'Turkey has strong will to reform and improve justice system, human rights' - ednews.net

19 January, Wednesday

'Turkey has strong will to reform and improve justice system, human rights'

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As a founding member of the Council of Europe (CoE), Turkey has an uninterrupted will to reform the justice system to further raise the standards of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, Turkey's justice minister said Monday, Yeni Safak reports. 

Addressing a meeting of CoE member state justice ministers in Venice, Abdulhamit Gul said that in this process, Turkey's Judicial Reform Strategy Document and Human Rights Action Plan are its main policy documents.

Turkey is marching to its 2023 centenary with the goal of a more accessible and effective justice system, he said.

Turkey’s Human Rights Action Plan, announced this March, aims to strengthen rights protections, individual freedoms and security, judicial independence, personal privacy, transparency, and property rights, as well as protect vulnerable groups and enhance administrative and social awareness of human rights.

"We have allocated a wide range of space to activities aimed at improving the juvenile justice system," Gul continued.

Turkey has established a separate unit within the Justice Ministry to work on the rights and services to be offered to all victims of crime, especially children, he added.

"Additionally, we have created directorates of legal support and victim assistance services in all our provincial courts, which include psychologists and social service specialists," he said.

"We have structured the juvenile courts, juvenile investigation office, and the directorates of legal support and victim assistance services together under a building separate from the courthouse," he explained.

With the reforms, Turkey is restructuring its juvenile justice system with a restorative justice approach, he said, adding: "In carrying out sentences of juvenile convicts, we established children's homes for education to enable them to be educated, get a job, and be reintegrated into society."

In addition, Turkey provides the opportunity for young people who continue their education in the children's homes to stay in these institutions until age 21, he said.

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