STATUTE OF THE CONFERENCE OF CONSTITUTIONAL JURISDICTIONS OF THE TURKIC WORLD


Preamble

We, the Presidents or Heads of the constitutional jurisdictions of the Turkic world:

RECALLING “the Istanbul Declaration” dated 27 April 2022;

CONSIDERING the importance of close cooperation among the constitutional jurisdictions for the progress of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the Turkic world;

REALIZING the need of sharing experiences, exchanging information, and discussing issues of mutual concern over constitutional jurisprudence and practice for the development of the constitutional jurisdictions of the Turkic world;

CONSIDERING the common cultural and civilian heritage of the Turkic States in order to benefit from solidarity and cooperation, knowledge, manners and mutual experience;

CONVINCED that the establishment of a permanently functioning body composed of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts/Councils and Equivalent Institutions which exercise constitutional jurisdiction of the Turkic world will greatly enhance cooperation and exchanges of experiences and information among them;

HAVE THEREFORE AGREED on the following provisions for the establishment of a Conference on the basis of mutual respect and with a due regard to the principle of judicial independence:

PART I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Name and symbols of the Conference

1. The name of the conference shall be the “Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of the Turkic World” and be abbreviated as the “TÜRK-AY” (in Turkish: “Türk Dünyası Anayasa Yargısı Konferansı (TÜRK-AY)” (hereinafter referred to as the “Conference”).

2. The Conference has a flag and emblem approved by the Board of Members.

Article 2

Legal Status

The Conference shall operate as an autonomous, independent, and non-political body in accordance with this Statute. It shall not produce any legally binding effects outside the Conference.

Article 3

Domicile

The Conference shall be domiciled, and its headquarters located, in Ankara, Türkiye, at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Türkiye.

Article 4

Objectives

The objectives of the Conference shall be to promote:

(a) the guarantee of democracy;

(b) the respect and the protection of human rights;

(c) the implementation of the rule of law;

(d) the standardization of the terminology of constitutional law;

(e) the independence of constitutional jurisdictions; and

(f) the cooperation and exchanges of experiences and information among its members.

Article 5

Functions

The Conference shall have the following functions:

(a) to hold regular meetings;

(b) to organize activities such as symposia, workshops and seminars;

(c) to facilitate sharing of experiences of constitutional case-law or adjudication;

(d) to issue an annual or semi-annual periodical to publish constitutional and legal studies and researches and what is issued by the bodies concerned with constitutional judiciary;

(e) to exchange judgments and decisions issued by the bodies concerned with constitutional judiciary;

(f) to encourage authoring, translation and publishing in the constitutional judiciary field;

(g) to meet requests from members for technical assistance in enhancing the independence of their constitutional courts as an essential factor in guaranteeing and implementing the objectives of the Conference;

(h) to support efforts for maintaining regular contacts among its members; and

(i) to enter into cooperation with national, regional and international organizations related to constitutional matters as deemed necessary.

Article 6

Working Languages

1. The official working languages of the Conference shall be Turkish and English.

2. Translation into another language shall be provided by the member hosting the Congress at the expense of the member or members requesting it.

PART II

MEMBERSHIP

Article 7

Membership

1. Only one institution from any Member States and Observer States of the Organisation of Turkic States, to be considered as part of the Turkic world, can become a member of the Conference, provided that the founding members who have signed the present Statute, shall be ipso facto members.

2. Membership in the Conference is open to the Constitutional and Supreme Courts/Councils and Equivalent Institutions which exercise constitutional jurisdiction of Member States and Observer States of the Organization of Turkic States.

3. Members shall be fully entitled to participate in all matters related to the Conference.

Article 8

Admission to Membership

1. A written application for admission to the Conference as a member shall be addressed to the Board of Members and submitted to the President of the Conference. The application shall be accompanied by the following documents:

(a) The legal instruments governing the establishment and composition of the candidate Court/Council/Institution and the appointment and status of judges;

(b) The texts establishing the nature and scope of its jurisdiction; and

(c) The documents demonstrating jurisdiction actually exercised.

2. Upon receipt of the application and necessary documents, the President of the Conference shall transmit their copies to all members.

