Improving the efficiency of the criminal justice system
Despite the substantial steps taken in recent years in relation to human rights, some areas such as the right to freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial and the right to liberty and security remain a matter of concern. Infringements of human rights in the course of criminal proceedings are the leading reasons behind the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey. The implementation of Turkey’s human rights commitments has not met expectations. To remedy this situation, all actors in criminal proceedings, including judges, prosecutors, police, forensic scientists and defence lawyers, require additional training to improve their knowledge of human rights issues and standards.
The aims of the project and its core activities
This project, which comprises four main components, aims to improve the application of EU human rights standards and to strengthen the efficiency and confidence in the criminal justice system.
Specialist teams, which include foreign experts, will conduct assessments of criminal procedures in three pilot courthouses. They will make recommendations for legislative changes in cases involving high-tech, organised, corruption and terror crimes. They are also expected to propose improvements to special investigation methods and the interception of communications, as well as to search, seizure and apprehension, detention, arrest and pre-trial detention procedures. In addition, judges, prosecutors and other officials will participate in study trips on human rights issues to EU countries.
Assistance is also being provided to the Justice Academy to improve its in-service and pre-service training for judges and prosecutors in European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) standards. Improving international cooperation in criminal matters, and preparing a relevant draft law that will facilitate this, is another focus of the project.
Lawyers will also be offered training in practical court skills and on human rights standards to help them play a more active role in the criminal justice system and better apply ECHR standards.