Asli Bâli is Acting Professor at UCLA School of Law.
About Asli Bâli
Asli U. Bâli is Acting Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, where she teaches public international law, international human rights, and the laws of war. Professor Bali holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. Her research focuses on comparative law of the Middle East and international law questions ranging from the law governing the use of force in the war on terror, to nuclear nonproliferation, to international humanitarian law and belligerent occupation. Her recent publications include “The Perils of Judicial Independence” in the Virginia Journal of International Law and “Legality, Legitimacy and the Eroding Norm of Non-Proliferation” in a forthcoming volume from Oxford University Press.
For Asli U. Bâli’s full profile, click here.
Judicial independence and constitutional transition in Turkey
Turkey has been in the throes of a constitutional crisis since 2007. That crisis was precipitated by an effort to engage in a new constitution-drafting process, which set the stage for a confrontation between the elected government and the Turkish Constitutional Court. Following the constitutional tension that marked the period from 2007 to 2009, the new constitution project was shelved, but a set of substantial constitutional amendments was approved by referendum and enacted in 2010. Turkey is now once more engaged in constitutional debate as the government has returned to its project to enact a new constitution. Yet both the domestic and the regional context for this exercise are significantly different in 2012 than they were when the proposal was first introduced in 2007. Constitution-drafting projects are always sites of contestation over substantive questions as well as procedural debates concerning the rules by which such questions may be resolved. In the Turkish case, however, there is a widely held belief that the process has been rigged as a result of changes to judicial appointments and promotions that were put in place in 2010. This short paper will address the basis for these anxieties in the Turkish case as well as their broader implications for the role assigned to courts in moments of constitutional transition both in Turkey and beyond.