HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Browse through our Interesting Nodes for Financial Services in Greece
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 19 April 2014
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

PART THREE

CHAPTER THREE

JUDICIAL POWER

I. General Provisions

A. Independence of the Courts

ARTICLE 138. Judges shall be independent in the discharge of their duties; they shall give judgment in accordance with the Constitution, law, and their personal conviction conforming with the law.

No organ, authority, office or individual may give orders or instructions to courts or judges relating to the exercise of judicial power, send them circulars, or make recommendations or suggestions.

No questions shall be asked, debates held, or statements made in the Legislative Assembly relating to the exercise of judicial power concerning a case under trial.

Legislative and executive organs and the administration shall comply with court decisions; these organs and the administration shall neither alter them in any respect, nor delay their execution.

B. Security of Tenure of Judges and Public Prosecutors

ARTICLE 139. Judges and public prosecutors shall not be dismissed, or retired before the age prescribed by the Constitution; nor shall they be deprived of their salaries, allowances or other rights relating to their status, even as a result of the abolition of court or post.

Exceptions indicated in law relating to those convicted for an offence requiring dismissal from the profession, those who are definitely established as unable to perform their duties on account of ill-health, and those determined as unsuitable to remain in the profession, are reserved.

C. Judges and Public Prosecutors

ARTICLE 140. Judges and public prosecutors shall serve as judges and public prosecutors of courts of justice and of administrative courts. These duties shall be carried out by professional judges and public prosecutors.

Judges shall discharge their duties in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the security of tenure of judges.

The qualifications, appointment, rights and duties, salaries and allowances of judges and public prosecutors, their promotion, temporary or permanent change in their duties or posts, the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against them and the subsequent imposition of disciplinary penalties, the conduct of investigation concerning them and the subsequent decision to prosecute them on account of offences committed in connection with, or in the course of, their duties, the conviction for offences or instances of incompetence requiring their dismissal from the profession, their in-service training and other matters relating to their personnel status shall be regulated by law in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the security of tenure of judges.

Judges and public prosecutors shall exercise their duties until they reach the age of sixty-five; promotion according to age and the retirement of military judges shall be prescribed by law.

Judges and public prosecutors shall not assume official or public functions other than those prescribed by law.

Judges and public prosecutors shall be attached to the Ministry of Justice where their administrative functions are concerned.

Those judges and public prosecutors working in administrative posts within the system of legal services shall be subject to the same provisions as other judges and public prosecutors. Their categories and grades shall be determined according to the principles applying to judges and public prosecutors and they shall enjoy all the rights accorded to judges and public prosecutors.

D. Publicity of Hearings and Verdict Justification

ARTICLE 141. Court hearings shall be open to the public. It may be decided to conduct all or part of the hearings in closed session only in cases where absolutely required for reasons of public morality or public security.

Special provisions shall be provided in the law with respect to the trial of minors.

The decisions of all courts shall be made in writing with a statement of justification.

It is the duty of the judiciary to conclude trials as quickly as possible and at minimum cost.

E. Organisation of Courts

ARTICLE 142. The organisation, functions and jurisdiction of the courts, their functioning and trial procedures shall be regulated by law.

F. State Security Courts

ARTICLE 143. (As amended on June 18, 1999)

State Security Courts shall be established to deal with offences against the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, the free democratic order, or against the Republic whose characteristics are defined in the Constitution, and offences directly involving the internal and external security of the State. However, provisions concerning state of martial law and state of war are reserved.

State Security Courts shall consist of a president, two regular members and one substitute, one chief public prosecutor and a sufficient number of public prosecutors.

The president, two regular and one substitute members and the chief public prosecutor from among the first category judges and public prosecutors, the public prosecutors from the other public prosecutors of the Republic shall be appointed by the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors in accordance with the procedures prescribed by special law for a four-year term; those whose term of office has expired may be reappointed.

The High Court of Appeals is the competent authority to examine appeals against the judgements of the State Security Court.

Other provisions relating to the functioning, the duties and jurisdiction and the trial procedures of the State Security Court shall be prescribed by law.

