Tag Archives: Council of Europe

Turkey/Germany: Exiled Turkish lawyers hold “alternative” judicial ceremony in Berlin

September 5, 2019

Exiled Turkish lawyers hold “alternative” judicial ceremony in Berlin

A group of Turkish lawyers who fled an ongoing purge in Turkey, has come together in Berlin, Germany, to mark the opening of the new judicial year, the Kronos news portal reported.

According to the report, the event was held in support of some 50 bar associations in Turkey that boycotted the opening ceremony of the new judicial year at the President Erdogan’s presidential palace in Ankara, citing the independence of judiciary from executive power.

The independence of the Turkish judiciary came further into question when the new judicial year opening ceremony held at President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s palace in September 2016 turned into a display of judicial support for Erdoğan.

During the ceremony prosecutors and judges stood up and applauded Erdoğan when he entered the hall and when he finished his address.

Erdoğan’s government is accused of taking the judiciary under its absolute control and punishing dissenting judicial members either by expelling or arresting them.

Exiled Turkish lawyers hold “alternative” judicial ceremony in Berlin


Turkish Bar Associations boycott new judicial year opening at presidential palace (updated)

New Report: Mass Prosecution of Lawyers in Turkey


Turkey has prosecuted some 1,500 lawyers, arrested 599 since failed coup: report


Council of Europe/CCBE: European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer: Update

September 2, 2019




The case for drafting a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer

[OPINION] Turkey tries to undermine the Council of Europe

Click to access coe-case-for-convention-on-lawyer-profession-recommendation-2121.pdf


https://www.ccbe.eu/fr/actions/convention-europeenne-sur-la-profession-davocat/ (FRANCAIS)

Turkey: Turkey must rebuild trust in judiciary, protect human rights – CoE commissioner

July 8, 2019


The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic has called on Turkey to urgently take measures to re-establish trust in its judiciary and repair the rule of law, which was damaged during two years of emergency rule following the July 2016 coup attempt.

Constitutional changes regarding the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) made during the two-year state of emergency “are in clear contradiction with Council of Europe standards,” Mijatovic said following a five-day visit to Turkey.

“The suspension of ordinary safeguards and procedures for the dismissal, recruitment and appointment of judges and prosecutors’’ were an additional cause for concern, she said.

Turkey’s state of emergency came into effect on July 20, 2016, days after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government survived a coup attempt.

The state of emergency allowed the government to issue decree laws, bypassing legislative and judicial procedures. Over 77,000 people have been arrested and another 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been fired from the government as part of a crackdown by Ankara following the failed putsch.



Threats to the rule of law in Europe

EU accuses Turkey for violating human rights by opening Gezi protests trial

9 Turkish judges, prosecutors suspended over alleged Gülen links

CoE calls on Turkey to repair damage to Turkish judiciary inflicted by state of emergency

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/compte-rendu-presentation-du-rapport-de-human-rights-watch-sur-la-situation-des-avocats-en-turquie/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.union-syndicale-magistrats.org/web2/fr/soutien-collegues-turcs_news_1295 (FRANCAIS)

Azerbaijan: ICJ publishes recommendations on the role and independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan

May 8, 2019

The recommendations published today follow the Conference on the Independence of the Legal profession held by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Baku and the Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) in Baku, on 15-16 November 2018.

The Conference created much-needed space for a dialogue on the issue of independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan with both national and international stakeholders, as lawyers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan shared their experiences and good practices in addressing challenges to the independence of lawyers. Drawing on the discussions at the Conference, and taking into account key findings of the ICJ report of 2016 “Defenceless Defenders: Systemic Problems in the Legal Profession of Azerbaijan” as well as more recent legislative and administrative developments, the ICJ makes recommendations aimed at strengthening the role and independence of lawyers and improving access to justice in Azerbaijan. The recommendations are informed by international law and standards on the role of lawyers and cover four main aspects: adequacy of the number of lawyers to ensure access to justice; the examination procedure for qualification as a lawyer; professional ethics of lawyers and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers.

ICJ publishes recommendations on the role and independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan



Azerbaijan/Council of Europe/ICJ: Baku to host international conference on “Role and Independence of lawyers: Comparative Perspectives”

November 13, 2018

An international conference on the topic of “The role and independence of lawyers: comparative perspectives” organized by the Azerbaijani Bar Association, the Council of Europe and the International Commission of Jurists will be held on November 15-16.

Report informs citing the Association that heads of the foreign ministries of 15 foreign countries, senior officials of international organizations, as well as heads of the supreme governing bodies of Azerbaijan will take part in the event.





