ABOUT THE PROJECT

Project title : Improving the Efficiency of the Turkish Criminal Justice System
Overall objectives : To improve the Turkish criminal justice system in line with European standards. To improve the application of human rights standards in the Turkish criminal justice system.
Estimated results : 1. The capacity of the judiciary and prosecution services to apply the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the delivery of criminal justice is strengthened.

2. The pre-service and in-service training curricula of the Justice Academy is redesigned in line with the ECHR.

3. Judicial co-operation for mutual legal assistance is strengthened.

Project activities : Estimated Result 1
  • Preparation and publication of a comprehensive report based on 9 field studies to pilot courthouses (Ankara, Izmir and Malatya) to identify problems.
  • 10 study visits to European institutions and institutions in EU member states for 80 trainers of the Justice Academy.

 

  • Placement of 10 trainers of the Justice Academy in EU member states’ institutions.
  • Analysis of any legislative amendments required and publication of the needs assessment report.

Estimated Result 2

  • 8 expert meetings (15 people for each meeting, totally 120) on the development of curricula of the Justice Academy regarding criminal justice.
  • Preparation and publication of 14.000 copies of training materials on criminal justice in the light of ECHR standards.
  • A series of 14 training-of-trainers seminars.

 

  • A series of 14 cascade seminars during 3 days for 420 candidate judges and prosecutors on ECHR standards.

Estimated Result 3

  • Establishment of an inter-agency working group on mutual legal assistance.
  • Needs assessment studies on mutual legal assistance.

 

  • Working group meetings to discuss the issues identified by the needs assessment studies.
  • Drawing up of recommendations

 

  • 4 study visits to EU member states, EUROJUST and the European Judicial Network.
  • Drawing up of a strategy on improving the procedures for mutual legal assistance.

 

  • Preparation and publication of a guidebook for mutual legal assistance.
  • A series of 6 one-day experts’ meetings (20 people for each, totally 120) to disseminate the strategy.

 

  • A series of 5 two-day training seminars on mutual legal assistance (30 people for each, totally 150 liaison prosecutors).
  • Drafting of legislative amendments in respect of procedures in mutual legal assistance.
Beneficiary Institutions

: Main: The Ministry of Justice, The High Council of Judges and Prosecutors and The Justice Academy

Secondary: The Court of Cassation, The Union of Turkish Bar Associations, The Ministry of Interior (for the Law enforcement agencies),The Telecommunication Authority and The Forensic Medicine Institute

Project Starting Date : 12 March 2012
Contracting Authority : Central Finance and Contracts Unit
Funding : 85% by the European Union,  10% by the Turkish government, 5% by the Council of Europe
Project Duration : 33 months
Implementing Organisation

: Council of Europe
Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law
Directorate of Justice and Human Dignity (Directorate of Human Rights)
Justice and Legal Co-operation Department (Human Rights Policy and Development Department)
Legal Co-operation Division (Human Rights Capacity Building Unit)

Project Budget : EUR 3.550.000
   
BACKGROUND

      Turkey has been a member of the Council of Europe (CoE) since 1949 and a candidate for full membership of the European Union (EU) since 1999. Both organisations attach a high importance to common and democratic principles based on human rights and the rule of law. As a member State of the CoE, these principles have significant importance for the Republic of Turkey.

In the light of these, the process of “institution building” to enhance administrative capacity appears to be crucial in ensuring the successful transition for Turkish institutions to the standards, norms and achievements of similar EU Member States’ administrations.

To this end, three areas have been identified and will be focused within this Project, which aims at improving the functioning and efficiency of criminal justice system in line with European standards.

             

  • The first one is related to the application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the delivery of criminal justice by the judiciary and prosecution services. Indeed, in order to comply with European requirement, reforms were initiated. For instance, a set of codes such as the Turkish New Criminal Procedures Codes came into force in 2005 to align the Turkish legal system with the EU acquis. However, in the course of application of these new laws, a number of problems have been encountered, in particular as regards the provisions closely related to human rights, such as the right to liberty and security and the right to a fair trial. In the last years, Turkey was found guilty of several violations of in particular Articles 2, 5, 6, 13 of the ECHR. Hence, through the preparation of a needs assessment report, study visits in EU member states and placement of trainers, this Project will strengthen the capacity of the judiciary and prosecution services to apply the ECHR in the delivery of criminal justice.

  • The second will focus on the challenges faced by the Justice Academy in the delivery of pre- and in-service trainings. The Justice Academy was created in 2003 in response to the need to ensure sustainability of trainings to judges, prosecutors and other actors of the justice system on issues related to the ECHR. However, the absence of a well-structured pool of trainers/experts remains a problem. Therefore, the Project, continuing the EU-CoE Joint Programme on Judicial Modernisation and Penal Reform will contribute to the strengthening of the Academy through the constitution of a pool of trainers, the re-designing of the pre-service and in-service training curricula in line with the ECHR.

