The Effects of COVID-19 in the Judiciary

1. How will the courthouses function within the framework of the measures to combat COVID-19?

While all courthouses across the country are open and functioning;

  • Pursuant to the Presidency Administrative Affairs Directorate’s decision dated 13 March 2020 and numbered 66836956-010.07.01-E.12362, pregnant women, those who are 60 years of age and over, and those with chronic illness, except for managers, as of 16 March 2020 It was decided to count 12 days of administrative leave; It is stated that the annual leave requests of women employees who have children in pre-school and primary education periods will be met and excuse leave will be given to those who do not have the right to annual leave. Given the course of the outbreak, it is possible to extend the specified leave periods.
  • With the Presidential Circular No. 2020/4 published in the repeated Official Gazette dated March 22, 2020 and numbered 31076, it was decided to keep a minimum number of personnel by employing flexible working methods such as remote / recycled work for employees in public institutions and organizations.

In addition to this, it has been observed that, upon the COVID-19 test of the judicial staff working in some courts was positive, it was decided that the chairman, members and personnel of the courts and the courts with which this court is in close contact be deemed to have administrative leave and related departments were closed.

When all these are evaluated together, it is possible to say that the number of personnel actively serving courthouses during the process will decrease significantly and some courts will not be able to serve for a certain period of time.

2. Is it possible to sue during the measures taken due to COVID-19?

Yes. As stated above, all courthouses across the country continue to serve. It is also possible to file a case through the National Judicial Network Information System (UYAP). Nevertheless, due to the lawsuits regarding the amendments in some Laws No. 7226, which came into force after being published in the Regular Official Gazette No: 31080, dated 26 March 2020, and the time limits for the proceedings, including the time-limit and deprivation periods, were stopped until 30 April 2020. there will be no loss of rights.

3. Is it possible to pursue execution or bankruptcy during the measures taken due to COVID-19?

No. In accordance with the President’s Decision on Stopping Enforcement and Bankruptcy Proceedings, dated March 21, 2020 and numbered 2279, which came into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated March 22, 2020 and numbered 31076, excluding execution proceedings related to child support receivables, from March 22, 2020 to April 30, 2020. It has been decided not to take requests for enforcement and bankruptcy and to enforce and execute injunctional lien decisions. Later, the same regulation was repeated with the Law No. 7226, which came into force.

4. How will the hearings be monitored during the measures taken within the scope of COVID-19 combating measures?

The Board of Judges and Prosecutors (“HSK”), with its decision taken on March 13, 2020, took into account the investigations and prosecutions of the courts and detainees, taking into account the statements of the World Health Organization and the recommendations of the Coronavirus Scientific Board established before the Ministry of Health. Apart from the works to be counted, he advised to postpone trials and discoveries.

Following this decision, many courts acted ex officio and made decisions to postpone the hearings that are coming or that will take place in the near future within the scope of COVID-19 measures and the practice is still continuing. The courts, which have not yet decided to postpone the decision, have accepted that the deputies accepted the petitions of COVID-19 and the HSK decision, and did not take any action other than postponing the hearing.

5. In this process, can there be loss of rights in enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings where the transactions of the parties are subject to very short periods of time?

No. Pursuant to the President’s Decision on Stopping Enforcement and Bankruptcy Pursuits dated 22 March 2020 and numbered 2279 above, all execution and bankruptcy proceedings carried out throughout the country, from 22 March 2020 to 30 April 2020, have been stopped and In this context, it was decided not to make party and follow-up transactions. With the Law No. 7226 on the Amendment of Some Laws, the periods determined in the Law on Enforcement and Bankruptcy and other law on follow-up and within this scope, the periods determined by the judges or enforcement and bankruptcy offices will stop from 22 March 2020 until 30 April 2020.

Thus, the running periods in terms of enforcement proceedings initiated before 22 March 2020 have stopped as of this date and will continue to operate from their place of residence as of 30 April 2020. However, with the Law No. 7226, it is assumed that the period will be deemed to be extended from the date of 1 May 2020 to 15 May (until 15 May 2020) if there is a period of fifteen days or less remaining on 22 March 2020.

6. Do the periods in the Civil Procedure Law, Administrative Judicial Procedure Law, Criminal Procedure Law and other procedural provisions continue to operate?

No. With the Law Amending Some Laws No. 7226, which came into force after being published in the Regular Official Gazette No: 31080 dated 26 March 2020;

  • All the periods related to the birth, use or termination of a right, including filing a lawsuit, initiating enforcement proceedings, application, appeal, notice, notice, submission and timeout periods, deserving times and mandatory administrative application periods,
  • Periods determined in the Law on Administrative Procedure,
  • Periods determined in the Criminal Procedure Law,
  • The periods specified in the Civil Procedures Law,
  • Periods determined in terms of the parties in other laws including procedural provisions,
  • The periods determined by the judge,
  • Periods in mediation and mediation institutions,

retrospectively from 13 March 2020 (including this date) to 30 April 2020 (including this date).

7. How will the times work after the stop times have expired?

The fixed periods will start operating from the day following the day when the stop period expires, that is, from 01 May 2020. Periods of 15 days or less to the end of the stop period shall be deemed to be extended by 15 days starting from the day following the stop period.

If the reasons continue at the end of the stop period, the President will be able to extend this period once again, provided that it does not exceed 6 months.

8. What are the works and processes that are excluded from the scope of the stop period?

The expiry periods stipulated in the relevant laws for crime and punishment, misdemeanor and administrative sanction, and disciplinary foreclosure and arrest arrest; The periods regarding the protection measures regulated in the Criminal Procedure Code and the periods related to the procedures that completed the precautionary measure regulated in the Civil Procedures Law were excluded from the scope of the suspension period.

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