Seminar: Judicial Independence in Turkey

The Norwegian Bar Association, the Norwegian Association of Judges, the International Commission of Jurists Norway (ICJ Norway) and ICJ Student Network will jointly host a seminar, addressing the challenges of judicial independence in Turkey.

Time: April 12th 2018, 17:00-19:30
Venue: University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Frokostkjelleren, Karl Johans gate 47, Oslo


Nearly 4400 judges and prosecutors were among the thousand of people suspended, in the wake of the failed coup d’état of 15th July 2016. More than 2400 of them are kept in pre-trial detention or arrested. Reliable reports also indicate that since July 2016 at least 1539 lawyers have been prosecuted, 580 have been arrested and kept in pre-trial detention and 109 have been convicted

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. Most of them are being targeted solely for carrying out their professional activities, on the basis of alleged accusations of supporting terrorist organizations. In many cases, they are detained without charges and without being brought before a judge
. The dismissals significantly weaken the functioning of the judiciary and put pressure on the whole system by fostering a climate of intimidation for judges and prosecutors.

The Norwegian Bar Association, the Norwegian Association of Judges and the International Commission of Jurists Norway undertake legal observations to monitor court proceedings in which there are reasons to believe that the judiciary may not be independent or impartial.

Against this backdrop we have invited Turkish professionals, international observers and other prominent speakers to discuss the importance of the ongoing situation in Turkey, as well as ways to confront such threats.


Tore Schei, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Norway

Nils Asbjørn Engstad, judge, Hålogaland Court of Appeal, and Norwegian representative in the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

Mevüt Bedel, exiled, refugee judge and board member of the association “internationalen Rechtshilfe-Fonds; Juristen für Juristen.

Maria Hessen Jacobsen, attorney-at-law at Alvheim & Hansen and member of the Human Rights Committee in The Norwegian Bar Association

Heidi Heggdal, Judge in the Oslo City Court, member of the Norwegian Association of Judges and member of the International Commission of Jurists Norway (ICJ Norway)

The speakers will also engage in an interactive discussion followed by audience participation.

The event is free.