The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that the removal of a Macedonian judge was unfair and unjust, stating that a judge being held responsible for the judgments they make renders judicial independence obsolete, on the very day that two Turkish judges were jailed for their rulings.
On April 30, the Strasbourg-based court ruled on the case of former judge Jordan Mitrinovski. Mitrinovski had submitted an individual application to the ECtHR, claiming, and”The State Judicial Council [of Macedonia] that dismissed him from the office of judge was not an andlsquoindependent and impartial tribunal,and’and” referencing the first clause of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), according to a report in the Bugandun daily on Tuesday.
The ECtHR determined, and”If the judge is exposed to legal and disciplinary sanctions against hisher decisions, neither judicial independence nor the democratic balance of powers can be maintained,and” continuing, and”The Council for the Judiciary should, therefore, unequivocally condemn political projects designed to limit the judgesand’ freedom of decision-making.and”
This landmark judgment came on the day that two Turkish judges, Metin andOzandcelik of the Istanbul 29th Court of First Instance and Mustafa Baier of the Istanbul 32nd Court of First Instance, were detained and later arrested by the BakirkandOy 2nd High Criminal Court in Istanbul, on the request of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).
The arrest of the judges, a first in the 91 years of the republic, was seen as another instance of political intervention in the judiciary. The judges are reportedly accused of membership in a terrorist organization.
andOzandcelik had accepted a petition by the lawyers of Hidayet Karaca, CEO of Samanyolu Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) and 63 police officers, all currently detained, for the replacement of judges hearing their clientsand’ cases at Penal Courts of Peace. He has said his decision adhered to the law and that he has never handed down an unlawful ruling.
Karaca was detained as part of a major media crackdown on Dec. 14, 2014, while the police officers were taken into custody in operations launched on July 22, 2014, on charges of spying and illegal wiretapping in two separate probes. They were later arrested.
The ECtHR based its ruling on the first clause of Article 6 in the ECHR, which states, and”In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.and” The ECtHR also ordered the Macedonian government to pay a total of 5,230 euros in damages to Mitirnovski, not including and”any tax that may be chargeable to him, in respect of costs and expenses.and”
The landmark case of Mitrinovski v. The Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia may set a precedent for the cases against Baier and andOzandcelik, should all domestic remedies be exhausted in their search for justice.
SOURCE: Today’s Zaman