North Cyprus Law | The Constitutional Court of the TRNC

North Cyprus Law | The Constitutional Court of the TRNCHak Hukuk

The Constitutional Court of the TRNC

By now most of you should have been aware of the fact that one of the most powerful organs of the TRNC state is the TRNC Judiciary. If not then I think that the information written below shall be very interesting and maybe some would even think about trying to take this route.

The highest authority of the Judiciary in the TRNC is the Supreme Court of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is composed of a President and seven judges. The Supreme Court carries out the functions of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Council, the Court of Appeal and the High Administrative Court. The Supreme Court, sitting with the President and four Judges, has jurisdiction to act as the Constitutional Court. In the event that the President is not present at the sitting, the most senior judge presides. The Constitutional Court, inter alia, has power to hear and adjudicate an annulment suit directly filed to the Court, on the ground that a law, decree, rules, Rules of the Assembly of the Republic, decision of the Assembly of the Republic, regulations, or any of the provision thereof, is repugnant to or inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution, by the President of the Republic, political parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic, political groups and at least nine deputies or other associations, institutions or trade unions on matters concerning their existence and functions. The right to institute an annulment suit directly in the Constitutional Court shall lapse after ninety days from the date of the publication in the Official Gazette of the law, decree, rules, Rules of the Assembly of the Republic, decision of the Assembly of the Republic, regulations, or any of the provision thereof, the annulment of which is desired.

One of the other powers the Constitutional Court is, inter alia, to hear and determine questions of unconstitutionality referred or sent by other courts. As you know, apart from the above mentioned courts, there are district courts in every district of the TRNC and also an assize court in three of the districts of the TRNC at the moment. A party to any judicial proceedings in any of the courts of the TRNC, including proceedings on appeal, may, at any stage thereof, raise the question of the unconstitutionality of any law or decision or any provision thereof which is material for the determination of any matter at issue in such proceedings and thereupon the Court shall reserve the question for the decision of the Constitutional Court, and stay further proceedings until such question is determined by the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court shall, after hearing the parties, consider and determine the question so reserved for its decision and transmit its decision thereon to the court by which such question has been reserved. Such decision(s) of the Constitutional Court are binding on the Court by which the question has been reserved and on the parties to the proceedings. In the event that such decision is to the effect that the law or decision or any provision thereof is unconstitutional, such decision shall, unless the Constitutional Court decides to the contrary, so operate as to make such law or decision or any provision thereof inapplicable to such proceedings only.

Where a case is referred to the Constitutional Court as explained above, a judge or judges who took part in the decision to refer, do not sit at the hearing of the matters referred or take part in the judgement to be given.

I would say that there are some laws, regulations or rules etc in the TRNC which are inconsistent with the TRNC Constitution and and I must admit that some of these do deal with foreigners but, I must add, that some of the rules which are contrary to the Constitution and which deal with foreigners were put in place by the British during the British Rule before 1960.

As you can see from all of the above, if you have a case or if you file a case to any court of the TRNC and if your claim (for compensation etc) can not be granted by the court because of a law or rule etc and if you think that this rule or law is contrary to an article of the TRNC Constitution (i.e. EQUALITY) then you can apply to be heard in the Constitutional Court before you apply to the European Court of Human Rights and your claim may be granted. In other words there is a route towards the light through the darkness and as I have said on many occasions before, you can’t win if you don’t fight and fight in the right way…

Legal Eagle

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