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PACE commission rejects Turkey’s ‘insufficient’ judge nominees for ECtHR

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A commission in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for selecting judges for the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has rejected a list of judge nominees submitted by Turkey, deeming the candidates “insufficient,” Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the commission found the three candidates put forward by Turkey for an ECtHR judgeship “insufficient,” however did not cite any details.

The commission also suggested that PACE, which is the authority that selects judges for the ECtHR, ask Turkey to send a new list of judges.

The last list that Turkey sent to the committee includes Famile Arslan, Basri Bağcı and Ergin Ergül.

Arslan, who is also a Dutch citizen, completed her legal education in the Netherlands and worked as a lawyer, a member of the Netherlands Islam Council and a deputy undersecretary of Turkey’s Justice Ministry.

Bağcı is a member of Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals.

Ergül is a deputy undersecretary of the Prime Ministry.

Ankara had earlier sent the same names to the commission despite the fact that it had previously rejected them on the same grounds of “insufficiency.”

Most recently, after Ankara chose to send the same list back, the commission told PACE to reject the candidates after interviewing them in Paris on Sept. 29.

The commission has an advisory status to PACE, which will make the final decision on selecting judges for the ECtHR; however, PACE generally follows the commission’s advice.

It is expected that PACE will ask Turkey to send a new list of judges again at a meeting in Strasbourg next week.

Turkey’s Işıl Karakaş, who was appointed as a judge to the ECtHR in May 2008, continues to be the Turkish representative in the Strasbourg court. Her tenure was expected to have finished by May 2017 but was extended due to the delay in appointing a new Turkish judge. She also served as vice president of the rights court.

In addition to necessary legal qualifications and experience, several practical elements are also considered in the ECtHR’s judge selection process. Within this framework, states need to present a list of three people who are chosen in a transparent manner, excellent either in English or French and having a “high moral character.”

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