A Declaration on Judicial Transparency endorsed by Asian Countries in Istanbul

01 Dec 2013

Second International Summit of High Courts, organized in Istanbul, ended with the adoption of Istanbul Declaration which is the first coherent set of principles on judicial transparency endorsed by the international community.   


New Horizons - The importance of transparency in the judicial process was discussed in Istanbul at the Second International Summit of High Courts which was held at the end of November.

The Second International Summit of High Courts, hosted by the Presidency of the Court of Cassation in Turkey in cooperation with UNDP Turkey, was organized with the theme of judicial transparency.

The Summit brought thirteen justices and chief justices of the Asian countries together.

Therefore, it served as an important platform for sharing national and international knowledge, experiences, best practices and lessons learned on securing transparency in the judicial process.

The participants identified the essential elements of the multi-faceted concept of judicial transparency during the Summit.

The outcome: İstanbul Declaration

The Summit invited the justices and chief justices to review draft declaration on judicial transparency and as a result, thirteen chief justices and justices in Asia endorsed the Istanbul Declaration.

The Declaration as being first of its kind in international level includes fifteen principles and commentaries addressing judicial transparency.

It is expected that the process for the adoption of the Declaration at a UN Social and Economic Council as well as Human Right Council will be initiated in early 2014.

Judicial transparency as a way of enhancing credibility

Speaking at the Summit, UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul noted that Istanbul Declaration on judicial transparency as the outcome of the Summit could be regarded as useful document for the on-going reform initiatives embarked upon by the judiciary in several countries of the world in which the participation of the public in such processes should also be strengthened.

Strong partnership on judicial transparency


Court of Cassation of Turkey and UNDP Turkey has a strong partnership since 2009 with the aim of improving the institutional and administrative capacity of the high courts in Turkey to conform to the international standards.

The series of International Summit of the High Courts, whose first edition was organized in Istanbul in 2010, was a part of this effort and aims to enhance the efforts for accountable, transparent and responsive judiciary at both national and global level.

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Second International Summit of High Courts
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