Türkiye’s 12th Development Plan (2024-2028): Justice-Related Policies

As is well-known, development plans are formulated to establish policies in the public sector with the objective of promoting development in various fields including the economy, healthcare, education, social security and justice. In this context, in Türkiye, the 12th Development Plan (the “Plan”) for the years 2024-2028 has been enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Türkiye dated 01.11.2023 (1st Repeated), and thus has come into effect as of November 2023. 1

The vision of the Plan is articulated as “A stable, robust and prosperous Türkiye in the Turkish Century, demonstrating sensitivity to the environment, resilience to disasters, generation of high added value through advanced technology, and equitable income distribution.” The Plan encompasses five core policy objectives, which are:

  1. Stable Growth and a Strong Economy
  2. Competitive Production through Green and Digital Transformation
  3. Skilled Workforce, Strong Families, and a Healthy Society
  4. Resilient Living Environments and a Sustainable Ecosystem
  5. Democratic Governance Founded on Principles of Justice

This assessment’s focus is to evaluate the impact of the Plan on legal practice, organizations and firms if the policies delineated under the heading “5. Democratic Governance Founded on Principles of Justice” are executed.

Within the framework of the outlined vision, paramount importance is given to fortifying the rule of law, democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms. In this context, emphasis is placed on reinforcing the rule of law, which incorporates a commitment to judicial review, in compliance with democratic and good governance principles based on justice, equality before the law and the provision of effective remedies. The principles of safeguarding vested rights, ensuring equal treatment, openness, consistency and predictability are embraced. It is noted that these objectives entail establishing or enhancing a fair and effective legal system. It is evident that the primary aim is to rectify deficiencies in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, promoting justice to the satisfaction of society.

Under the heading “5. Democratic Governance Founded on Principles of Justice“, there are ten sub-headings:

  1. Justice Services
  2. Security Services
  3. Civil Society
  4. Strategic Management in the Public Sector
  5. Regulatory Impact Analysis in the Public Sector
  6. Local Governments
  7. Human Resources in the Public Sector
  8. Digital State
  9. International Cooperation for Development
  10. Sustainable Development Goals

The effective implementation and existence of the following issues are highlighted as prerequisites for achieving the goal of elevating beyond the level of contemporary civilization:

  • An Independent, Impartial and Transparent Judiciary
  • Effective Implementation of the Rule of Law and Democratic Principles
  • Efficient, Predictable, Fair, Transparent, Accountable, Accessible, Reliable and Human-Centric Administration
  • Openness of the Administration to Judicial Review
  • Equality Before the Law
  • Protection of Vested Rights
  • Clarity, Consistency and Predictability Principles

In accordance with these pillars, the Plan strives to establish a more liberal, participatory and inclusive constitution. Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence are anticipated to be effectively employed in justice services, while security services aim to strike a balance between security and freedom to protect fundamental rights and freedoms. NGOs are expected to engage more actively in decision-making processes and transparent, citizen-centered public services will be rendered efficiently.

The policies relevant to the field of justice have implications for the legal community, especially lawyers, as well as the business world, companies and organizations.

We summarized the key points below for our clients and readers:

From the Legal Perspective and for Lawyers:

  • The Plan underlines the preparation of a participatory new Constitution that prioritizes fundamental rights, freedoms and freedom of expression. Lawyers are expected to play an active role in this constitutional drafting process, with bar associations and legal NGOs being pivotal stakeholders.
  • Experts in human rights, well-versed in ECtHR jurisprudence, will be essential in both drafting and implementing the Constitution.
  • Measures to enhance the competencies of security and penal institutions in human rights will require lawyers’ involvement.
  • The utilization of digital technologies and artificial intelligence in legal practice will gain prominence, demanding proficient lawyers.
  • The secure use of cloud computing by public institutions will raise concerns about personal data protection, necessitating legal experts’ involvement.
  • Personal data protection in the context of cybersecurity will continue to be a fertile area for lawyers.
  • The Plan aims to standardize legal timelines and procedures, which will simplify litigation and enhance access to justice, benefiting both lawyers and the public.
  • The Plan encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, particularly arbitration, which will create opportunities for lawyers as arbitrators or counsel.
  • A specialized dispute resolution center for financial services will require lawyers, particularly those well-versed in finance and actuarial science.
  • Modernizing enforcement and bankruptcy laws and digitalizing enforcement processes will streamline legal procedures, particularly for lawyers involved in enforcement matters.
  • Improving legal education by raising university entrance exam standards and introducing new areas of law will contribute to training higher-quality lawyers.
  • A study on the rights, powers, and responsibilities of lawyers regarding legislation preparation is mentioned, although it lacks clear policy measures. Addressing economic challenges faced by young lawyers is suggested in response to the growing number of lawyers.
  • Lawyers may play a crucial role in ensuring that crime potential assessment aligns with the law and protects fundamental rights and freedoms.
  • Lawyers can support Türkiye’s efforts to combat terrorism internationally and uphold fundamental rights and freedoms.
  • Lawyers are expected to participate in capacity-building activities within security units.
  • Standardizing legal timelines across various laws will simplify legal procedures, benefiting both lawyers and those navigating the legal system.
  • Lawyers with expertise in EU law will have a significant role to play as Türkiye aims to harmonize with the EU acquis.

From the Perspective of Firms and Organizations:

  • NGOs involved in human rights may assume important roles in protecting fundamental rights and freedoms and increasing Türkiye’s visibility in international forums.
  • The increased use of artificial intelligence and digital technologies in public services presents opportunities for firms to provide technical infrastructure.
  • Companies may profit from increased public procurement for border security and enhanced security institutions, offering technical equipment and consulting services.
  • Companies may find opportunities in the establishment of a Digital State infrastructure, both domestically and internationally.
  • NGOs and private companies engaged in areas like climate change, disaster resilience, renewable energy, and green transformation can actively support Türkiye’s visibility efforts.
  • As Türkiye becomes more active in international organizations, NGOs and other organizations will have a growing role.

Overall Assessment:

In the centenary year of the Turkish Republic, the policy measures outlined in the first development plan of the second century hold the potential to make positive contributions. Acknowledging existing issues in justice services and the need for robust protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, the establishment of an ecosystem securing these rights is of paramount importance. Achieving this will be instrumental in elevating Türkiye to the level of contemporary civilizations, consistent with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s vision.

Footnote

1. It is possible to access the Plan through the following link: ,available only in Turkish, access date: 01.11.2023.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

 

First published by Mondaq on 3 November 2023

Sosyal Medyada Paylaş:

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