The US Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators published a declaration/statement regarding the current law infringement in Turkey emphasizing constitutional democracy.

The board of the CCJ and COSCA announced the statement in recognition of the importance of an independent judiciary within a constitutional democracy, which should be free from intimidation and coercion.

The statement refers to the basic principles on the Independence of the Judiciary of 1985 stating judges should only be suspended or removed after a fair hearing.

“Only for reasons,” states the judiciary principles, “of incapacity or behavior that renders them unfit to discharge their duties.”

The board of directors refer to the “substantial number” of judges detained and taken into custody in Turkey. Judges from the Supreme Court of Turkey, The Council of State, and the Constitutional Court were also included. The Turkish government has suspended constitutional protection from these judges, under emergency law.

The statement says CCJ and COSCA members urge Turkey to follow its history of promoting democracy.

The declaration says, “Independence of the judiciary to ensure due process for the detained judges and the protection of judicial integrity and independent.”

Below is the full declaration:

“CONFERENCE OF CHIEF JUSTICES CONFERENCE OF STATE COURT ADMINISTRATORS

Resolution

In Support of Due Process and Judicial Independence in the Aftermath of the  Military Coup Attempt in Turkey

WHEREAS, the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators recognize the critical importance in a constitutional democracy of an independent judiciary, free from intimidation and coercion; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to “Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary,” endorsed in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly, judges shall be suspended or removed only after “a fair hearing,” and “only for reasons of incapacity or behavior that renders them unfit to discharge their duties”; and

WHEREAS, it has been reported that a substantial number of judges in Turkey were taken into custody and detained, including judges on the Supreme Court of Turkey, the Council of State (the Supreme Administrative Court of Turkey), and the Constitutional Court; and

WHEREAS, it is further reported that under emergency laws now in effect, constitutional protections for these judges have been suspended;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators urge the country of Turkey to adhere to its long history of promoting democracy, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary to ensure due process for the detained judges, and the protection of judicial integrity and independence.”