G. Supervision of Judges and Public Prosecutors

ARTICLE 144. Supervision of judges and public prosecutors with regard to the performance of their duties in accordance with laws, regulations, by-laws and circulars (administrative circulars, in the case of judges), investigation into whether they have committed offences in connection with, or in the course of their duties, whether their behaviour and attitude are in conformity with their status and duties and if necessary, inquiry and investigations concerning them shall be made by judiciary inspectors with the permission of the Ministry of Justice. The Minister of Justice may request the investigation or inquiry to be conducted by a judge or public prosecutor who is senior to the judge or public prosecutor to be investigated.

H. Military Justice

ARTICLE 145. Military justice shall be exercised by military courts and military disciplinary courts. These courts shall have jurisdiction to try military personnel for military offences, for offences committed by them against other military personnel or in military places, or for offences connected with military service and duties.

Military courts also have jurisdiction to try non-military persons for military offences specified in the special law; and for offences committed while performing their duties specified by law, or against military personnel on military places specified by law.

The offences and persons falling within the jurisdiction of military courts in time of war or under martial law, their organisation and the appointment, where necessary, of judges and public prosecutors from courts of justice to military courts shall be regulated by law.

The organisation of military judicial organs, their functions, matters relaying to the status of military judges, relations between military judges acting as military prosecutors and the office of commander under which they serve, shall be regulated by law in accordance with the principles of the independence of courts and the security of tenure of judges and with the requirements of military service. Relations between military judges and the office of commander under which they serve, regarding the requirements of military service apart from judicial functions, shall also be prescribed by law.

II. Higher Courts A. The Constitutional Court

1. Organisation

ARTICLE 146. The Constitutional Court shall be composed of eleven regular and four substitute members.

The President of the Republic shall appoint two regular and two substitute members from the High Court of Appeals, two regular and one substitute member from the Council of State, and one member each from the Military High Court of Appeals, the High Military Administrative Court and the Audit Court, three candidates being nominated for each vacant office by the Plenary Assemblies of each court from among their respective presidents and members, by an absolute majority of the total number of members; the President of the Republic shall also appoint one member from a list of three candidates nominated by the Higher Education Council from among members of the teaching staff of institutions of higher education who are not members of the Council, and three members and one substitute member from among senior administrative officers and lawyers.

To qualify for appointments as regular or substitute members of the Constitutional Court, members of the teaching staff of institutions of higher education, senior administrative officers and lawyers shall be required to be over the age of forty and to have completed their higher education, or to have served at least fifteen years as a member of the teaching staff of institutions of higher education or to have actually worked at least fifteen years in public service or to have practiced as a lawyer for at least fifteen years.

The Constitutional Court shall elect a president and Deputy president from among its regular members for a term of four years by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of the total number of members. They may be re-elected at the end of their term of office.

The members of the Constitutional Court shall not assume other official and private functions, apart from their main functions.

2. Termination of Membership

ARTICLE 147. The members of the Constitutional Court shall retire on reaching the age of sixty-five. Membership in the Constitutional Court shall terminate automatically if a member is convicted of an offence requiring his dismissal from the judicial profession, it shall terminate by a decision of an absolute majority of the total number of members of the Constitutional Court if it is definitely established that he is unable to perform his duties on account of ill-health.

3. Functions and Powers

ARTICLE 148. The Constitutional Court shall examine the constitutionality, in respect of both form and substance, of laws, decrees having the force of law, and the Rules of Procedure of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Constitutional amendments shall be examined and verified only with regard to their form. However, no action shall be brought before the Constitutional Court alleging unconstitutionality as to the form or substance of decrees having the force of law issued during a state of emergency, martial law or in time of war.

The verification of laws as to form shall be restricted to consideration of whether the requisite majority was obtained in the last ballot; the verification of constitutional amendments shall be restricted to consideration of whether the requisite majorities were obtained for the proposal and in the ballot, and whether the prohibition on debates under urgent procedure was complied with. Verification as to form may be requested by the President of the Republic or by one-fifth of the members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Applications for annulment on the grounds of defect in form shall not be made more than ten days after the date on which the law was promulgated; nor shall objection be raised.

