Europe Legal News
Turkey passes law upping government control over its judiciary
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has approved a law which will curb the independence of the body that regulates the country’s judiciary.
The new legislation amends existing law on the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, giving the justice minister more direct control over the body and a more active role in its decision making, including appointing judges and prosecutors.
International watchdog Human Rights Watch called for the president to veto the law, saying the changes “will increase the likelihood of judges and prosecutors being disciplined or reassigned at the behest of the government.”
Constitutional court to rule on Fornero employment law reform
Recent reforms aimed at speeding up the appeals process have ironically led to lengthy disputes involving Italy’s Constitutional Court. Article 18 of the Workers Statute (amended by the so-called Fornero law) deals with dismissals and introduces a new, faster summary procedure for claims, intended to make the traditionally very employee-friendly Italian labour market more flexible. If the initial summary judgment is challenged, a longer ordinary procedure follows.
However, the Milanese Civil Court recently referred the question of whether the same judge can preside over both the summary procedure and the ordinary procedure to the Constitutional Court. Giulietta Bergamaschi, an employment law specialist at Lexellent who recently handled such a case, explains: “The reform didn’t say anything about this. It could be a problem because a question about the judge could be a reason for nullifying the proceedings and going back to the beginning.”
Despite teething problems, Bergamaschi says the reform does have a positive impact: “There is a compensation cap of 12 months of salary in the case of just cause, so there is less uncertainty, and you can reach a judgment in six months, which is faster than in the past,” she says. The Constitutional Court’s decision is expected later this year.