The application enabling lawyers’ access to information and documents in the investigation files through ‘National Judicial Informatics System’ is initiated as of April 5, 2020.
Upon the request of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, the Ministry of Justice initiated the application enabling lawyers to access the information and documents within the investigation files, to which they had only physical access before, on April 5, also known as Lawyers Days in Turkey.
With this recent development, lawyers are now entitled to request of examination through the online judiciary system’s lawyer portal for the investigation files in which they are authorized as attorney of the plaintiff or the defendant. The Public Prosecutor have 15 days in order to examine the requests of the parties. Upon the approval of the request by the Public Prosecutor, the lawyers will be entitled to examine all the investigation file. The request of the counsel can be rejected by the Prosecutor on condition that a justification, which can be accessible on the online judiciary system as well, is provided. As this is a newly implemented development, it is not clear whether the rejection decision of the Prosecutor can be objected to or appealed. Yet, at the end of the 15 days period, with the review of the justification, the request for access to the investigation file can be repeated.
Further processes are being developed in order to extend the scope of the transactions that can be done through the online judiciary system
In the meantime, pursuant to the request of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations to the Ministry of Justice as to facilitate the access of the lawyers and citizens to the files, the Ministry of Justice continues to work on extending the scope of the transactions that can be done through National Judicial Informatics System.
In the notice announced by Ministry of Justice to the Union of Turkish Bar Associations dated March 10 2020, it is stated that the improving methods were developed for lawyers to submit their objections directly to “non-prosecution decisions”, “the adjournment decisions of institution of public actions” and “the administrative sanctions”. By recent changes, these documents can be uploaded to the relevant files in which lawyers are authorized as attorney/defender by means of entering the file number on the online judiciary system.
In these unprecedented days, when it is quite difficult to follow up the files physically, this new implementation is critically important since it allows online access to the files which is a very productive process. Furthermore, this newly implemented application constitutes a critical measure to avoid the possible problems in the judiciary due to Covid-19 pandemic and to prevent the spreading of the pandemic as well. Taking into consideration the capital importance of the investigation files for the parties, we are of the opinion that the permanence of this new application will be extremely efficient and effective for the Turkish judicial system.