The President of the Republic, members of the Council of Ministers, presidents and members of the Constitutional Court, of the High Court of Appeals, of the Council of State, of the Military High Court of Appeals, of the High Military Administrative Court of Appeals, their Chief Public Prosecutors, Deputy Public Prosecutors of the Republic, and the presidents and members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors, and of the Audit Court shall be tried for offences relating to their functions by the Constitutional Court in its capacity as the Supreme Court.

The Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic or Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic shall act as public prosecutor in the Supreme Court.

The judgements of the Supreme Court shall be final.

The Constitutional Court shall also perform the other functions given to it by the Constitution.

4. Functioning and Trial Procedure

ARTICLE 149. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

The Constitutional Court shall convene with its president and ten members, and shall take decisions by absolute majority. Decision of annulment of Constitutional amendments and closure in the cases of the political parties shall be taken by three-fifths majority.

The Constitutional Court shall give priority to the consideration of, and to decisions on, applications for annulment on the grounds of defect in form.

The organisation and trial procedures of the Constitutional Court shall be determined by law; its method of work and the division of labour among its members shall be regulated by the Rules of Procedure made by the Court.

The Constitutional Court shall examine cases on the basis of written evidence, except where it acts as the Supreme Court. However, when it deems necessary, it may call on those concerned and those having knowledge relevant to the case, to present oral explanations (Annexed sentence: 23.7.1995 - 4121/14 Article) and in lawsuits on whether to permanently dissolve a political party or not, the Constitutional Court shall hear the defence of the chairman of the party whose dissolution is in process or of a proxy appointed by the chairman, after the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic.

5. Annulment Action

ARTICLE 150. The President of the Republic, parliamentary groups of the party in power and of the main opposition party and a minimum of one-fifth of the total number of members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly shall have the right to apply for annulment action to the Constitutional Court, based on the assertion of the unconstitutionality of laws in form and in substance, of decrees having the force of law, of Rules of Procedure of the Turkish Grand National Assembly or of specific articles or provisions thereof. If more than one political party is in power, the right of the parties in power to apply for annulment action shall be exercised by the party having the greatest number of members.

6. Time Limit for Annulment Action

ARTICLE 151. The right to apply for annulment directly to the Constitutional Court shall lapse sixty days after publication in the Official Gazette of the contested law, the decree having the force of law, or the Rules of Procedure.

7. Contention of Unconstitutionality Before Other Courts

ARTICLE 152. If a court which is trying a case, finds that the law or the decree having the force of law to be applied is unconstitutional, or if it is convinced of the seriousness of a claim of unconstitutionality submitted by one of the parties, it shall postpone the consideration of the case until the Constitutional Court decides on the issue.

If the court is not convinced of the seriousness of the claim of unconstitutionality, such a claim together with the main judgment shall be decided upon by the competent authority of appeal.

The Constitutional Court shall decide on the matter and make public its judgment within five months of receiving the contention. If no decision is reached within this period, the trial court shall conclude the case under existing legal provisions. However, if the decision on the merits of the case becomes final, the trial court is obliged to comply with it.

No allegation of unconstitutionality shall be made with regard to the same legal provision until ten years elapse after publication in the Official Gazette of the decision of the Constitutional Court dismissing the application on its merits.

8. Decisions of the Constitutional Court

ARTICLE 153. The decisions of the Constitutional Court are final. Decisions of annulment cannot be made public without a written statement of reasons.

In the course of annulling the whole, or a provision, of laws or decrees having the force of law, the Constitutional Court shall not act as a law-maker and pass judgment leading to new implementation.

Laws, decrees having the force of law, or the Rules of Procedure of the Turkish Grand National Assembly or provisions thereof, shall cease to have effect from the date of publication in the Official Gazette of the annulment decision. Where necessary, the Constitutional Court may also decide on the date on which the annulment decision shall come into effect. That date shall not be more than one year from the date of publication of the decision in the Official Gazette.

