As defined by its constitution, one the objects of the ECBA is to promote the administration of justice and human rights under the rule of law within the member states of the Council of Europe and among the peoples of the world.
The statement was sent on Tuesday 11 October 2016 to President Erdoğan and relevant authorities in Turkey as well as key players at EU level (Commission, Council, Parliament, Council of Europe, European External Action Service, EU Fundamental Rights Agency).
Please click here for the reply from Prof. Dr. Metin Feyzioğlu, Esq., President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (UTBA) to the ECBA and here for the statement issued by the UTBA and the local bar associations.
No reply has been received from Mr. Schulz or from either of the two other presidents either.
By Scott Crosby, Advocate, Brussels, HumanRights Officer of the ECBA
Terror struck Brussels today, 22 March 2016, at the beginning of Easter week. We saw the aftermath of the metro bombing from the office window. Some of us had passed through the airport only a few hours before the explosions there. Everybody is affected. Everybody is shocked. Everybody is asking how it will all end. Now everybody understands Kabul, Bagdad, Jerusalem, Gaza, Ankara, Istanbul, New York, Boston, London, Madrid, Glasgow, Paris and all the other places where people are blown out of existence in the name of we know not what.
“This piece was originally published in the joint UK Law Societies’ monthly publication on EU law and policy, the Brussels Agenda.”
After failing to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) in the 2010-2015 Parliament whilst in coalition, the UK Conservative Government, now with a slim majority, is approaching the subject with renewed vigour. The current Government plan is to scrap the HRA and replace it with a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities by the summer of 2016.
The HRA incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (ECHR) into UK domestic law. It enables UK citizens to use the ECHR in any UK court, obliges UK courts to “take into account” the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) jurisprudence, read national legislation “so far as is possible” in line with the ECHR, and allows UK courts to declare that national legislation is incompatible with the ECHR (but only allows for the striking down of secondary, not primary, legislation).
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental organization with consultative status to the Council on Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (ECOSOC), and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights (ELDH) are shocked and outraged by the brutal murder of their colleague Tahir Elçi, president of the Diyarbakir Bar Association. Please click here for their press release.
The ECBA endorses the statements of the IADL and the ELDH and abhors and condemns this assassination unreservedly.
The Venice Commission was contacted by judges and prosecutors from Turkey, bringing to its attention several cases of apparent serious interference with the work of judges and prosecutors in politically sensitive cases (see Appendix). Click here for the declaration (20 June 2015) and the appendix.
(A/HRC/WG.6/21/TUR/2) - 27 January 2015 - click here for the report.
Report by Scott Crosby, ECBA Human Right Officer
Istanbul, 25 February 2014
The trial of the President and the Council of the Istanbul Bar Association was resumed on 7 January 2014 in the Silivri courthouse. In reality this was not a resumption because the first hearing on 17 May 2013 had been abandoned before it started owing to lack of space in the courtroom. It was re-scheduled for 12 October 2013 and then postponed once again to 7 January 2014. These adjournments were not requested by the defence. The hearing on 7 January 2014 ended in a further adjournment which was vigorously opposed by the defence. Read more....
Please click here for the ECBA resolution on the Protection of Lawyers in the Exercise of their Professional Duties which expresses our concerns for past and upcoming criminal proceedings and coercive measures against defence lawyers in Turkey. We are in particular seriously concerned about the trial against the President and the Board Members of the Istanbul Bar Association, starting on 17 May 2013. Such is our concern in this regard that we will be present in court during this trial as European observers in terms of the rule of law and the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. This resolution was sent to the President and the Minister of Justice of Turkey and to the President of the Istanbul Bar Association on the 13th of May 2013.
Click here for the reply of President Barroso, European Commission.