Our Association’s opinions on the amendments planned to be made to the Legal Profession Act…

The anti-democratic amendments that are planned to be made to the Legal Profession Act with this. The amendment draft has the potential to cause a hard-to-fix hole in the unitary state principle of Turkey and to lead to occasions that will harm this principle. It would be appropriate to revoke the Proposal, hold common-mind meetings with all the shareholders involved, and determine the problems and find solutions for the bars and other professional organizations.

OUR REMARKS:

1. The Proposal that aims to establish multiple bars in certain cities (currently Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir) is in contradiction with the unitary single-state principle set out in Article 3 of the Constitution, and with Article 123ff. and in particular with Article 126, which are administrative reflections of said principle.

2. The fact that the number of lawyers required to send an additional delegate to the General Assembly of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations has been increased from 300 to 5,000 for provincial bar associations that have a lot of members is clearly against the main Constitutional principles that the state is a democratic state of law and a republic, as well as the provisions of Articles 2, 5, 6 and 135 of the Constitution, and the precedents dated 1991 and 2001 of the Constitutional Court.

3. This Proposal is in contradiction with the republican identity and democratic management principle of the state and with the precedents dated 1991 and 2001 of the Constitutional Court.

4. The management of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations is left to a minority in cities with a small number of members, i.e. those other than the three metropolises of Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir; the fact that bars with less than 2,000 members are closed down but new bars are established and existing ones are maintained in cities where the number of members is well below 2,000, corresponding to 2–3% of this number, is not in compliance with the principle of equality before the law, or with Article 10 of the Constitution, which states that no groups shall be granted privileges.

OUR SUGGESTIONS:

1. Instead of establishing multiple bars in metropolises, other solutions should be used, such as increasing the number of organs or members as needed in bars that meet certain criteria; assigning deputy chairs responsible for commissions, districts or courthouses; and making management duties into full-time paid jobs.

2. The General Assembly of the TBB and the delegation system should be revoked from the Legal Profession Act and all the other laws.

3. Instead of delegates, all lawyers should elect the chair and organ members of the Union of Turkish Bar Association, as is the case in provincial bar elections.

4. The chair of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations and chairs of provincial bar associations should be elected using the two-round system, as is the case in presidential elections.

5. Closed lists and similar methods and applications that harm or direct the voter’s will in elections should be banned.