Daily Archives: 26/11/2020

Turkey: Turkey’s bar associations sceptical of judicial reform


Turkey issues detention warrants for 101 people on alleged terrorism links  - IPA NEWS

Chairmen of three major bar associations in Turkey, the Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakır bars, called for judicial independence and said the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) must be restructured, in interviews with news website Bianet on Tuesday.

What needs reforming is not the law, but the mentality in law enforcement, Ankara Bar Association Chairman Erinç Sağkan said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a Judicial Reform Strategy Document in May last year, and parliament has passed three sets of bills since.

“But we have seen that judicial reform isn’t possible via legal amendments,” Sağkan said. “The necessary reform in mentality will come with making the judiciary independent.”

Sağkan criticised education quality in Turkey’s 120 law faculties, and proposed changes to the selection process for judges and prosecutors.

Among his suggestions were prioritising competence over references, and taping all interviews where a bar representative should be present.

Lawyers must be able to remain independent, and not face prosecution for taking on any client or be associated with any possible crime they may have committed, Sağkan said.

“Without such amendments, reiterating universal judicial principles like arrests being the last resort will not serve as judicial reform,” he added, criticising both Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül’s recent comments and what he called the politicisation of bar associations with the multiple bar law that Turkey passed this summer.








The Philippines: In alarming rise of PH lawyer killings, what is being done?


EDITORIAL - Another crime to solve

The government ‘is very much concerned,’ says Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, but is there a special inquiry that is looking at patterns?

Dearth of eyewitnesses. Professional killers. Little evidence.

These are some of the reasons offered by the government in explaining its difficulty in solving killings of Filipino lawyers, which has reached an alarming rate since 2016 when President Rodrigo Duterte took office.

“Many of these killings had been carefully planned and were probably carried out by professional killers, that’s why it has been more difficult to crack these cases compared to ordinary crimes that happen on the streets,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday, November 25.

Two days earlier on Monday, November 23, lawyer Joey Luis Wee was killed as he was walking up the stairs to his office in Cebu City. Wee is now the 53rd lawyer killed since July 2016, which includes 8 judges and 10 prosecutors.

“The government is very much concerned about the increasing number of crimes committed against lawyers, prosecutors, and judges,” said Guevarra, adding that more National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) field operatives have been deployed to Cebu City and Palawan to hunt for the killers.

A week ago on November 17, 35-year-old lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit was shot on his way to a hearing in Narra, Palawan, marking him as the 52nd death in the legal profession in that timeframe.

For University of the Philippines (UP) constitutional law professor John Molo, there has to be “an independent inquiry on the pattern and rate of these killings.”









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