3. The admission to membership shall be effected by a decision of the Board of Members.

Article 9

Loss of Membership

1. Any member may at any time declare its intention to withdraw from the Conference. This declaration shall be made in written notification to the President of the Conference.

2. Where there is an important reason for concluding that effective cooperation between the Conference and a member is no longer possible, the membership may be suspended by the Board of Members and shall be declared to be so by written notification of the President of the Conference.

PART III

OBSERVERS AND GUESTS

Article 10

Observers

1. The status of an observer may be granted to supranational courts and to constitutional jurisdictions and equivalent institutions whose states are not members of the Organization of Turkic States.

2. A written application for an observer status of the Conference shall be addressed to the Board of Members and submitted to the President of the Conference.

3. Upon receipt of the application for an observer status, the President of the Conference shall transmit its copies to all members.

4. The admission or suspension of observers shall be effected by a decision of the Board of Members.

5. Observers shall be entitled to submit proposals, participate in the Congress and deliver presentations on particular themes of the Congress program. Observers shall not be entitled to vote.

Article 11

Guests/ “Guests of Honour”

The President of the Conference may invite guests and “guests of honour” who have contributed to the promotion of constitutional culture to attend the Congress and Conference’s activities such as symposia, workshops and seminars.

PART IV

ORGANS

Article 12

Organs

The organs of the Conference shall be the Board of Members, the Congress and the Permanent Secretariat.

CHAPTER 1

BOARD OF MEMBERS

Article 13

Composition

The Board of Members shall be composed of the Presidents or Heads of the constitutional courts with member status. The Presidents or Heads shall be accompanied by their Secretary General, or, where appropriate, a member of their court or institution or of its secretariat.

Article 14

Competences

The Board of Members is the central decision-making body and has competence in the following matters:

(a) admission and suspension of members and observers;

(b) admission of guests;

(c) fixing the dates and venues and selecting topics of the meetings of the Congress;

(d) fixing the financial contributions to the Congress;

(e) approving financial contributions from a third party;

(f) adoption of the final declaration of the Congress;

(g) drawing up the Conference regulations;

(h) amending the Statute;

(i) dissolving the Conference;

(j) taking decision on recommendations from the Congress;

(k) adoption of the Conference’s work programs for the next two (2) years;

(l) confirming and developing the ways of cooperation between the Conference’s members and similar regional and international bodies;

(m) ratification of the agreements concluded by the Conference within the scope of its purposes and similar regional and international bodies; and

(n) taking decisions on the Conference-related matters, which are not specified in this Statute.

Article 15

Presidency

1. The President of the Conference shall be the President or Head of the member which hosted the current Congress.

2. The President of the Conference shall preside over the Board of Members as well as the Congress. If necessary, the President may designate acting Presidents or Heads of other members to preside over parts of the meeting.

Article 16

Meetings

1. The Board of Members shall insofar as possible hold at least one (1) meeting between the Congress dates and, in principle, on the day preceding the opening of the Congress.

2. The Board of Members shall meet in principle on the day preceding the opening of the Congress and also before the closing of the Congress.

3. In principle, a preparatory meeting of the Board of Members for the Congress will be held at an appropriate time by the meeting of the Secretary Generals.

Article 17

Agenda

1. The President of the Conference shall send written invitation accompanied by the provisional agenda for the meeting to all members of the Conference at least three (3) months in advance of the meeting of the Board of Members.

2. The provisional agenda shall include:

(a) The individual topics for debates;

(b) The reports on the work of the Conference;

(c) The recommendations from the Congress; and

(d) Other items that the President of the Conference deems necessary.

3. The decisions taken shall be written down in the minutes of the meeting. The Secretariat shall be responsible for preparing the minutes of the meeting.

4. Members shall be provided with the minutes.

Article 18

Venue of meetings

1. The Board of Members shall, in principle, meet at the seat of the member responsible for organizing the next Congress. In a particular case, the Board of Members may fix another venue.

2. Upon proposal of the President of the Conference that is approved by a majority of two thirds (2 / 3) of the members of the Conference, the meeting of the Board of Members may be held in electronic format with using information technologies.

Article 19

Quorum and Voting

1. The Board of Members shall meet with simple majority.

2. A judge or member, the Secretary General or another designated staff member of the Court or the institution concerned may represent its President or Head at meetings and vote on his/her behalf.

