ECtHR head Nicolas Bratza said at a press briefing on Jan. 26 that Turkey topped the list of countries which violated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with 159 cases. Turkey is followed by Russia with 121 cases and Ukraine with 105. Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland, during a press meeting in November 2011 in Ankara, said, "There are currently 16,000 ongoing cases against Turkey, making it the country against which the second-highest numbers of cases have been filed."
The Radikal daily reported on Wednesday that the HSYK has set up new criteria for judges and prosecutors to prevent violations of the ECHR and to decrease the number of cases against the Turkish judiciary filed with the ECtHR. According to the new criteria, discretionary decisions by Turkish judges and prosecutors that were confirmed to be in violation of the ECHR by the ECtHR will affect their professional records negatively and these records will be taken into consideration BY members of the HSYK while assessing candidates for promotion. In other words, judges and prosecutors who do not abide by the ECHR while delivering their verdicts under their discretion will not be considered for promotion by the HSYK. This will only apply to the discretionary decisions of judges and prosecutors, not to decisions made as a result of positive legislation.
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, who spoke to NTV on Wednesday, said the ECtHR's interpretation of the ECHR will have a significant impact on the promotion of judges and prosecutors. He added that judges and prosecutors will be assessed based on whether they have taken into consideration the ECtHR's understanding successfully or not. Ergin emphasized that judges and prosecutors will be promoted according to the compatibility of their rulings with the ECtHR's interpretation or how compatible their discretionary decisions were with the ECHR.
The HSYK has submitted a petition to the Ministry of Justice in which it conveyed its recent decision. In the petition, the HSYK requested the Ministry of Justice translate the ECtHR human rights decisions from English to Turkish and that they be delivered to all judges and prosecutors in order to raise awareness about human rights. The HSYK also requested that the ECtHR's rulings concerning Turkey should be followed, that the judges or prosecutors who were responsible for ruling in violation of the ECHR decisions should be determined and that the HSYK should be notified of their decisions.
Speaking to the same daily, a HSYK official said that because of these new criteria, the kind of method that will be adopted for their implementation is not yet certain, but they hope details of the new criteria will be decided upon in the coming days. The same official also said the main aim of the new criteria is to decrease the number of cases filed against Turkey for human rights violations.