Strengthening the Capacity of Bar Associations and Lawyers on European Human Rights Standards
36 months (01 April 2018 – 31 March 2021)
This Project is co-financed by the Republic of Turkey, the European Union, and the Council of Europe.
Union of Turkish Bar Associations (UTBA)
▶ The institutional capacity of the Human Rights Centres of the Bar Associations in 7 pilot provinces is strengthened.
▶ The capacity of lawyers to apply European human rights standards in their daily work is enhanced.
▶ The cooperation between the Union of Turkish Bar Associations and Human Rights Centres of local bar associations is fostered.
The overall objective of the Projects is to contribute to effective implementation of European human rights standards in Turkey. Its specific objective is to strengthen the capacities of Turkish bar associations and lawyers in the implementation of these standards.
The Project will support the bar associations in seven pilot provinces to strengthen the institutional capacities of their Human Rights Centres (HRCs) and to improve the coordination between them and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (UTBA). It also aims at enhancing the capacities of lawyers to apply European human rights standards in their daily work and fostering the cooperation between the UTBA and HRCs of local bar associations and other national and international stakeholders working on the protection of fundamental rights. By achieving these results, bar associations and the UTBA, as one of the three pillars of judiciary, will play significant role in improving the situation with fundamental rights in Turkey.
The UTBA is a professional organisation with public institution status and serves as an umbrella organization representing local bar associations. Local bars are established in 79 provinces of Turkey and represent the lawyers practicing in these provinces. The UTBA is formed with the participation of all bar associations. The defence and protection of the rule of law and human rights is among their main tasks, according to articles 76 and 110 of the Turkish Code of Lawyers. For this purpose Human Rights Centres (HRCs) were established in the UTBA in 2001 and in most bar associations. The main objective of the HRC of the UTBA is to carry out professional, theoretical and practical researches and studies regarding the protecting and promoting the rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms, at national and supra-national level. This work is essential for qualitatively monitoring of the development of the human rights situation in Turkey and serves as a basis for other attorneys to improve their work. In this context, the HRC of the UTBA produced several reports on various human rights issues. There is a need for improving of the institutional capacities of the HRCs in local bar associations, co-ordination among them and with the UTBA and their training capacities on human rights.
Local bar associations and the UTBA are in charge of initial training of lawyers; they organise conferences, seminars and other events for lawyers to update their knowledge on various legal aspects. It is a genuine interest both for the UTBA and local bar associations to strengthen the knowledge of lawyers on human rights issues.
▶ A Needs Assessment Report will be prepared for the institutional capacity of the local bars and it will consist of assessment of the institutional capacities to operate the HRCs in pilot bars, but also to assess the framework of the human rights materials, with recommendations in that context.
▶ An Action Plan to strengthen the functioning of HRCs will be prepared and agreed by local bars and the UTBA.
▶ A draft regulation for the HRCs deriving from the reported findings of the need assessment visits will be proposed and incorporated in the Action Plan above.
▶ Five study visits of 3-days each to European countries (which are identified in the needs assessment visits and agreed by the UTBA), will be organised with a view to examining the best practices for HRCs of the bar associations.
▶ Approx. 24 placements for the representatives from the pilot bar associations and the UTBA will be organized in various departments of the CoE/ECtHR and HRCs of bar associations in various European countries, including international lawyer organisations for approx. two months.
▶ A Needs Assessment Report for human rights training will be drafted to be used in drafting training modules and organising training sessions in local bar associations.
▶ Training modules (pre-service, in-service training curricula and online course) and materials, including manuals for the trainers will be developed for the HRCs of the bar associations and lawyers under the HELP umbrella.
▶ Training-of-trainers sessions will be delivered for a total of 150 lawyers.
▶ 200 training sessions for 5.000 lawyers (25 participants for each training session) will be organised at different levels which will be followed by the online trainings for a number of participants (around 200 lawyers), who will complete the course online, guided by trainers.
▶ The major reference documents and resources needed for training programmes, the documents on human rights commissions in other EU member states and those provided by international consultants participating in activities will be translated into Turkish. The Action will also support the publication and dissemination of resources necessary to improve the capacity of bar associations and lawyers.
▶ 2-day coordination meetings will be organised in order to monitor the implementation process of the Action, exchange information and experience in various bar associations.
▶ A project website will be established under the webpage of the UTBA. A web-based communication network between the UTBA and HRCs of bar associations will be developed in order to facilitate the communication among the lawyers working in HRCs.
▶ Four one day awareness-raising/outreaching meetings will be held in order to share findings of HRCs with other stakeholders, such as judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and civil society representatives.
▶ Two one-day international conferences will be held at the beginning and end of the Action.