The Constitutional Court recently considered an action where a
proceeding was not held for four years and three months
(2013/3689). In the circumstances, the court held that the
applicant's constitutional right to receive a trial within a
reasonable time had been violated. The Constitutional Court held
the case's facts to not be complicated. Rather, the
Constitutional Court held the trial was delayed due to the
The Constitutional Court considered the following factors:
Difficulty of settlement.
Qualification for trial.
Complexity of material facts.
Obstacles to evidence
Number of parties.
The applicant's use of procedural
The applicant's attitude and
The Constitutional Court unanimously held that the factors noted
above had not caused the trial's delay, but rather the
court's attitude had. Accordingly, the Constitutional Court
held that the applicant's rights were violated and awarded the
applicant's legal and attorney's fee be paid, as well as
The Constitutional Court referred to principles and rights
contained in the European Convention on Human Rights
("Convention"), as well as judgments by the European
Court of Human Rights ("ECHR") as supporting the right to
a fair trial. The right is outlined in Turkish legislation by
Article 36 of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court held that the overall right to a fair
trial includes the right to receive a trial within a reasonable
time. The court also noted that Article 141 of the Constitution
specifically states an objective for courts is completion of trials
with the least expense and in the fastest manner.
Overall, the Constitutional Court held that disputes regarding
civil rights and obligations must be settled within a reasonable
time period. The court based the decision on ECHR jurisprudence,
Article 6 of the Convention and Article 36 of the Constitution.
In particular, the Constitutional Court held that factors which
must be considered when determining whether reasonable time has
passed include the:
Number of parties.
Attitude of parties and
Interest of the applicant in relation
to fast settlement of dispute.
When determining whether a reasonable time has elapsed, the
Constitutional Court explained that the relevant period extends
from the lawsuit's filing date through to the final date of the
Please see this link for the full text of the Constitutional
Court's decision (only available in Turkish).
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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