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Follow LIVE tomorrow as from 9.15am (#Baku: GMT +4) the international conference on “The role and#independence of #lawyers: comparative prospectives” starting tomorrow morning. It is organised by the Council of Europe jointly with the International Commission of Jurists and the Bar Association of Azerbaijan. International experts and prominent lawyers representing the leadership of national bar associations from a wide range of countries will be present as well as Mr Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights, Council of Europe and Mr Azer Jafarov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Azerbaijan and others. #StayTuned, follow and share: https://bit.ly/2DlQbHV

(Council of Europe – Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law Facebook, 14/11/18)

Romania: European body says Romania court changes undermine independence

July 13, 2018

Romania's anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi (Getty Images/AFP/A. Catu)

Romania’s plans for a judicial overhaul would be likely to undermine the independence of magistrates and sap public confidence in the judiciary, the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters said on Friday.

The advice from the body, known as the Venice Commission, could provide ammunition for centrist President Klaus Iohannis, who is trying to block legal changes that opponents say would make it easier for officials to engage in corruption.

Iohannis has challenged the overhaul backed by the ruling Social Democrats at the Constitutional Court. He asked the Venice Commission to assess the bills, which parliament has approved but which he must sign for them to become law.

The Commission said in a statement that the measures contained improvements from previous drafts but were still problematic. From their “cumulative effect”, some “instruments could result in inordinate pressure on judges and prosecutors.”

The Council of Europe, made up of 47 member states, is a human rights body that shares a flag with the European Union but is separate from it. It set up the Venice Commission of experts after the fall of the Berlin wall to help advise European states emerging from communism on how to enact constitutional reforms.

The EU’s executive commission and thousands of Romanian magistrates have criticised the Romanian overhaul, saying it would leave courts and prosecutors vulnerable to political interference in one of the European Union’s most corrupt states.








https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/07/09/le-gouvernement-roumain-obtient-le-limogeage-de-laura-codruta-kovesi-a-la-tete-du-parquet-anticorruption_5328376_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Codru%C8%9Ba_K%C3%B6vesi (FRANCAIS)

CCBE/Armenia: CONFERENCE “Current challenges and opportunities of the bars and law societies of the Council of Europe member states” 9 March 2018, Yerevan, Armenia

Support to the Implementation of the Judicial Reform in Armenia

Council of Europe Project “Support to the implementation of judicial reform in Armenia”, CCBE and the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia

The Council of Europe, the CCBE and the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia is organising the conference with the aim to provide a platform for sharing information and experience on the current challenges of the bars and law societies, explore detrimental issues in the bar associations and propose concrete steps for strengthening the cooperation and ties amongst the bar associations and law societies of the Council of Europe member states.

The main objective of the Conference is to facilitate a dialogue and exchange of the best practice between the bars and law societies of different Council of Europe member states. The exchange that will take place between professionals from different countries shall create a solid platform for argumentation and it seeks to generate – and contribute to – a wider debate about the potential improvements in the bar associations and for the profession of an advocate. Even if the directions and the policies of the bar reforms may differ from country to country, discussion on the primary concepts and challenges unites different Council of Europe member states.

The scope of the Conference: The one day-long discussion will include presentations by leading members of CCBE, experts and representatives of bars and law societies of different Council of Europe member states.

The discussions and debates will be held on the following topics: 


Click to access Concept-Note-on-Conference-in-Armenia-9-March-2018.pdf


Turkey/Council of Europe: Turkey’s judiciary must protect rule of law, says Europe diplomat

February 16, 2018

Europe, Turkey need each other says Jagland

Europe’s top human rights court will be flooded with claims from Turkey unless the country’s judiciary steps up to protect the rule of law, a top European diplomat warned on Friday.

Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the Council of Europe, travelled to Ankara to urge judges and prosecutors to stand up for fundamental freedoms following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown on dissent.

Mr Jagland encouraged the Turkish judiciary to “hold firm” to the principles of democracy and warned that failure to do so would cast Turkey’s commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights into doubt. “Overloading the court will only raise the question of Turkey’s capacity or willingness to uphold the convention,” he said. “This simply will not work.”

The warning from Europe’s human rights watchdog underlines the concern in western capitals over the rule of law in Turkey under the leadership of Mr Erdogan. Although the Council of Europe is separate from the EU, its work is followed closely by EU member states.

Turkey is a member of the council and, in principle, must abide by decisions made by its most important body, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights. But the fallout from the attempted coup of July 2016 has threatened to put Turkey and the court on a collision course.

Mr Jagland’s visit came just weeks after Turkey was plunged into a judicial crisis when an order by the country’s top court was overruled by a series of less senior judges.





https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_le-conseil-de-l-europe-met-ankara-en-garde-sur-l-etat-d-urgence?id=9841786 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.dw.com/es/consejo-de-europa-llama-a-turqu%C3%ADa-a-respetar-tribunal-constitucional/a-42611398 (ESPANOL)

http://www.trt.net.tr/espanol/mundo/2018/02/16/jagland-europa-y-turquia-se-necesitan-mutuamente-912161 (ESPANOL)

Turkey/Council of Europe: PACE urges release of Amnesty’s Turkey chair ahead of Jan 31 hearing

January 31, 2018

PACE urges release of Amnesty’s Turkey chair ahead of Jan 31 hearing

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) has called for the release of Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey chair Taner Kilic, under arrest for more than 7 months now.

