Support to the Institutional Administration of the Presidency of the Court of Cassation in line with the International Standards

What is the project about?


The Project at hand fits within the overall technical knowhow and capacity building framework that is being established between the Presidency of the Court of Cassation and UNDP Turkey with the aim of supporting the Presidency of the Court of Cassation in improving the institutional administration of the high courts in Turkey in light with the international standards. Within this context, the Project is built upon the areas of need identified within the scope of the Initiation Plan, which was jointly implemented by UNDP and the Court of Cassation in 2010.  In that respect, the Project is expected to address different issues with regards to efficient functioning of the Court of Cassation in Turkey, particularly i) capacities to implement principles of accountability and transparency; ii) institutional structures to increase the quality of judicial service; iii) arrangements to carry out the judicial activities in fast, effective and efficient way and reduce of the caseload.

What is the situation?

It is globally recognized that there are strong links between establishing democratic governance, securing human rights and access to justice for all. This recognition has led to the acceleration of justice reforms worldwide as one of the essential prerequisites of sustainable human development.

In the context of Turkey, judicial reform is one of the high priority issues and as a candidate country for EU accession, in recent years the Government of Turkey (GoT) has undertaken comprehensive constitutional and legal changes. Turkey’s strong commitment to judicial reforms is expressed in various national policy framework documents and these efforts mostly take the form of comprehensive legal and constitutional arrangements but of formal nature which has no basis for effective and successful implementation of the legal reforms. There are several reasons behind this: i) on a wider scale, the reform efforts have been carried out to address urgent needs but lacked a solid working plan ii) although the Ministry of Justice and high judiciary have strong commitment for judicial reform in the country, lack of consensus oriented policy making, problems related to institutional capacities are among the core challenges for its full-fledged formulation and implementation. Moreover, limited public awareness regarding legal rights and reform initiatives also represents an obstacle in the reform processes.

Within this context, there are two aspects involved in the debates surrounding the judicial reform in Turkey. One of them is to review the issues of “independence”, “impartiality” and “legitimacy” in terms of the whole system and the position of the judiciary, and secondly to ensure that international norms are applied to these concepts.

What is UNDP’s mission?



For a global organization founded on the principles of peace, freedom, human rights and rule of law, access to justice for all is a vital part of UNDP’s mandate to strengthen democratic governance, reduce poverty and ensure the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Within the broader context of justice sector reform, UNDP’s specific niche lies in supporting justice and related systems so that they work for all, particularly for the disadvantaged.

How are we doing this?

Through the continuation of the knowledge and experience sharing platforms established by “Initiation Plan for Support to the Institutional Administration of the Presidency of the Court of Cassation in line with the International Standards”, Turkey will benefit in three following areas:
i) Respect and public confidence in proceedings of Court of Cassation increased through the promotion of twin principles of transparency and accountability.
ii) Development of the necessary institutional structures and human resource capacity to increase the quality of justice service established in Court of Cassation
iii) Promotion of the required regulations with regards to the institutional administration of the Court of Cassation for a fast, efficient and effective functioning of the judiciary and the reduction of caseload to reasonable levels.

How will Turkey benefit?

Through the continuation of the knowledge and experience sharing platforms established by “Initiation Plan for Support to the Institutional Administration of the Presidency of the Court of Cassation in line with the International Standards”, Turkey will benefit in three following areas:

i) Respect and public confidence in proceedings of Court of Cassation increased through the promotion of twin principles of transparency and accountability.

ii) Development of the necessary institutional structures and human resource capacity to increase the quality of justice service established in Court of Cassation

iii) Promotion of the required regulations with regards to the institutional administration of the Court of Cassation for a fast, efficient and effective functioning of the judiciary and the reduction of caseload to reasonable levels.

What has been achieved so far?

  • UNDP submitted a policy recommendations report for the improvement of the work-processes in the Court of Cassation and 1st Instance Courts.  Accordingly, Standard Operational Procedures for Work Processes are being developed by Court of Cassation in cooperation with UNDP.
  • For an increased efficiency of judiciary, legislative amendments have been undertaken to the Laws on the Court of Cassation aiming at tackling their backlog of cases started to generate positive results. Improvements are seen also in the functioning of first instance courts level. _The third and fourth judicial reform packages include amendments to a number of laws and aims to speed up judicial procedures further.
  • Three draft codes on judicial conduct, public prosecutors and judicial staff  have been prepared by a representative committee of the Court of Cassation, with the assistance of an international expert whose services were facilitated by UNDP.
  • In the scope of the Project, questionnaires on draft codes of judicial conduct,  public prosecutors and judicial staff have been developed, whose results will help shape the eventual finalization of Code of Ethics.
  • UNDP facilitates the organisation of the 3rd Summit of High Courts with Court of Cassation in November 2013 where the experiences of 32 Asia Pacific countries on judicial transparency will be discussed. After the Summit, a framework for a structured cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries in the field of justice is expected to be developed.

PRESS CLIPPINGS

Project Overview
Focus area:
Democratic Governance
Project Number:
00083440
Status:
Ongoing
Project start date:
15 February 2012
Estimated end date:
15 February 2014
Budget:
USD 282,000
Project funding:
The Project is financed through the contribution of Presidency of the Court of Cassation of Turkey (USD 222,000) and the UNDP Country Office (USD 60,000).
Delivery in previous fiscal years:
N/A
Amount contributed per year by each project funder
N/A
Location:
N/A
UN/National executing agencies:
Court of Cassation of Turkey
UN/National/NGO implementing partners:
UNDP Turkey
MDG:
N/A
Contact Details

Leyla Şen, PhD
Programme Manager
Tel: +90 312 454 11 19
E-mail: leyla.sen@undp.org
 
Seher Alacaci
Programme Associate
Tel: +90 312 454 11 67
E-mail: seher.alacaci@undp.org
 
Pınar Arıkan
Projects Assistant
Tel: +90 312 454 11 84
E-mail: pinar.arikan@undp.org

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