THE FOURTH JUDICIAL REFORM PACKAGE

The 4th Judicial Reform Package was enacted on 11 April 2013 and entered into force on 30 April 2013. This reform package deals more substantially with issues which pertain to the source of violations of the ECHR. The Package aims to strengthen the protection of human rights by eliminating the causes of violations identified in the judgments of the ECHR. The following information relates to the amendments made through the package to different laws, which specifically deals with freedom of expression and media.

1. The elements of the offence of printing and publishing the declarations and statements of terrorist organisations (Article 6/2 of the Anti-Terror Law) are reformulated in the light of the ECtHR case-law.

With the amendment, the scope of the offence is limited to the cases of printing and publishing declarations or statements of terrorist organisations constituting coercion, violence or threats through legitimising or praising or encouraging the use of these methods. Moreover, maximum limit of the punishment to be inflicted on the editors-in-chief who have not participated in the perpetration of the crime has been reduced by one half.

2.The elements of the offence of making propaganda on behalf of terrorist organisation (Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law) are reformulated in accordance with the ECtHR case-law.

With the amendment, the scope of the offence is limited to the cases of making the propaganda for the methods of a terrorist organisation constituting coercion, violence or threats through legitimising or praising or encouraging the use of these methods. Moreover, maximum limit of the punishment to be inflicted on the editors-in-chief who have not participated in the perpetration of the crime has been reduced by one half.

With the introduction of Article 7/4 of the Anti-Terror Law which excludes the perpetrators of re-formulated Articles 6/2 or 7/2 (containing the newly added elements of violation) thereof from the application of Article 220/6 (and Article 314) of the Penal Code, these people will no longer be additionally punished for being a member of the organized terrorist group.

However, Article 220/6 (and Article 314) of the TPC shall apply for the offences such as disclosing or publishing the identity of officials on anti-terrorist duties, or identifying these persons as targets (committed on behalf of terrorist organisations). In other words, Articles 6/2 and 7/2 of Anti-Terror Law constitute the exceptions of Article 220/6 (and Article 314) even if they would contain incitement to violence, force or threat.

Hence, in order to safeguard freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the distinction between the “promotion” (Art. 6/2) or “propaganda” (Art. 7/2) of terrorist organisations and “membership to a terrorist organisation” as well as the distinction between “incitement to violence” and the “expression of non-violent ideas” has been made in full compliance with the ECtHR case-law

3.The elements of praising the offence and the offender (Article 215 of the Turkish Criminal Code) are reformulated in line with the ECtHR case-law.

With the amendment, the scope of the offence is limited to cases when a clear and imminent danger arises as regards the public order.

4.The elements of the offence of making propaganda in favor of an organisation (Article 220(8) of the Turkish Criminal Code) are reformulated.

Under the current Article 220/6, those who are not members of the organisation but commit a crime on behalf of the organisation are additionally punished for being a member of the organisation regardless of the type of the organisation in question. With the newly added sentence which reads “This provision shall only apply to the armed organisations” persons promoting any unarmed criminal organisation will not be additionally punished for being a member of the organisation.

Through the amendment, the scope of the offence is limited in parallel with the amendment concerning the Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law, to cases of making the propaganda for the methods of a terrorist organisation constituting coercion, violence or threats through legitimising or praising or encouraging the use of these methods would be punished.

5.The elements of the offence of alienating the public from military service (Article 318 of the Turkish Criminal Code) are reformulated.

With the amendment, the scope of the offence is limited to cases of urging those carrying out their military service to desert or suggesting to those who are yet to carry out their military service to be dissuaded from carrying it out.

Law No. 6459

 


Department for European Union Projects Implementation Official Website © 2014 All Rights Reserved. 
All content published on this website are not shown and Resources Republished without permission.