Decision Annulling the Provision Governing the Suspension of the Pronouncement of the Judgment
Objective: The objective of the decision is to annul the provision in Article 231/11 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) that allows the suspension of the pronouncement of the judgment in criminal cases under certain conditions.
Scope: The scope of the decision is to examine the constitutionality of the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP in light of the principles of legality, equality, fair trial, and presumption of innocence.
Legal Basis: The legal basis of the decision is Article 148/1 of the Constitution, which grants the Constitutional Court the power to review the constitutionality, in respect of both form and substance, of laws, decrees having the force of law and the Rules of Procedure of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
Contact our experts in Criminal Law for more information about the decision on the annulment of the provision decision. Antalya Lawyer Ceren Topcu İncetaban and Antalya Law Firm Alfa Law, can assist you with the best legal advice on the subject.
The Constitutional Court found that the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP violates the principle of legality, which requires that criminal laws be clear, precise, and predictable. The Court reasoned that the provision does not specify the criteria for suspending the pronouncement of the judgment, nor does it define the scope and duration of the probation measures that can be imposed on the defendant. The Court also noted that the provision does not regulate the legal consequences of suspending the pronouncement of the judgment, such as its effect on the statute of limitations, appeal rights, and compensation claims.
The Constitutional Court also found that the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP violates the principle of equality, which prohibits discrimination on any grounds. The Court observed that the provision creates an unjustified difference in treatment between defendants who are subject to suspension of the pronouncement of the judgment and those who are not. The Court pointed out that the provision does not provide any objective or reasonable justification for granting such discretion to judges, and that it may lead to arbitrary and inconsistent decisions.
The Constitutional Court further found that the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP violates the principle of fair trial, which guarantees that everyone has a right to a public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The Court held that the provision deprives defendants of their right to a final and binding judgment, and that it undermines their right to access to justice. The Court also stated that the provision contradicts the principle of transparency and publicity, which are essential for ensuring public confidence in the judiciary.
The Constitutional Court finally found that the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP violates the principle of presumption of innocence, which presumes that everyone is innocent until proven guilty according to law. The Court argued that the provision creates a situation where defendants are treated as if they were convicted without being formally sentenced. Finally, The Court also asserted that the provision infringes on defendants’ right to defend themselves and to challenge the evidence against them.
What are Some Crucial Points Regarding the Issue?
The decision was made by a majority vote (10-6) with six dissenting opinions. The dissenting judges argued that the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP does not violate any constitutional principles, and that it serves a legitimate aim of preventing recidivism and facilitating social reintegration.
The decision was published in the Official Gazette on March 8, 2023 and entered into force on the same date. The decision has retroactive effect, meaning that it applies to all pending and finalized cases where the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP was applied or could have been applied.
The decision has significant implications for the criminal justice system in Turkey. According to some estimates, there are about 300,000 cases where the provision in Article 231/11 of the CCP was applied or could have been applied. These cases will probably have to be reviewed and reconsidered by the courts in light of the decision; which may result in increased workload and delays for the judiciary.
We, as an expert law firm in Turkey, recognize that criminal law matters can be particularly daunting for non-native speakers. That’s why Alfa Law Firm Antalya offers services in multiple languages, including French, English and Dutch, ensuring clear communication and a full understanding of your legal situation. Our commitment to excellence extends beyond borders, making us your reliable partner in navigating the complexities of criminal law in Turkey.
How Does this Regulation Affect Criminal Law Procedures?
The decision annuls one of the alternatives for sentencing in criminal cases. Before the decision, judges had four options for sentencing: imprisonment, judicial fine, deferred sentence, or suspension of the pronouncement of the judgment. After the decision, judges have only three options: imprisonment, judicial fine, or deferred sentence. Because of that the decision affects defendants’ rights and obligations in criminal cases. Before the decision, defendants who were subject to suspension of the pronouncement of the judgment had to comply with certain probation measures imposed by the court, such as reporting to a probation officer, performing community service, or attending rehabilitation programs. If they violated these measures, they faced the risk of having their judgment pronounced and executed. After the decision, defendants who were subject to suspension of the pronouncement of the judgment are no longer bound by these measures, and they can request the court to pronounce and execute their judgment. Alternatively, they can ask the court to apply a deferred sentence instead, which would allow them to avoid imprisonment if they do not commit another crime within a certain period. As we pointed out above, the decision affects the legal status and consequences of criminal cases. Before the decision, cases where the pronouncement of the judgment was suspended were considered as finalized and closed, unless the suspension was revoked. After the decision, cases where the pronouncement of the judgment was suspended are considered as pending and open, until the judgment is pronounced and executed. This means that defendants can appeal their verdicts, claim compensation for damages, or benefit from amnesty or pardon laws. Overall this annulment has significant implications for criminal law procedures, especially in cases involving the postponement of announcing conviction judgments. Therefore, defendants, victims, and legal practitioners need to be aware of these changes to ensure proper compliance with the new legal landscape. If you have questions or concerns regarding the regulation, English speaking lawyers in Turkey at Alfa Law Firm are here to assist you. Our experienced multilingual speaking lawyers and legal experts can provide insights and guidance tailored to your situation, helping you navigate these legal intricacies effectively. Contact Alfa Law Firm Antalya, today for a consultation to address any queries you may have.
How does This Decision Affect Probation Measures in Criminal Cases?
The decision affects probation measures in criminal cases in two ways: First, it eliminates the possibility of imposing probation measures on defendants who are subject to suspension of the pronouncement of the judgment. Before the decision, judges could order defendants to comply with certain probation measures, such as reporting to a probation officer, performing community service, or attending rehabilitation programs, as a condition for suspending the pronouncement of the judgment. After the decision, judges can no longer apply these measures, and defendants are free from any obligations or restrictions. Second, it increases the likelihood of applying probation measures on defendants who are subject to deferred sentence. Before the decision, judges had the option of suspending the pronouncement of the judgment or deferring the sentence for defendants who met certain criteria. After the decision, judges only have the option of deferring the sentence for these defendants. A deferred sentence means that the defendant is sentenced to imprisonment, but the execution of the sentence is postponed for a certain period. During this period, the defendant has to comply with certain probation measures imposed by the court. If the defendant does not commit another crime within this period, the sentence is annulled. If the defendant commits another crime, the sentence is executed. Therefore, the decision reduces the use of probation measures for some defendants and increases it for others, depending on their type of sentence.
Navigating the intricacies of criminal law, especially in light of recent changes such as the annulment of the rule regulating Suspension of the Pronouncement of the Judgment, requires expert guidance. Whether you’re a defendant, a victim, or a legal professional, having a multilingual lawyer with in-depth knowledge and experience is crucial for achieving the best possible outcomes.
At Alfa Law Firm, we understand the complexities of criminal law and its implications. Our team comprises French-speaking lawyers, English-speaking lawyers in Turkey, and experienced professionals well-versed in criminal law. If you’re looking for multilingual lawyers in Turkey our diverse team is here to provide comprehensive legal assistance. Whether you’re facing criminal charges or seeking guidance regarding the recent legal developments, our team has the expertise to address your concerns effectively.
If you’re dealing with criminal law issues in Turkey, whether as a victim, suspect or defendant , our team at Alfa Law Firm is here to help. Contact us today for a consultation tailored to your specific needs. With our multilingual lawyers, extensive experience, and dedication to delivering results, we can provide you with the legal support you require to face criminal law challenges with confidence. Your legal journey starts with a conversation – reach out to Alfa Law Firm today.