The economy and the Law

Dunya Executive - - COMMENTARY - Fer t Bar s PARLAK Columnist

Even one hour of time saved in production, trade and R&D, which are the basic and real parameters of the economy, can provide a serious competitive advantage. Legal predictability, security and expectations are also among the parameters that affect competition and provide a positive investment climate.

Speaking to daily DUNYA, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul also noted the important relationship between the economy and developments in the judiciary. “The economy is nested inside law,” he said. “No one will invest if there is no legal predictability and assurances. So the economic development of a country depends on its legal development. For example, we consider long-lasting commercial cases as an obstacle to investment. In order to shorten the duration of a lawsuit, we have taken every necessary step, from quantity to quality.”

Business and trade cases have been some of the shortest in Turkey’s legal system but if they reach the Supreme Court stage, they can still drag on for 5 years. The ‘target duration’ practice initiated by the Ministry of Justice seems to shorten the duration of the proceedings by 70 percent. And it seems like the mediation mechanism for business cases, which began to be implemented for commercial cases at the beginning of the year, will reduce the workload in the courts as well.

Why “it seems like”? It’s true: The Ministry of Justice has done a serious study. Minister Addulhamit Gul underlined the steps taken for this goal: the number of judges and prosecutors has increased from 14,700 to 19,500, the mediation system is working and further reform efforts in the judiciary will be shaped by the views from all segments of the society.

But let’s say the judge wants to conclude a business case in one week and wants some documents from the Social Security Institution. Problems start here. It may take 5 to 6 months for the documents to reach the court. If the information and documentation is missing, incorrect or more information and documents are needed, extending this delay up to a year.

All ministries, the bureaucracy and institutions should complete the necessary legislative work in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and the processes should be accelerated, and not only for shortening the judicial period but also to increase trust in the judicial system.

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