In the event of the postponement of the date on which an annulment decision is to come into effect, the Turkish Grand National Assembly shall debate and decide with priority on the draft bill or law proposal, designed to fill the legal void arising from the annulment decision.

Annulment decisions cannot be applied retroactively.

Decisions of the Constitutional Court shall be published immediately in the Official Gazette, and shall be binding on the legislative, executive, and judicial organs, on the administrative authorities, and on persons and corporate bodies.

B. The High Court of Appeals

ARTICLE 154. The High Court of Appeals is the last instance for reviewing decisions and judgements given by courts of justice and which are not referred by law to other judicial authority. It shall also be the first and last instance for dealing with specific cases prescribed by law.

Members of the High Court of Appeals shall be appointed by the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors from among first category judges and public prosecutors of the Republic, of the courts of justice, or those considered to be members of this profession, by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of the total number of members.

The first president, first deputy presidents and heads of division shall be elected by the Plenary Assembly of the High Court of Appeals from among its own members, for a term of four years, by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of the total number of members; they may be re-elected at the end of their term of office.

The Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic and the Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic of the High Court of Appeals shall be appointed by the President of the Republic for a term of four years from among five candidates nominated for each office by the Plenary Assembly of the High Court of Appeals from among its own members by secret ballot. They may be re-elected at the end of their term of office.

The organisation, the function, the qualifications and procedures of election of the president, deputy presidents, the heads of division and members and the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic and the Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic of the High Court of Appeals shall be regulated by law in accordance with the principles of the independence of courts and the security of tenure of judges.

C. Council of State

ARTICLE 155. (As amended on August 13, 1999)

The Council of State is the last instance for reviewing decisions and judgements given by administrative courts and which are not referred by law to other administrative courts. It shall also be the first and last instance for dealing with specific cases prescribed by law.

The Council of State shall try administrative cases, give its opinion within two months of time on draft legislation, the conditions and the contracts under which concessions are granted concerning public services which are submitted by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, examine draft regulations, settle administrative disputes and discharge other duties as prescribed by law.

Three-fourths of the members of the Council of State shall be appointed by the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors from among the first category administrative judges and public prosecutors, or those considered to be of this profession; and the remaining quarter by the President of the Republic from among officials meeting the requirements designated by law.

The president, chief public prosecutor, deputy president, and heads of division of the Council of State shall be elected by the Plenary Assembly of the Council of State from among its own members for a term of four years by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of the total number of members. They may be re-elected at the end of their term of office.

The organization, the functioning, the qualifications and procedures of election of the president, the chief public prosecutor, the deputy presidents and the heads of division and the members of the Council of State, shall be regulated by law in accordance with the principles of specific nature of the administrative jurisdiction, and of the independence of the Courts and the security of tenure of judges.

D. Military High Court of Appeals

ARTICLE 156. The Military High Court of Appeals is the last instance for reviewing decisions and judgements given by military courts. It shall also be the first and last instance for dealing with specific cases designated by law concerning military personnel.

Members of the Military High Court of Appeals shall be appointed by the President of the Republic from among three candidates nominated for each vacant office by the Plenary Assembly of the Military High Court of Appeals from among military judges of the first category, by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of the total number of members.

The president, chief public prosecutor, second presidents and heads of division of the Military High Court of Appeals shall be appointed according to rank and seniority from among the members of the Military High Court of Appeals.

The organisation, the functioning of the Military High Court of Appeals, and disciplinary and personnel matters relating to the status of its members shall be regulated by law in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the security of tenure of judges and with the requirements of military service.

E. High Military Administrative Court of Appeals

ARTICLE 157. The High Military Administrative Court of Appeals shall be the first and last instance for the judicial supervision of disputes arising from administrative acts and actions involving military personnel or relating to military service, even if such acts and actions have been carried out by civilian authorities. However, in disputes arising from the obligation to perform military service, there shall be no condition that the person concerned be a member of the military body.

