The 3rd Regional Meeting on the execution of violation judgments of the Constitutional Court and the elimination of the consequences of the violations found was held in Bursa on 13 June 2022, within the scope of the Project Supporting the Effective Implementation of the Constitutional Court Judgments in the field of Fundamental Rights, which is undertaken through joint initiatives of the Secretary General of the Turkish Constitutional Court and the Council of Europe.
The opening remarks of the meeting were delivered by President of the Constitutional Court Mr. Zühtü Arslan, Head of the Bursa Regional Court of Appeal Mr. Abdülkadir Şahin, Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor Mr. Gökşan Şen and Head of Programme Office in Ankara (Council of Europe) Mr. Cristian Urse. Among those attending the meeting were the Vice-Presidents and Justices of the Constitutional Court, Bursa Governor Mr. Yakup Canbolat, Bursa Metropolitan Mayor Mr. Alinur Aktaş, Members of the Court of Cassation and Council of the State, Heads of the Regional Administrative Court and Regional Court of Appeal, chief public prosecutors of these courts, as well as judges and prosecutors holding office in the region.
In his opening remarks, President Arslan noted that the primary aim of the State was to safeguard individuals’ rights and freedoms by ensuring a well-functioning and fair legal order and emphasised that it would be achieved only through the independent and impartial tribunals endeavouring to administer justice.
“Justice is secured by means of protecting fundamental rights and freedoms.”
Pointing to the individual application mechanism, as one of the paramount institutions for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, President Arslan noted that the proper functioning of this mechanism was dependent on two main conditions, which were interrelated. He added that the first of these conditions was to alleviate the ever-increasing workload before the Constitutional Court, thereby maintaining it at a manageable level. In this sense, he pointed to the alarming level of individual applications pending before the Constitutional Court.
“Complaints concerning the unreasonable length of trials should be addressed by an administrative authority prior to being brought before the Constitutional Court.”
Stating that nearly half of the pending individual applications were related to the right to a trial within a reasonable time, President Arslan noted “The opportunity of bringing complaints as to unreasonable length of trials, which is a structural problem, directly before the Constitutional Court through individual application has caused the workload before the Court to reach a desperate level. The step required to be taken to obviate this drawback is to ensure that such complaints be addressed by an administrative authority prior to being brought before the Constitutional Court”.
Stating that the second, but more significant, condition for the continued functioning of individual application mechanism as an effective remedy, was the proper execution of violation judgments, President Arslan added “The effective execution of the Court judgments, which is also the agenda of these meetings, is a means which ensures the redress of a given violation on one hand, and the prevention of new violations, on the other. The former is the inter partes effect of individual application, whereas the latter is the erga omnes effect thereof.”
“Effective execution of judicial decisions is considered, by the Constitutional Court, as a compulsory element of the state of law.”
President Arslan, stressing that the state of law was not merely a matter of rhetoric, expressed that the failure to execute the violation judgments rendered by the Constitutional Court through individual application would constitute a gross breach of the principle of rule of law and the constitutional order predicated on this principle.