The court experts system has long been plagued by a myriad of problems stemming from the courts’ application and lack of organizational structure. The widespread tendency among the courts of resorting to expert opinion in legal matters requiring court assessment, despite the prohibition in the Code of Civil Procedure, has long been a matter of concern. Targeting these problems, the Parliament approved the Law No. 6754 on Court Experts (the “Law”) and gathered the existing regulations on court experts under a single legislation. The law was published on the Official Gazette and entered into force on November 24, 2016.
The Content of the Law
The Law regulates the appointment of experts in an organized manner by establishing supervisory institutions, and cites the credentials that the experts should possess. In line with the Code of Civil Procedure, the Law emphasizes that the courts cannot seek expert opinion on issues that must be assessed through legal knowledge, which all judges are assumed to have as a standard.
The ethical principles and rules for the court experts system previously existed under different regulations; the Law has gathered these principles under one roof. Accordingly, the court experts: must be independent and objective in their examinations; cannot advise on legal issues that must be considered by courts; cannot assign their duties to third persons; and must ensure confidentiality regarding the facts learned during the examination of any documents entrusted to them.
Highlights from the Law
The Law aims to increase the trust in the judicial system and establish an efficient structure for the court expert system under a separate legislation. The regulations setting forth the Law’s application will be published within six months following the Law’s publication on the Official Gazette.