Press Release No: Individual Application 27/21
Press Release concerning the Judgment Finding a Violation of the Right to a Trial within a Reasonable Time due to the Prolonged Issuance of the Reasoned Decision
On 25 February 2021, the First Section of the Constitutional Court found a violation of the right to a trial within a reasonable time within the scope of the right to a fair trial safeguarded by Article 36 of the Constitution in the individual application lodged by Hatice Akgül (no. 2018/35900).
The applicant brought an action for reinstatement before the labour court on 21 July 2017, challenging the termination of her employment contract. At the end of the impugned proceedings concluded in favour of the applicant, the decision was pronounced on 18 October 2017, whereas the reasoned decision was issued on 7 February 2019. Consequently, the defendant employer submitted a notification of intent to appeal as well as a reasoned petition of appeal. The regional court of appeal dismissed the relevant request for appeal. Upon the defendant’s appeal, the Court of Cassation upheld the decision.
The Applicant’s Allegations
The applicant claimed that her right to a trial within a reasonable time had been violated, stating that in the reinstatement proceedings, the reasoned decision had not been issued in due time.
The Court’s Assessment
In the present case, the impugned proceedings lasted 2 years and 5 months. Within the scope of the reinstatement proceedings, the decision was pronounced at the end of two hearings that had been held one month apart and with no witnesses having been heard. The case is far from being complex in view of the criteria such as the difficulty in the resolution of the legal dispute, complexity of the material facts, challenges in collecting the evidence, and number of parties.
It was stated in the labour court’s decision that the applicant might be reinstated only after the decision became final. Thus, the vital importance of the finalization of the decision for the applicant is apparent.
One of the most important conditions to be fulfilled in order for the applicant to benefit from the consequences of the action she had brought for reinstatement was the issuance of the reasoned decision, which is an obligation incumbent on the court, regardless of the applicant’s request, conduct and responsibility.
In the present case, the first instance court pronounced the decision by issuing its summarized version. Pursuant to Law no. 6100, the court shall issue and serve the reasoned decision within one month at the latest. The period of 1 year 3 months and 29 days that had elapsed since the date of pronouncement of the decision until the date when the reasoned decision was issued cannot be considered reasonable. The delay in the issuance of the reasoned decision resulted in the prolongation of the proceedings.
Consequently, the Court has found a violation of the right to a trial within a reasonable time.
This press release prepared by the General Secretariat intends to inform the public and has no binding effect.