Members of the High Military Administrative Court of Appeals who are military judges shall be appointed by the President of the Republic from a list of three candidates nominated for each vacant office by the president and members of the Court, who are also military judges, by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of the total number of such members, from among military judges of the first category; members who are not military judges shall be appointed by the President of the Republic from a list of three candidates nominated for each vacant office by the Chief of the General Staff from among officers holding the rank and qualifications prescribed by law.

The term of office of members who are not military judges shall not exceed four years.

The president, chief public prosecutor and head of division of the Court shall be appointed from among military judges according to rank and seniority.

The organisation and functioning of the High Military Administrative Court, its procedure, disciplinary affairs and other matters relating to the status of its members shall be regulated by law in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the security of tenure of judges within the requirements of military service.

F. Court of Jurisdictional Disputes

ARTICLE 158. The Jurisdictional Court of Disputes shall be empowered to deliver final judgements in disputes between courts of justice, and administrative and military courts concerning their jurisdiction and decisions.

The organisation of the Jurisdictional Court of Disputes the qualifications of its members and the procedure for their election, and its functioning shall be regulated by law. The office of president of this Court shall be held by a member delegated by the Constitutional Court from among its own members.

Decisions of the Constitutional Court shall take precedence in jurisdictional disputes between the Constitutional Court and other courts.

III. Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors

ARTICLE 159. The Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors shall be established and shall exercise its functions in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the security of tenure of judges.

The President of the Council is the Minister of Justice. The Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice shall be an ex-officio member of the Council. Three regular and three substitute members of the Council shall be appointed by the President of the Republic for a term of four years from a list of three candidates nominated for each vacant office by the Plenary Assembly of the High Court of Appeals from among its own members and two regular and two substitute members shall be similarly appointed from a list of three candidates nominated for each vacant office by the Plenary Assembly of the Council of State. They may be re-elected at the end of their term of office. The Council shall elect a deputy president from among its elected regular members.

The Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors shall deal with the admission of judges and public prosecutors of courts of justice and of administrative courts into the profession, appointments, transfers to other posts, the delegation of temporary powers, promotion, and promotion to the first category, the allocation of posts, decisions concerning those whose continuation in the profession is found to be unsuitable, the imposition of disciplinary penalties and removal from office. It shall take final decisions on proposals by the Ministry of Justice concerning the abolition of a court or an office of judge or public prosecutor, or changes in the jurisdiction of a court. It shall also exercise the other functions given to it by the Constitution and laws.

There shall be no appeal to any judicial instance against the decisions of the Council.

The functioning of the Council and methods of performing its duties, the procedure governing election and working methods, the principles relating to the examination of objections within the Council shall be regulated by law.

The Minister of Justice is empowered to appoint judges and public prosecutors with their consent, to temporary or permanent functions in the central offices of the Ministry of Justice.

The Minister of Justice may, in cases where delay is deemed prejudicial, confer temporary powers on judges or public prosecutors to prevent the disruption of services, subject to the approval of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors at its first meeting thereafter.

IV. Audit Court

ARTICLE 160. The Audit Court shall be charged with auditing, on behalf of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, all the accounts relating to the revenue, expenditure and property of government departments financed by the general and subsidiary budgets, with taking final decisions on the acts and accounts of the responsible officials, and with exercising the functions required of it by law in matters of inquiry, auditing and judgment. Parties concerned may file a single request for reconsideration of a final decision of the Audit Court within fifteen days of the date of written notification of the decision. No applications for judicial review of such decisions shall be filed in administrative courts.

In the event of a dispute between the Council of State and the Audit Court concerning decisions on matters of taxation or similar financial obligations and duties, the decision of the Council of State shall take precedence.

The organisation, functioning and auditing procedure of the Audit Court, the qualifications, appointment, duties and powers, rights and obligations of its members, other matters relating to their personal status, and the security of tenure of the president and members shall be regulated by law. The procedure for auditing, on behalf of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, of state property in possession of the Armed Forces shall be regulated by law in accordance with the principles of secrecy required by national defence.


Parts of the Turkish Constitution: Previous - Next
Preamble, Part I, Part II: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Part III: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Index
Back to Top
Copyright 1995-2012 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.