Paylaş | 27 October 2023

President of the Constitutional Court Mr. Zühtü Arslan participated in the International Conference organised on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo, held in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, on 22-24 October 2023. President Arslan was accompanied by Justice Mr. Kenan Yaşar and Rapporteur-Judge Mr. Fatih Hatipoğlu at the Conference on “The Contribution of Constitutional Courts in Protecting and Strengthening Fundamental Values of Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law”.

At the first session of the Conference, where the role of constitutional courts in strengthening the values of democracy and rule of law through the abstract review of constitutionality was addressed, President Arslan delivered a speech titled “Protecting the Rule of Law through Constitutional Review of Presidential Decrees: The Case of Türkiye”.

President Arslan began his speech by recalling that constitutions were basic documents that aimed to guarantee the principle of the rule of law. Noting that the rule of law was the hallmark of the constitutional order, President Arslan underlined that the Constitutional Court frequently invoked the principle of the rule of law as a yardstick to control the constitutionality of laws and presidential decrees.

Highlighting the fact that the constitutional amendments of 2010 and 2017 greatly expanded the powers of the Constitutional Court, Mr. President pointed out that the first constitutional amendment of 2010 introduced the individual application mechanism and the constitutional amendment of 2017 granted the Constitutional Court the power to review presidential decrees.

President Arslan, further indicating that the individual application mechanism generated a paradigm shift in the constitutional jurisdiction of Türkiye, stressed that the Constitutional Court adopted a rights-based legal paradigm which attached certain priorities to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms vis-a-vis the other social and political interests. 

President Arslan provided brief information on the constitutional limitations of presidential decrees, expressing that if the Court found no violation of limitation clauses, it examined whether the content of the presidential decree was compatible with the Constitution.

Concluding his speech, President Arslan emphasised that the Constitutional Court upheld the rule of law through constitutional review of presidential decrees, thereby making a significant contribution to furthering the public confidence towards law and judiciary as well as strengthening the legitimacy of public institutions.

Click for the full text of the speech delivered by President Zühtü Arslan.