The First Package of Judicial Reform; The Omnibus Bill Amending the Law on Criminal Procedures and Certain Laws Has Been Published.

The Omnibus Bill Amending the Law on Criminal Procedures and Certain Laws has been published in the Official Gazette dated 24 October 2019 and numbered 30928 (the “First Package of Judicial Reform”) and came into force as of its publication date. The First Package of Judicial Reform consists of 39 articles that are determined in line with the Judicial Reform and mainly contains amendments in line with the Law on Criminal Procedures. Pursuant to the First Package of Judicial Reform, 15 laws mainly; the Passport Law dated 15 July 1950 and numbered 5682, the Law on Higher Education dated 4 November 1981 and numbered 2547, the Attorneyship Law dated 19 March 1969 and numbered 1136, the Law on Criminal Procedures dated 4 December 2004 and numbered 5271, the Law on Fight Against Terrorism dated 12 April 1991 and numbered 3713, and the Law on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of such Publications dated 4 May 2007 and numbered 5651 have been amended with the First Package of Judicial Reform.

Regulations regarding the Passport Law:

It has been regulated that, bar-registered lawyers who have fifteen years of seniority shall be entitled to be issued special passports in case there are no ongoing investigations or adjudications concerning certain crimes against such lawyers.

Moreover, it is also regulated that issuing of passports by Ministry of Interior Affairs to individuals whose passports have been cancelled or whose passport requests were rejected previously due to National Security Purposes, may be allowed in case the Police Investigations are finalized in favor of them.

Regulations regarding the Law on Higher Education:

In accordance with the First Package of Judicial Reform; the Entrance exam for the legal profession and Pre-exam for the Administrative Judiciary have been brought. Accordingly, in addition to the conditions specified in the relevant laws; those who are candidates for judges and to start a lawyer or notary public internship in the Legal Profession, Entrance Exam or Administrative Judicial Pre-Exam will be required to be successful in such exams.

Some noteworthy amendments on other laws:

  • With the amendment to the Law on the Regulation of the Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of such Publications , the decisions to prevent access given in certain crimes are prevented by the method of preventing access to the content (in the form of URL, etc.) in relation to the publication, section and the section where the violation occurs. However, in cases where technically it is not possible to prevent access to content related to the infringement, or if the infringement cannot be prevented through access to related content, the decision may be made to block access to the entire website.
  • Some noteworthy amendments have been made on the Criminal Procedure Code as well. In particular; (i) The period of pre-sentencing detention is limited. (ii) The period of detention during the investigation phase, for cases that are not within the duty of the heavy penal court, will not exceed six months, while the cases in more serious offenses, the period cannot surpass one year.

In order to access the full text of the First Package of Judicial Reform in Turkish, please click here.

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