Turkey’s top court to no longer accept applications concerning lengthy trials

Turkey's Constitutional Court

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has announced that it will no longer accept applications concerning claims of the violation of the right to a fair trial within a reasonable period of time due to the lack of measures implemented thus far aimed at eliminating this rights violation, Turkish Minute reported.

The top court announced its decision in a statement on its X social media account on Tuesday. The court said it has already ruled that the right to a fair trial was violated in more than 55,000 applications but that its judgments including a “pilot  decision” did not help the protection or the improvement of the fundamental rights and liberties of the people in this regard.

When the top court identifies a recurring pattern of rights violations arising from a particular law, practice or administrative decision, it may issue a “pilot decision” or “pilot judgment.” This decision aims to address not just the individual case before the court but also similar cases or issues that are pending or may arise in the future.

The Constitutional Court also said it would begin to again review applications concerning the right to a fair trial within a reasonable period of time once an effective mechanism is established to process these applications.

The top court recommended earlier this year that a mechanism be established to which people who have been deprived of a timely trial can apply before petitioning the top court seeking damages. However, no such mechanism has been established so far.

The Constitutional Court has received more than 519,000 individual applications since 2012, when the right to file an individual petition with the top court was introduced.

The court has concluded 400,000 of the applications and found rights violations in 71,189 of them. A total of 79.3 percent of the rights violations, 56,443 of them, concerned the violation of the right to a fair trial within a reasonable period of time.

Many accuse the top court of failing to serve as an effective remedy for rights violations due to what they say is government influence on the judiciary.

Turkey was ranked 116th among 140 countries in the rule of law index published by the World Justice Project (WJP) in 2022.

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