A new Justice Ministry is needed (I)

Justice Minister Kenan ipek said yesterday that the election process of the High Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) needs to be changed.
ipek thinks that the HSYK member election process is mistaken and offers a system similar to that of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTanduK), Turkeyand’s media watchdog.
Today, there are several groups acting to control the countryand’s judicial system, as the HSYK is the main board responsible for appointments, promotions and disciplinary matters concerning all judges and prosecutors. These groups are competing during the countrywide elections in which almost 15,000 judges and prosecutors vote. During the last elections, the Unity in Justice Platform (YBP), which is allegedly under Justice and Development Party (AKP)ontrol, took nearly all the seats in the HSYK.
ipek offers another system for the election process for the Supreme Court of Appeals (Yargitay) seats and division heads. As of today, there are 38 divisions: 23 are responsible for civil law matters and the other 15 are responsible for criminal matters. ipek doesnand’t offer a concrete new model for the election process, but he underlines that the current system doesnand’t satisfy anyone, including the members of the court.
In my opinion, the justice ministerand’s offers are right but insufficient. Previously, we had a system in which HSYK members elect the Yargitay members and Yargitay members elect the HSYK. After a point, this became bilateral reciprocity there was bargaining over specific individuals or groups. There were rumors that the and”elect me, I elect youand” style was so dominant that it was not possible to carry on. Later, a new complicated procedure was enacted with the constitutional amendment in 2010 stating that the HSYK has a total of 22 members who were elected for a period of four years. In the HSYK elections, judges and prosecutors vote for 10 primary and five alternate members. Apart from the elections, the president selects four primary members from among academics and lawyers for the HSYK, while the Justice Academy selects one primary and one alternate member from among its members. Three primary members of the HSYK are also elected from the Supreme Court of Appeals and two from the Council of State. Fifteen of the 22 HSYK members elected last October were candidates who were openly backed by the government, namely YBP members. After the YBP won the HSYK elections, the board reshuffled hundreds of judges and prosecutors in a controversial move. Today, the justice minister is complaining about the system again.
The main fault stems from within the ministry. A few hundred judges are working inside the ministry as bureaucrats. They are appointed by the political party in charge and they will be changed if a new political party takes the ministry. Bureaucrats who had previous political affiliations will be acting as impartial and independent judges in the courthouses, or they will try to become members of the Supreme Court of Appeals open to any kind of political bargaining. This system is totally wrong. Judges must only work in courthouses, not inside the justice ministry. ipek has to offer a truly new system, not an imitation of a previous one. His offer will be again open the potential for political pressure and interference. The country needs another system guaranteeing impartiality and independence in the judiciary. and”AKPand’s HSYKand” is not able to solve our judiciary problem.
and”They are also not happy with the election system,and” says ipek, referring to the members of the Supreme Court of Appeals. It is his ministryand’s duty to find a fair and just system to administer the judiciary in Turkey.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman