Turkish government has been rejected, journalist Kemal Göktaş from the Diken news website reported on Tuesday.

The official term of Judge Karakaş, who has represented Turkey at the ECtHR since 2008, ended on April 30, 2017.

The Turkish government submitted a three-person list of possible replacements to PACE in December 2016; however, the subcommittee that evaluates candidates announced that Turkey’s nominees did not meet the criteria.

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.”

Last year, the Turkish government presented a second three-person list, a list that must include at least one female candidate. But the subcommittee rejected one of the candidates, Selma Öztürk Pınar, declaring her underqualified. As a result, the Turkish side offered Professor Esra Gül Dardağan Kibar on a third list.

This time the subcommittee, instead of rejecting candidates based on their CVs, agreed to conduct interviews with the new candidates.

The candidates were interviewed by another subcommittee whose 20 members were decided by the five political groups represented in PACE. But the subcommittee decided not to submit the list to the general assembly because all three candidates must equally meet the ECtHR criteria.

Judge Karakaş will continue to hold the position as Turkey’s judge on the European court. According to law, ECtHR hearings on applications from Turkey must include a judge from that country.

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