Spencer reviews the viability of Turkey’s Criminal Peace Judgeships against the standards set by the European Court of Human Rights in relation to Article 6 the right to a fair trial and Article 5, the right to liberty and security. Evaluating the establishment of the Criminal Peace Judgeships and factors influencing their independence, Spencer concludes that they do not meet the requirements of independence and should not be considered viable avenues for domestic redress.
Spencer reviews the statements of the Council of Europe and the Turkish Media Law Studies Association (MLSA) released after a meeting in May 2015 convened to discuss criticisms of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the high number of rejected applications and controversial decisions such as Köksal and Bora. The Council of Europe stated it is “aware of a common perception among NGOs that the ECtHR is not giving adequate attention to human rights issues in Turkey, but believes this is based on a lack of information and misconceptions” and reiterates that they have the right to reject applications. Referencing the Sahin Alpay case, it is stated that the court is not barred from reviewing the domestic avenue in the future. The MLSA response comments on the length of pre-trial detention and the practical viability of domestic avenues. Taking these statements together, Spencer argues “in moving forward, the CoE must reconsider the criteria of a viable domestic avenue; at the very least, explain the circumstances in which the State of Emergency Commission and Constitutional Court could be re-evaluated.”
This article critically assesses the dismissal of numerous civil servants under state of emergency measures from the perspective of ECtHR law. Focusing on the application of Article 8 and Article 6 (in conjunction with Article 13), the article uses the Court’s caselaw on lustration proceedings as an analogy to conclude that the “purge” of public servants is incompatible with Turkey’s international law obligations.
Tolga assesses the decisions of the Turkish Constitutional Court in the cases of Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay. Specific focus is paid to the way in which the decisions diverge from judgements of a similar nature of the ECtHR. Specifically, the violations of freedom and security did not concern the long duration of pre-trial detention but rather a “strong suspicion” determination concerning the first decision ordering detention (i.e. an Article 5(1) violation rather than Article 5(3)). Additionally, the decision was made on an on-going case. The author argues this focus explains the first instance courts reaction and other criticisms that found the court to be acting as a “super-appeal court.”