About ISHC

International Summit of High Courts, 1-3 November 2010 / Istanbul


The Court of Cassation of Turkey and UNDP Turkey has undertaken a comparative analysis covering more than thirty countries around the world on the functioning of high courts with a focus on different indicators such as quality, education and diversity of judges, judicial powers, financial resources, structural safeguards, transparency and judicial efficiency. The analysis for each country comprised the following factors :
  1. Quality, Education and Diversity : i) judicial qualification and preparation; ii) selection/appointment processes; iii) continuing legal education; and iv) representation of minority groups and gender
  2. Judicial Powers : i) judicial review of legislation; ii) judicial oversight of administrative practice; iii) system of appellate review; iv) alternative dispute resolution and diversion; and iv) strcuturing of the office of public prosecutor
  3. Financial Resources : i) budgetary autonomy; ii) adequacy of judicial salaries; iii) judicial buildings and infrastructure; and iv) judicial security
  4. Structural Safeguards : i) guaranteed tenure; ii) objective judicial advancement criteria; iii) judicial immunity for official actions; iv) removal and discipline of judges; v) case assignment; and vi) judicial associations
  5. Accountability and Transparency : i) judicial decisions and improper influence; ii) code of ethics; iii) judicial conduct complaint process; iv) public and media access to proceedings; v) publication of judicial decisions; and vi) file review and decision making processes
  6. Efficiency : i) court support staff; ii) judicial positions; iii) case filing and tracking systems; iv) use of IT and v) distribution and indexing of current law

The overall objective of the Summit is to share knowledge and experiences among the high courts around the world. The specific objectives of the Summit of High Courts are to:
  1. Contribute to the judicial reform process in Turkey through the provision of international experience and knowledge;
  2. Create a platform for exchange of experience and knowledge between different countries where some fundamental aspects such as the positioning of the high judiciary, including the high courts vis a vis the rest of the judicial sector and executive and legislative; transparency and accountability mechanisms for the high judiciary, the boundaries of independence and impartiality of judiciary, selection/ appointment processes, relationships with other institutions, budgeting will be discussed;
  3. Recommend guiding principles for reforms, restructuring and improvement of functioning of the judicial system.
  1. Special Rapporteur of the UN Secretary General on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
  2. Representatives of the European Commission for Efficiency of the Justice (CEPEJ)
  3. Representatives of Consultative Council of European Judges (CCEJ)
  4. Representatives of Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCEP)
  5. The Presidents of high courts in 19 countries around the world including Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Belarus, Argentina, Indonesia, Pakistan, Poland, Egypt and Russia
  6. The Presidents of the high courts in Turkey
  7. The Head of Departments of the Court of Cassation in Turkey

The International Summit will be in the form of a round table meeting. There will be four sessions where Presidents of high courts will discuss different issues regarding the functioning of high courts.

Session 1 : Judicial Qualification and Diversity

Session 2 : Judicial Power

Session 3 : Structural Safeguards and Financial Resources

Session 4 : Accountability and Transparency

Session 5 : Governance of High Courts


Date and Venue :
The International Summit of the High Courts will be held in Istanbul on 1-3 November 2010.

Accommodation and Travel :
The participants will stay at the same hotel where the Summit will take place. Accommodation and travel expenses will be met by Summit organizers.

Transportation :
The transfers from and to the airport will be arranged by Summit organizers.

Interpretation Service :
The Summit will offer interpretation for six languages including Russian, French, English, Turkish, German and Spanish.