Individual Application 107/19

Press Release Concerning the Judgment Finding a Violation of the Right of Access to a Court for Dismissal of Appeal Request as Being Time-Barred

On 24 October 2019, the First Section of the Constitutional Court found a violation of the right of access to a court within the scope of the right to a fair trial safeguarded by Article 36 of the Constitution in the individual application lodged by Binali Boran (no. 2016/1235). 

The Facts

The labour court had accepted the applicant’s request for cancellation of the payment order related to the premium debts of the company of which he was a partner. Upon appeal, the Court of Cassation quashed the decision. Hence the labour court dismissed the applicant’s case. The applicant became aware of the court’s decision on 3 June 2015. Thereupon, the applicant appealed against the decision on 11 June 2015 via the National Judiciary Informatics System (“UYAP”), an electronic platform. The Court of Cassation acknowledged that the appeal request was submitted on 12 June 2015 and therefore dismissed the applicant’s request as being time-barred.

The Applicant’s Allegations

The applicant claimed that his right of access to a court had been violated due to rejection of his appeal request as being time-barred.

The Court’s Assessment

The Code of Civil Procedure no. 6100 provides that a case can be filed via an electronic platform by using a secure electronic signature and that the deadline is the end of the day for the electronically-conducted processes.

It is also stated in the relevant articles of the former Code of Civil Procedure Regulation that was in force at the material time that the appeal requests could be made via UYAP with a secure electronic signature; that the request would be deemed to have been made on the date when it was registered in the system; and that electronic appeal requests could be made until 12 p.m.

The inquiries conducted into the present case reveals that the court decision was served on the applicant on 3 June 2015; that the applicant’s lawyer filed an appeal request via UYAP on 11 June 2015 at 05:44 p.m.; that the incumbent court’s registry started to proceed with the request on 12 June 2015 at 07:26 a.m.; and that the incumbent court considered that the applicant’s appeal request of 11 June 2015had been filed in due time.

Although the applicant filed an appeal request via UYAP on 11 June 2015, the court staff proceeded with the request one day after the expiry of the statutory period (on 12 June 2015). Relying on the latter date, the Court of Cassation dismissed the applicant’s appeal request as being time-barred, which cannot be regarded as foreseeable. Besides, according to the relevant legal provisions, the appeal request could have been filed electronically on the same day at the latest by 00:00 p.m.. Therefore, the applicant’s having recourse to appeal remedy at 05:44 p.m., namely upon the expiry of the regular work hours, on the last day of the prescribed time-limit for appeal must be considered to be reasonable.

In the light of these considerations, the impugned practice of the Court of Cassation eliminated the applicant’s opportunity to make use of the appeal remedy, thereby imposing a heavy burden on him. The Court has accordingly concluded that the burden that the applicant had to endure was not commensurate with the legitimate aims pursued and thus, the impugned interference was not proportionate.

Consequently, the Court has found a violation of the right of access to a court safeguarded by Article 36 of the Constitution.

This press release prepared by the General Secretariat intends to inform the public and has no binding effect.