3. The Board of Members shall take decisions by two thirds (2 / 3) majority of the members present at a meeting. However, dissolution of the Conference shall be effected by a unanimous decision of the members.

4. Each member shall have one (1) vote.

CHAPTER 2

CONGRESS

Article 20

Composition

The following groups shall be entitled to participate in the Congress: Members, observers and guests. However, observers and guests may not participate in voting or decision-making.

Article 21

Meetings

1. The Conference holds in principle a Congress once every two (2) years.

2. The Congress comprises an opening and a closing session as well as the debates.

3. The Congress shall start with a solemn opening session. It shall end with a special closing session.

4. The Board of Members shall designate a chairperson for each meeting in the Congress.

5. For the preparatory meeting of the Board of Members and the Congress, the host member shall provide the participants with an updated list of members, observers and guests.

6. Upon a proposal of the President of the Conference that is approved by a majority of two thirds (2 / 3) of the members of the Conference, in exceptional cases, the Congress may be held in special order and in electronic format by means of information technologies. In this case, the Congress in electronic format shall be organized by the Host Secretariat.

CHAPTER 3

PERMANENT SECRETARIAT

Article 22

Headquarters and Competences

1. The Permanent Secretariat of the Conference shall be operated by the Conference’s headquarters court referred to in article 3, in coordination with the member holding the term Presidency.

2. The competences of the Permanent Secretariat are as below:

(a) to provide central administration support;

(b) to ensure proper communication among members;

(c) to manage the Conference’s interactive website (to publish the judgments, decisions and academic works through a central system which will ensure member courts’ access to case-law);

(d) to issue the Journal of Turkic States’ Constitutional Jurisdiction (an annual or semi-annual academic journal);

(e) to assist the Term President Court in organizing the regular meetings (Board of Members and Secretary Generals’ Meetings, Congress);

(f) to assist the Congress in its works and proceedings;

(g) to organize symposia, workshops and seminars;

(h) to keep record of the activities organized and to create an archive;

(i) to coordinate sharing of experiences and requests for technical assistance;

(j) to coordinate the study visits among the member courts upon request by the relevant courts;

(k) to keep record of data to facilitate such visits and to provide consultancy on these issues; and

(l) to coordinate such issues as training, internship etc. programs in the countries of member courts upon request by the relevant party.

PART V

EXPENSES

Article 23

Financing

1. The general costs of organizing the meetings of the Board of Members and the Congress and other activities including symposia, workshops and seminars shall be financed primarily by the member holding the term presidency.

2. As a rule, each member (including observers and guests) shall cover their own transportation and accommodation costs borne in connection with the activities of the Conference. The Term President is free to meet the accommodation expenses at his or her own discretion and within the bounds of possibility.

PART VI

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Article 24

Liaison Officer

1. Each member shall designate one officer as Liaison Officer.

2. The Liaison Officer shall act as the central point of contact among members.

Article 25

Media and Transparency

The media (the press, radio, television) may be invited to the opening of the Congress. After the closing session, a press conference may be held by the President of the Conference, accompanied, if appropriate, by other participants in the Congress.

PART VII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 26

Amendments

1. Any member institution may submit amendments to this Statute as written proposals.

2. Such amendments shall be submitted to the Board of Members which, after consideration, prepares a report and submits it to the Congress for adoption by a majority of two thirds (2 / 3) of its members.

Article 27

Dissolution

The Conference may be dissolved by a unanimous decision of the Board of Members.

Article 28

Original Copy

This Statute shall be done in English in a single original copy.

Article 29

Entry into Force

This Statute shall enter into force on the day of its adoption at a meeting of the Presidents or Heads or their designated representatives of the constitutional jurisdictions of the Turkic world. The members who adopt this Statute shall be the founding members of the Conference.

Provisional Article: The First Term President of the Conference shall be the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Türkiye. The First Congress of the Conference shall be held in the venue to be decided by the Board of Members within two (2) years upon the entry into force of this Statute.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Presidents or Heads or their designated representatives of the constitutional jurisdictions of the Turkic world have adopted this Statute.


Done in Istanbul on 24 December 2022.