In a written statement issued a day before Kilic’s court appearance on Jan 31, PACE’s co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Turkey, Marianne Mikko (Estonia, SOC) and Nigel Evans (United Kingdom, EC) reiterated their call for the right defender’s release.

“Taner Kilic, like any other individual, should feel safe and secure to express himself and assemble in Turkey. We urge once again the Turkish authorities to ensure that these fundamental freedoms are duly and effectively secured, and put an end to the continuous arrests and detentions of those expressing dissenting and critical opinions, which cannot be a crime in itself”, they said.

”In this context , we are deeply concerned about today’s arrest of Turkish Medical Association board members, including its chair, as well as hundreds others for criticizing Turkish military intervention in Afrin. We call on the Turkish authorities to act and react in full respect of Council of Europe standards”, the co-rapporteurs also added.

Kılıç, a lawyer, a founding member of AI Turkey and chairman of its board of directors since 2014, was arrested by an İzmir court on June 9 as part of an investigation into the Gülen group. Set to appear during a court appearance on Wednesday, he faces terror charges along with 10 other rights defenders who could be jailed up to 15 years if convicted.





http://www.dw.com/tr/af-%C3%B6rg%C3%BCt%C3%BC-insan-haklar%C4%B1-savunucular%C4%B1-hedef-al%C4%B1n%C4%B1yor/a-42370670 (TURKCE)

http://www.dw.com/tr/b%C3%BCy%C3%BCkada-davas%C4%B1na-devam-ediliyor/a-42369447 (TURKCE)

http://www.haberdar.com/gundem/af-orgutu-insan-haklari-savunuculari-hedef-aliniyor-h77701.html?mnst=30949 (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/344538/hak-savunucularinin-buyukada-davasi-basladi (TURKCE)

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2018/01/turkey-more-than-a-million-people-demand-freedom-for-amnesty-chair-as-trial-resumes/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.aichacher-zeitung.de/welt/art44,145732 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.publico.pt/2018/01/31/mundo/opiniao/lutar-para-respirar-sob-o-peso-da-repressao-1801312 (PORTUGUES)


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今日,国际特赦组织 #土耳其 分会主席泰纳的庭审将继续。
我们的同事于科伦坡摆出 #FreeTaner 的造型,再次呼吁土耳其政府释放他。http://amn.st/6187D3UqH

(国际特赦组织中文 Amnesty International Chinese Facebook)

We are live from outside the Istanbul Penal Court – where our friends and colleagues İdil Eser, Taner Kiliç and 9 other human rights defenders have their third hearing in an ongoing criminal trial against them. We are also talking to prominent human rights defender and lawyer, Gunal Kursun who is also standing trial today.

(Amnesty International Facebook)

Council of Europe/CCBE: Endangered lawyers: Council of Europe body votes on convention

January 24, 2018

European convention outlining both the obligations and rights of lawyers could take a step closer today as a Council of Europe body prepares to vote on whether to draft an agreement.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), made up of members of parliament from the council’s 47 member states, are discussing a convention on the profession of lawyer at a meeting in Strasbourg.

Legal professional bodies are backing the idea. The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) said the convention, if approved, should focus on legal professional privilege and the independence of legal professions and their representative bodies. It should emphasise the obligations on national authorities to respect and protect the free exercise of the profession and to promote the profession’s role in ensuring the effectiveness of the judicial system, protecting human rights and the rule of law.

PACE rapporteur, Sabien Lahaye Battheu, said a string of attacks on lawyers has taken place in the past 12 months alone. They include police raids on the home of a Greek lawyer representing Syrian refugees a Georgian lawyer being assaulted by a chief of police after giving advice to his client. Last year, hundreds of lawyers were detained after the failed coup in Turkey.

Chair of the barristers’ profession in England and Wales Andrew Walker QC said ’hard international law’ is needed to protect lawyers who are subject to threats and attacks from state agencies and individuals.

‘In the last two years we have seen a slew of attacks on legal professionals. These are often carried out by state actors attempting to prevent lawyers from doing the crucial job of enforcing the legal and human rights of their citizens and of holding Governments to account,’ he said. ‘We are urging the 18 UK MPs and peers who sit in the Parliamentary Assembly to vote in favour of drawing up this convention. We would like to see the UK continue to take the lead in upholding it on the world stage, and to use its influence at an international level to foster agreement and clarity on what the rule of law means and how it can be sustained in practice.’






https://www.cnb.avocat.fr/fr/actualites/le-conseil-de-leurope-en-faveur-dune-convention-europeenne-pour-les-avocats (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lemondedudroit.fr/institutions/55891-vers-convention-europeenne-profession-avocat.html (FRANCAIS)