CCBE supports strengthening the training of lawyers in Turkey

February 25th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

logo CCBEOn 23 February 2016, the CCBE sent a letter to the Turkish authorities supporting the Union of Turkish Bar Associations’ request to strengthen the training of lawyers in Turkey.

In Turkey, in order to become a fully-fledged lawyer, law graduates need to complete a practical traineeship of one year. There are no further requirements, such as a bar exam.

In its letter, the CCBE noted that a robust training system is of utmost importance. The lawyer cannot effectively advise or represent the client unless the lawyer has had the appropriate professional education and training. All CCBE member countries provide for rules and requirements relating to who is able to practice. In general terms, these rules relate to specifying the necessary knowledge, skills, and competences of the applicant (such as a need to pass a test or professional examination or requirements in relation to minimum training and experience) and/or are based on various requirements associated with the character of the applicant. As far as Bar exams are concerned, an EU financed study of June 2014, which was prepared in the framework of the European Parliament Pilot project on European judicial training, shows that nearly all EU countries require a bar examination.

The CCBE urged the authorities to review the training requirements for future lawyers in Turkey, noting that only a high level of competence supported by a robust training system can guarantee high-quality services.

PECO Profile: Turkey

December 16th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Turkey has a population of approximately 78 million and 87 000 lawyers (in 2015). The Union of Turkish Bar Associations was set up in 1969 and has been an observer/associate member of the CCBE since 1995.

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Prof Dr Metin FEYZİOĞLU, Esq. President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations

Key information about the profession:

  • Initial training of lawyers: Generally, the duration of undergraduate education in law schools in Turkey except the ones which has obligatory preparation class is 4 years. The overall duration of traineeship period is one year: the first six months are spent in courts under the authority of judges and prosecutors, the second six months are spent in a law office under the supervision of a lawyer who at least has five years of experience. There is no bar exam in Turkey.
  • Continuous training: There is no compulsory continuous or permanent training for lawyers in Turkey.
  • Specialisation: There is no regulation with regard to specialisation in Turkey.
  • Discipline: All local bars in Turkey are self-regulatory disciplinary bodies. There is a “Disciplinary Board” in each bar association. The Union of Turkish Bar Associations also has a Disciplinary Board which is the authority for complaints. After the final decision, it is possible to apply to the Administrative Court.
  • Legal Aid: According to Turkish law, real persons, public benefit associations and foundations are all entitled to legal aid. Legal aid provides to its beneficiary: i) temporary exemption from all the judicial and enforcement proceedings expenses, ii) exemption from assurance regarding judicial and enforcement proceedings expenses, iii) other necessary expenses arising from judicial and enforcement proceedings to be paid in advance by State, iv) providing an attorney, whose fee to be paid later. A request for legal aid will be made to the legal aid office or its representatives at the enforcement court where the proceedings take place. If the request for legal aid is rejected, the requestor may apply to the president of the bar association verbally or in writing. The decision of the president of the bar association will be final. In the criminal procedures, all proceeding costs shall be covered by the state.

Current concerns of the Bar and main challenges in the coming years:

  • The number of law faculties is increasing, however there are not enough lecturers which leads to a decrease in the quality of education.
  • Laws passed by the Parliament which do not lead to certainty and predictability of the law.
  • Turkey is the only country in Europe which does not have an examination for becoming a lawyer therefore this situation makes elimination impossible, as well as making the need to uphold the dignity of the profession and control of the quality of services difficult.
  • Pressures against lawyers and the profession because of the general political conditions of the country.
  • Uncontrolled number of lawyers in Turkey which lowers the quality of profession.
  • Due to internet technology, the tendency to provide web-based legal services which lowers the quality of services and causes uncontrolled quality of services. It also prevents in-person contact and causes problems with regard to the tax related matters and unfair competition.
  • As the interdisciplinary practices (accountants and lawyers) intensify day by day, this situation causes a decrease of control over the legal profession’s monopoly on the practice of law.

The killing of Mr Tahir Elçi, President of the Diyarbakir Bar

December 2nd, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Today, the CCBE wrote a letter to the President of Turkey, Mr Tayyip Erdoğan expressing its shock and consternation over the killing of Mr Tahir Elçi in Sur on 28 November 2015. Mr Elçi was a Turkish human rights lawyer and President of the Diyarbakır Bar Association.

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In the letter, the CCBE condemned in the strongest terms the killing of Mr Tahir Elçi and respectfully urged Mr Tayyip Erdoğan to launch a full and impartial investigation into his killing with a view to bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards. In addition, the CCBE asked to guarantee in all circumstances that all lawyers in Turkey are entitled to freedom of expression, and able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisal, hindrance, intimidation, or harassment.

The CCBE would also like to express its support and solidarity with Mr Tahir Elçi’s colleagues at the Diyarbakır Bar Association, and with all Turkish lawyers.

The full letter can be found here.