ICI Assembly Hosts Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ in January’s Meeting
Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) Assembly had its regular monthly meeting on January 28, 2016 with the main theme “The Importance of a Swift and Effective Legal System and Improved Judicature for our Economy and IndustryImportance of Improvements to the Judicature and a Fast and Effective Legal System for National Economy and Industry”. ICI Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan gave the opening remarks at the meeting where Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ was also present. Mustafa Erol, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, accompanied Minister Bozdağ in the ICI Assembly meeting.
ICI Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan stated that a fast and effective legal system was needed alongside improvements to the judicature as Turkey initiates a comprehensive reform process. “It is essential for employees and employers work under equal conditions and rights and pursue shared goals for the benefit our economy and for ensuring our industry's global competitiveness. Labor cases often find employers guilty and hold them liable for damages. Lawsuits should seek to ensure justice, rather than simply defending one side with a populist viewpointEmployees and employers should cooperate for common goals under equal conditions in order for Turkish industry to be successful in the global competition. In court cases, employers are found unjust and thus incur losses. Business cases should seek to secure justice rather than defending one side with a populist perspective,” said Bahçıvan.
Regarding the expert witnessing, which is of particular concern to industrialists, Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ told that “Expert witnessing is a grave problem for Turkey,” and announced a specific law to address the issue. Bozdağ said they intended to discipline the system of expert witnessing, and the matter will be discussed in the Cabinet meeting to be held in the second week of February, he reported..
ICI Assembly meeting for January started with the speech by Zeynep Bodur Okyay, ICI President of Assembly. Okyay highlighted the excessive number of court cases and serious judicial problems faced by industrialists and employers. Briefly, she continued as follows:
“2007-2013 period saw critical judicial reforms. However, we observe a certain level of discontent with the judiciary, as particularly revealed by public opinion surveys in particular. It goes without saying that Turkey is undergoes undergoing an extraordinary period. Therefore, we consider it crucial to have access to vast gain extensive information regarding justice and judiciary. We hope future regulations will satisfy our expectations.”
Zeynep Bodur Okyay later invited ICI Chairman of the Board of Directors Erdal Bahçıvan to deliver his speech. Bahçıvan emphasized that the Minister of Justice meeting the industrialists was particularly meaningful and valuable in a period in which legal reforms have become of key importance for the country’s economic development.told that the Minister’s meeting with industrialists was tremendously significant and valuable as it took place in a period in which judicial reform has become much more important for our economic development. Gathering the judicial circles and industrialists from Istanbul under one roof was a critical step towards an efficient and effective cooperation they yearned for, Bahçıvan commented.According to Bahçıvan, gathering the judicial circles and industrialists from Istanbul under this roof was a highly critical step towards an efficient and effective cooperation that we are yearning for.
ICI Chairman Bahçıvan expressed their gratitude for the Ministry of Justice's recent attention towards judicial issues faced by business circles, as well as the initiatives and activities undertaken in this regard, stressing the importance of the “Judiciary and Business Community Symposium” held in Istanbul on November 21-22, 2015 was a pioneering initiative in this field. Bahçıvan also noted that the “Symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods” held in Antalya and the “Experts Symposium” that took place in Istanbul last week demonstrate the solution-oriented approach adopted by the Ministry of Justice towards judicial issues.
for the recent interest shown by the Ministry of Justice in the business circles’ problems related to the judiciary as well as the Ministry’s initiatives and efforts to address such issues, and then referred to the “Judiciary and Business Community Symposium”, held on November 21-22, 2015 in Istanbul, as a pioneering initiative in this field. Bahçıvan told that the “Symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods” held in Antalya and “Experts Symposium” which took place in Istanbul last week demonstrated the solution-oriented approach adopted by the Ministry of Justice towards legal problems.
Bahçıvan also stated stressed their willingness that they are ready to assume every responsibility to further the cooperation between the judiciary and business circles, and expressed the common willingness to enhance solidarity and dialogue by keeping all channels of cooperation open.
Bahçıvan also told that their pain and sorrow was still fresh raw by the sudden passing of industrialist Mustafa Koç and continued: “Mustafa Koç, who had, for a period, served with us as an ICI Assembly member, left this world at his prime. The untimely nature of his passing further increases our pain. We offer our prayers for Mustafa Koç, who will always be remembered with his broad vision, and his invaluable services for our country, our economy, and our society and education, and extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family and to the Koç Holding community.Mustafa Koç, who had also joined us as a former ICI Member of the Assembly, has left this world at a young and fruitful age. Untimely nature of his passing further increases the pain. We would like to offer our prayers for Mustafa Koç, who will always be remembered with his broad vision, and his valuable services towards our country, economy, and social and educational life, and extend our condolences and sympathy to his family and the Koç Holding community.”
ICI Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan passed the floor to Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ. The Minister mentioned the importance of judicial independence and impartiality and promised a clearer conscience for everyone with new legal reforms. Bekir Bozdağ further stressed justice as one of the highest values aspired by everyone. Bozdağ stated that the achievements of the past thirteen years were made possible by political stability, powerful government, good governance and trust, and all of them which relied relying on justice.
Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ referred to Article 138 of the Constitution to remind that judges follow the Constitution, law, and their conscience. However, personal this convictions are was not to be employed at full liberty, but in line with the rules and procedures specified by law, Bozdağ saidnoted.
Bozdağ stated that confidence in and satisfaction with the judiciary represent two key matters of law and promised that they would realize, one by one, all the steps included in the Judicial Reform Strategy and achieve significant transformations.
Having explained their efforts for the judicial system, Bozdağ referred to the expert witnessing, which is of particular interest to industrialists, as “Expert witnessing is a grave problem for Turkey.” Bozdağ announced that a specific law is being drafted on this matter with a view to discipline the system of expert witnessing. The draft will be discussed by the Cabinet in the second week of February, as reported by Bozdağ. He reminded the audience of the fact that they established the relevant infrastructure legal framework for courts of appeal in 2004, which and the courts would begin their service will be commissioned by July 20, 2016. Bozdağ reported that courts of appeal are courts of second instance, they are found almost in every EU member state, and he refused the criticisms which claim that the courts of appeal will result in longer proceedings.
Bozdağ asserted that Turkey needs more specialized courts and that they had authorized the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors for this matter. Bozdağ reported that a time management approach will would be adopted for the judiciary. , noting that From from now on, a plaintiffs will would receive a document that statesing the estimated conclusion time when the case will be concludeddate of the lawsuit.
Minister Bozdağ also promised a more effective notary public system. A judicial data bank will be established to enable access to all judicial data and information. Thanks to this data bank, they will commission protective legislations for the first time in Turkey, Bozdağ said. He also announced that the legal protection insurance will be introduced to Turkey, which will please the industrialists in particular. Bozdağ said that he failed to understand why labor unionists were against the severance pay fund as he answered a question, and continued: “This fund must be explained very clearly to labor unions for it is in the best interests of such a high number of workers.” He concluded his remarks with an announcement: “Also, the scientific commission we established will rethink and reshape the entire enforcement and bankruptcy law.”