According to an announcement from Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, Erdogan approved the judicial reform package which introduces a variety of measures that provide significant changes to the judiciary.
It also includes new law enforcement measures, some of which have garnered controversy.
The new law limits trial lawyers’ authority to review a case file should it endanger the said case when dealing with organized crime, sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, production and dealing of narcotic drugs, willful murder, crimes against state security, spying, trafficking of firearms, embezzlement, and smuggling.
Furthermore, the confiscation of intangibles and assets has been made easier when dealing with various crimes such as armed rebellion against government.
The requirement of “reasonable suspicion” for searches was included in the new law.
In the Turkish Penal Code, searching a suspect necessitated “strong suspicion based on concrete evidence." Now, only “reasonable” suspicion is needed.
The law also stipulates the employment of 4,000 new prospective judges, an increase in wages for judges and prosecutors and an increase in the number of members and departments in the Turkish Supreme Court as well as in the Council of State, the highest administrative court in the country.
The Turkish Supreme Court will have 46 chambers in total, half of which will serve as law departments, the other half working as penal departments.
The number of chambers in the Council of State will be increased from 15 to 17 in total, with two serving as administrative departments and the rest operating as judicial chambers.
Both the Supreme Court and the Council of State will have more member judges and prosecutors.
In order to achieve this, the years of experience needed to be eligible to serve in the two judiciary bodies has been set at 17 instead of 20.
Within 15 days after the regulation comes into force, 39 new members will be elected to the Council of State and 129 to the Supreme Court, including the president, the advocate general, vice presidents, and heads of the division.
The new regulation also facilitates the use of secure electronic signatures for notary matters.
The Ministry of Justice will also assign a new staff for a new overseas structure. The judges and prosecutors who boast at least five years of experience will be able to be appointed as justice consultants in the new department.