Başak Çalı explores judicial self-government

Two articles in the German Law Journal focus on Turkey and European Court of Human Rights.

In two articles published in the “Judicial Self-Governance in Europe” issue of the German Law Journal, Hertie School Professor of International Law Başak Çalı explores judicial self-government. One article focuses on Turkey and the other on the European Court of Human Rights

The first, written together with Betül Durmuş, Research Assistant at Koç University, traces the evolution of judicial self-government practices in Turkey and argues that the frequent changes in these practices are part of a broader trajectory of experimental constitutional politics. The Council for Judges and Prosecutors has experienced sharp turns at a number of points since it was established in 1961, the most recent in 2017. The authors explore the relationship between these often short-lived experiments and their impact on independence, accountability, and the legitimacy of the judiciary and public confidence in the judiciary. They also discuss what the ambiguous position of the Council in the state structure means for the separation of powers and the debate about the democratic legitimacy of judicial self-government after the 2017 constitutional amendments in Turkey.

The second article, written with Stewart Cunningham, Research Associate at the Hertie School, looks at how judicial self-government operates in selection of judiciary and administration of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The authors find that self-government at the ECtHR is highly variable: Judicial influence on selecting judges is relatively weak, contrasted with a high degree of control over court administration. They analyse how strong pre-election and weaker post-election judicial self-governance at the ECtHR promotes or hinders independence, accountability, transparency and legitimacy. Legitimacy concerns, in particular, motivated many of the self-governance reforms the court took recently, and the authors explore the extent to which these have had the desired impact.

Read the articles in the German Law Journal.

More about the author

  • Başak Çalı, Professor of International Law | Co-Director, Centre for Fundamental Rights