The existence of an independent and impartial judiciary depends on the existence of independent and impartial judicial councils.
Therefore, substantial standards have been developed in the documents prepared by the international organizations, regarding the structure and authorization of the judicial councils, which are the most significant institutions to ensure the judicial independence and impartiality.
In the Opinion No. 2007/10 of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) on the Council for the Judiciary in the Service of Society, it is recommended that “the Council for the Judiciary be positioned at the constitutional level in those countries having a written Constitution”. In the report dated 12-13 March 2010 of the Venice Commission on the Independence of the Judicial System, it is stated that “the basic principles ensuring the independence of the judiciary should be set out in the Constitution or equivalent texts”.
The Council of Judges and Prosecutors relies on Article 159 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. In accordance with this article, the Council of Judges and Prosecutors shall be established and shall exercise its functions in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the security of the tenure of judges.
Article 159 regulates fundamental matters such as who the Council shall be composed of, who the President of the Council shall be, the duties of the Council, and how the examinations and investigations about the judges and prosecutors shall be carried out.
It is also stated that the following matters shall be regulated by law; the election of the members of the Council, formation of the chambers and the division of work between chambers; the duties of the Council and its chambers; the quorum for meetings and decisions, operating procedures and principles; objections to be made against the decisions and proceedings of the chambers, the examination procedure for these objections; and the establishment and the duties of the Secretariat General. The Law No. 6087 on the Council of Judges and Prosecutors also regulates comprehensively the matters indicated in the mentioned Article of the Constitution.
- The CJP consists of thirteen regular members.
- Having its own budget, the CJP is an independent Council separate from the Ministry of Justice.
- The Related Deputy Justice Minister is the ordinary member of the Council. 3 members from among the civil judges and prosecutors and 1 member from among the administrative judges and prosecutors are selected by the President of the Republic. 3 members from among the members of the court of cassation, 1 member from among the members of the Council of State, 3 members from among the university jurist lecturers and lawyers are elected by Turkish Grand National Assembly, it is obligatory that one lecturer and one lawyer are elected for this group of members. The elections for the membership of the Council is held every four years. The members can be re-elected at the end of their terms of office.
- The President of the Council is the Minister of Justice.
- The Inspection Board is subordinated to the Council.
- The President, deputy presidents and the inspectors of the Inspection Board are appointed by the Plenary Session of the Council.
- The secretarial affairs are conducted by the Secretariat General under the Council. The Secretary General is appointed by the President of the Council from among three candidates proposed by the Plenary Session and five Deputy Secretaries General from among the judges and prosecutors allocated as first class are appointed by the President of the Council.
- The President of the Council can only attend the Plenary Session meetings, but not the Chamber meetings. The President of the Council can also not attend the Plenary Session meetings concerning the disciplinary matters of the judges and prosecutors.
- The Related Deputy Justice Minister has the same status with the other regular members of the Council and is a member of the First Chamber. He cannot be elected as the head of the Chamber
- The CJP operates with the Plenary Session and two Chambers. The Presidents and the members of the Chambers are elected by the Plenary Session. The Plenary Session elects one of the heads of the Chambers as the Deputy President.
- The CJP has the authority to conduct the following procedures concerning the civil and administrative judiciary judges and prosecutors: Admission to the profession, appointment, transference, granting temporary authorization, promotion, allocation as first class, distributing cadres, making decisions about those who are not considered suitable to continue to perform their profession, rendering decisions about disciplinary punishments, suspension from office; and to issue circulars exclusively about the above mentioned subjects and the inspections, researches, examinations and investigations regarding the judges and prosecutors.
- Decisions of the CJP for dismissal from profession shall be subject to judicial review.
- The CJP has an effective internal objection mechanism. Objections can be raised against the decisions of the chambers to the Plenary Session.
- The Council of Judges and Prosecutors is independent in performing its duties and exercising its power. No organ, authority, office or individual may give orders or instructions to the Council.
- The Council of Judges and Prosecutors performs its duties taking into consideration the principle of independence of courts and the security of the tenure of judges and prosecutors, as well as within the framework of the principles of fairness, impartiality, accuracy, honesty, consistency, equality, competence and qualification.