It has been possible to strenghten public peace through finalising many disputes by alternative dispute resolution methods 30.03.2018
Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül participated in the inauguration of conciliation workshop organized by the Directorate General for Criminal Affairs Department of Alternative Dispute Resolutions.

WE AIM AT ADDRESSING LITIGATIONS SWIFTLY AND JUSTLY

Minister Gül stated that the justice places persons at its basis, it is a value which aims to maintain a happy and virtuous life and it is the sole means through which persons and the public can live in harmony with each other. "Establishing a swift and effective system is among the policies of our government. We aim at addressing the litigations and disputes swiftly and justly by referring to the saying 'justice delayed is justice denied'. We plan to resolve the litigations permanently without producing further disputes." he continued.

Minister Gül referred to the necessity of traditional cases and search means at courts, however he did not find them necessary by saying that legal systems are related to the social aspect of the justice, there are efforts to settle the disputes in the shortest period possible with low cost and in the most effective way, therefore alternative dispute resolution methods have become more and more abundant.

Gül underlined that a famous lawyer Kınalızade Ali Çelebi centuries ago preferred communication instead of litigation; peace instead of dispute and he constituted the basis of the conciliation system. Gül recalled that judicial justice is a resolution method where there are two different sides, it is based on a competition between two different parties; the defendant and plaintiff where a party loses and another wins.  

Indicating that alternative dispute resolution methods will change this situation he said "A win-win dispute resolution makes both sides happy. Therefore, it is important to dwell on improving the dispute resolution mechanism of the public through promoting peaceful means and compromise, just as it is important to provide access to judicial justice."

Gül noted that they continued to promote alternative dispute resolution methods over the traditional case process in every field of law and they plan to implement conciliation in commercial disputes and evaluate the discussions on that matter. He said that there are efforts to solve the disputes between the administration and the citizens through peaceful means, they are about to conclude the legislation process to implement the peaceful means (brought by the Decree Law) more effectively.

THERE IS NO PERPETRATOR-VICTIM CONFLICT

Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül said that the conciliation mechanism is one of the preliminary alternative dispute resolution methods in the criminal justice system. He indicated that this method aims primarily to satisfy the victims, thus the protection of victims of crime, improvement of their rights and rehabilitative justice are attached a great deal of importance.

By mentioning that the system protects the rights of victims of crimes and enables to compensate for damages very fast, Minister Gül emphasized that if there is no perpetrator-victim conflict, new litigations will be prevented, in turn, this will contribute to the social peace dramatically.

Gül said that the settlement of disputes without classical legal remedies case also reduce the workload of criminal courts and prosecution offices, and he continued as follows:

"Labor, time and resource savings are thus provided. The cases for which conciliation is not resorted or for which conciliation is not possible are also accelerating. The conciliation mechanism introduced into our system in 2005 for the first time. This important reform in the criminal justice system could not provide the desired results because of some reasons arising from the legislation or practice, and has remained in a limited field. However, as a result of the revised practice and legislation in 2016, its scope has been expanded considerably and significant achievements have been obtained in practice. It has been adopted that the conciliation proceedings shall be carried out by trained conciliators and under the supervision of public prosecutors specialized in this area".

Stating that Department of Alternative Dispute Resolutions is established for the regulatory and supervisory role of conciliators, including the process from the training of conciliators to the supervision of them, Gül expressed that the conciliation process will be performed by the conciliators from now on.

28.500 CONCILIATORS HAVE BEEN SUCCESFUL IN THE EXAM

Stating that 33.000 people attended the conciliation training started in October, Gül continued "This trainings were given by 42 educational institution and 27 of them were throughout Turkey. Written examination for conciliators was made on 11 March 2018 for the first time, and 30.700 people participated in the exam. 28.500 people have been successful. In April, our Ministry will establish the registers of those who pass this examination successfully, their applications will be taken and the conciliator registers will be kept in our Ministry. Conciliation will be carried out by these conciliators who will start office in the beginning of May. I wish success to our new conciliators, who will give support to justice services. "

THE SYSTEM PROTECTS THE RIGHTS OF VICTIMS

Minister of Justice Gül said that 223.400 files were concluded by conciliation in 2017 together with the effective implementation of conciliation, and continued:

"When compared to 2015 and 2016, the conciliation ratio in 2017 increased by about 20 folds. Approximately 1 million cases were filed in the criminal courts of first instance and juvenile courts in 2017. When the conciliation cases realized in 2017 are considered, this ratio corresponds to about 20% of the mentioned cases.  In January and February 2018, the number of files resulted in settlement is 228.872 and the number of files that could not be settled on is 4.985. These figures are only the part of conciliation that is reflected to the criminal courts. Conciliation procedure compensates the material and moral damages of the victim as soon as possible and has a very important contribution to the permanent settlement of the legal disputes, as well. Thus, there is no need to file a compensation case because of the offense, and the case filed is considered to be waived. Benefits of conciliation are also seen in the civil court field."

Gül emphasized that the system both provides protection of victim's rights and it also gives the opportunity to the offender to compensate the injustice act. Gül noted that, in the victim-offender conciliation,  the parties have come to an agreement on the result completely with their own will. Sometimes the agreement shall be as apology and blessings, and sometimes it shall be as the compensation for material damage.

IT TURNED INTO A SOCIAL RESPONSIBILTY PROJECT

Minister Gül also stated that libraries were established, the needy people were dressed, scholarships were given to students, and donations were made to Mehmetçik Foundation, Leukemia children and martyr relatives with the decisions taken as a result of the conciliation, and thus the conciliation implementations have turned into a social responsibility project.

Judiciary of Turkey