Justice Ministry seeks to eliminate judicial shortcomings in new bill

Bahri Öztürk

August 07, 2011, Sunday/ 13:01:00

The Justice Ministry is drafting a new package of bills in an effort to address some judicial problems, including lengthy and delayed trials and long detainment periods of suspects before they are convicted of a crime.

The ministry, which is considering making substantial changes to the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK), Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK) and the law on the implementation of criminal and safety measures, is now receiving recommendations and offers from various sources. The package will reportedly be referred to Parliament in October for approval. The laws in the package will be complementary to the package content adopted in April.

Academics specialized in criminal law were selected and invited by the Justice Ministry to attend a workshop held to draft the content of the package. Recommendations and views from various sources, including attorneys, judges and prosecutors via websites exclusively launched to collect such proposals, have been collected.

The workshop was sponsored by the ministry and held in Sapanca lasting three days; 40 different issues were discussed at the meeting where renowned criminal lawyers, including Professor İzzet Öztunç, Professor Cumhur Şahin and Professor Bahri Öztürk, were in attendance. The participants also focused on the current problems being encountered in the criminal law of the country; however, the issue of the lengthy detention periods was not discussed at the meeting. The ministry noted that this matter would be taken into consideration during the drafting of the new package.

Speaking to Sunday’s Zaman on the matter, Özgenç said: “We are working on a model in order to implement judicial control more effectively,” noting that they were also focusing on rehabilitating prisoners. Özgenç also claimed: “We have to introduce a new system to address the rapid increase in the number of prisoners in the penitentiaries and prisons. In other words, we are currently considering setting up a new system that will allow certain prisoners to serve their sentences in a social environment provided that they adhere to specific rules and obligations.”

Özgenç argued that measures should be taken to ensure that the appeal mechanism works more effectively, further adding: “The relevant infrastructure and groundwork should be established for this. The probation system should be strengthened and the relevant institutions should be made stronger by appointing additional staff.”

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