  • The third and last area of work will be on the mutual legal assistance between other countries in criminal matters (for example; investigation of international crimes, extradition, judicial co-operation etc.). Turkey has been encountering problems related to the timely sending and receiving of rogatory letters due to the lack of expertise in this field. There is thus a need to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Justice, judges and public prosecutors in the area of mutual legal assistance; this will be done through the placement of liaison judges and prosecutors in courthouses to execute the requests of legal assistance filed by international counterparts, the preparation of a guidebook for practitioners and a draft law on mutual legal assistance.
PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT


      The overall objective of the Project is to contribute to the improvement of the Turkish criminal justice system in line with European standards.

      The specific objectives of the Project are:

  • consolidating the effort of the national authorities in the application of human rights standards,

  • ensuring the efficient functioning of criminal investigations and proceedings,

  • enhancing the confidence in the Turkish criminal justice system by increasing through trainings and transfer of specific skills, competences and training content, the capacity of a range of actors who are called upon to apply those standards as part of their official function.

      To this end, one of the principal goals of the project is to develop the Turkish Justice Academy’s in-service training curricula, to train trainers/experts in different areas to ensure that trainers’ pool of the Academy is sustained and be benefitted by entire judiciary. Furthermore, the project aims to deliver cascade trainings to the judges, prosecutors, lawyers, law enforcement officers and experts of the telecommunication and forensic medicine institutes in order to ensure the sustainability and multiplied impact of the project.

      This should ultimately lead to the decrease in the number of applications to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and to fewer findings of violations as regards the administration of criminal justice.

 

ISSUES TO BE FOCUSED ON

       A- Measures of protection of evidence

             1) Search and seizure

             2) Arrest and detention in custody

             3) Pre-trial detention and judicial control

             4) Inception of communication

             5) Undercover Investigator and Surveillance with Technical Devices


       B- Investigation Phase of Criminal Proceedings

             1) Post mortem legal examinations and Autopsy
             
              2) Preparation and evaluation of forensic medicine reports

              3) Obligation of effective investigation in the cases related to the right to life and prohibition of ill-treatment

              4) Special investigation requirements for civil servants

              5) Relation and co-operation between the judicial police and prosecutor

              6) Techniques of statement-taking/ interrogation and interviewing

       C- The Phase of Filing Criminal Proceedings

             1)  Right of defense and the principle of equality of arms

             2)  Cross examination


       D- Organised Crimesr

             1)Organised and terror crimes

              2) Crimes of corruption; methods of investigation and seizure (the issues of effective investigation, securing evidence and confiscation of revenue gained by the crimes of bribery, embezzlement, fraudulence and misconduct in office)

              3) Cybercrimes; the investigation techniques and collection of evidence.

 

ESTIMATED RESULTS

      1. The capacity of the judiciary and prosecution services to apply the ECHR in the delivery of criminal justice is strengthened.

      2. The pre-service and in-service training curricula of the Justice Academy is redesigned in line with the ECHR.

      3. Judicial co-operation for international mutual legal assistance in the field of criminal law is strengthened.

      The project has 18 activities grouped under the 3 main estimated results:

 


       A- Strengthening the capacity of the judiciary and prosecution service to apply
           the ECHR in the delivery of criminal justice

      1- 9 Field visits to pilot court houses in Ankara, İzmir and Malatya for need assessments and preparation of a comprehensive report

       2- 10 Study visits to relevant European institutions and insitutions of EU member states

       3- Placement of 10 trainers in EU member states’ institutions

       4- Analysis of any legislative amendments required and publication of the needs assessment report


       B- Redesigning the pre-service and in-service training curricula of the Justice Academy in line with the ECHR

      5- 8 expert meetings on the development of curricula

       6- Preparation and Publication of 14.000 training materials

       7- A serious of 14 Training-of-trainers seminars

       8- A series of 14 cascade seminars


       C-Strengthening Judicial Co-operation for mutual legal assistance

       9- Needs assessment studies

       10- Establishment of an inter-agency working group for mutual legal assistance

        11- 4 study visits to EU member states, Eurojust and European Judicial Network

        12- Working group meetings

        13- Preparation and publication of 3.000 copies of a guidebook for mutual legal assistance

        14- A series of 6 one-day meetings with stakeholders

        15- A series of 5 training seminars on mutual legal assistance

        16- Drafting of legislative amendments in respect of delays in the delivery of criminal justice and procedures in mutual legal assistance.)




This project is co-funded by the European Union, the Republic of Turkey and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe. The Central Finance and Contracts Unit is the Contracting Authority of this Project.