Article: Legal expert system - a proposed change

Author: Berk Çektir  Full Profile here

Legal expert system -- a proposed change

4 January 2016

Before starting this article, I would like to make an update concerning my most recent article about the electronic notification system -- a new system that enables the tax office to notify taxpayers.

Right after my previous article -- titled "Turkish law update -- electronic notification system registry deadline: December 2015" -- was sent to be published in Today’s Zaman, the news arrived. A new piece of legislation had been made amending the deadline for registering with the electronic notification system. In the earlier draft, the deadline for registering with the electronic notification system was Dec. 31, 2015. Now, it is compulsory to register by April 1, 2016. For those who did not register on time, you still have around three months to register. Those who start business after April 1, 2016 should apply for registration with the electronic notification system within 15 days following the start of business.

New legislation on its way concerning legal experts

The government has finally given attention to the legal expert system, which is a major matter that needs to be reorganized to improve the Turkish legal system.

How does the court expert system work?

A judge can refer a matter to an expert if there is a matter to be clarified that the judge needs to make a decision about. A matter sent to an expert for consultation is extrajudicial and judges are not supposed to know about this particular matter. A good example for a matter to be referred to an expert by a judge would be an inspection of company books. A judge does not have the time to go through the company books of two companies making claims against one another, nor does the judge have the expertise to decide which company owes how much by looking at the books.

What qualifications are required to become a court expert?

A judicial proceeding is delicate and demanding work. That is why it is very important that the information to be submitted to the judge be definite, certain and precise to enable fair judgment. Because the judge is in a way transferring a part of the decision-making process to the expert, it is crucial to accept only professionals on lists of experts.

At present, the process to become a court expert is very simple; no special testing process is necessary. The draft bill proposes that experts go through an education program and are then tested at the end of the program in order to become court experts.

Draft bill proposes authority to make list of experts, update lists

At present, the Ministry of Justice determines application requirements and the procedure concerning expert assignment to a court. According to the relevant regulation, a person who wants to be appointed as a court expert should apply to the relevant commission and the commission determines who will be listed. The qualifications required are very vague and easy to fulfill. The first qualification to meet is to be “of mature age” and to have “a juridical capacity.” The second major qualification is to have at least three years of experience in that particular industry or profession. The applicant should not have a criminal record for certain crimes. If the applicant fulfills these three major requirements, s/he is enlisted and stays on the list forever.

The draft bill proposes a better way of recruiting court experts as well as a board of experts that decides who stays on the list. It will update the lists and record the scores of the experts as well. For instance, an expert who does not always complete his or her work on time will not be on the list in the coming years. The exchange of expert opinions is probably the most time-consuming part of the judicial process in Turkey, and therefore this is an important change to be introduced by the new legislation.

Disclaimer: this article was accurate at the time of publication (4th January 2016). Before relying on its contents, consult a legal advisor for any relevant updates and applicability to your interests.

© 2020 Cektirlaw