As part of the measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, during the presidential cabinet meeting held on 26 April 2021, a full lockdown was agreed for the period from 29 April to 17 May 2021. In this regard, the Council of Judges and Prosecutors determined the effects and consequences of the full lockdown measures on the judicial work of the courts with their decision of 27 April 2021 (“Decision“). The content of the Decision can be accessed via this link: https://www.hsk.gov.tr/Eklentiler/files/KARAR-27-04-2021.pdf. According to the Decision, planned hearings, negotiations and on-site examinations will be postponed from 7 pm on Thursday, 29 April 2021 until 5 am on Monday, 17 May 2021.
What Does the Decision Say?
As can be understood from the Decision, courthouses will continue to remain open during the period of full lockdown. However, the following judicial works, which would be held or conducted by civil and administrative courts of first instances, regional civil courts of appeal and regional administrative courts of appeal, are postponed from 7 pm on Thursday, 29 April 2021, until 5 am on Monday, 17 May 2021:
- on-site examinations
It has been decided that these judicial works should be postponed until a business day after the end of the lockdown, as much as possible, so as to prevent any damage to the parties to the dispute.
There will be no postponement in the following situations:
- the judge or the court having discretion whether to open hearings, judicial works related to arrested persons and urgent works
- investigation and prosecution files, the statute of limitations of which are about to expire
- requests for stay of execution
- interim injunction orders and objections thereto
- notices and complaints regarding the offences and perpetrators
- other works that can be considered as urgent
In addition to this, although courthouses will remain open and it will be possible to physically carry out judicial transactions such as the submission of documents to case files; in order to increase the effectiveness of the measures taken within the scope of the pandemic, it has been recommended to carry out these transactions through the Online Judiciary System as much as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on judicial works. Within the scope of this measure taken with the Decision, hearings, negotiations and on-site examinations have been postponed, but judicial activities will not cease, as the courthouses remain open during this period. We would like to emphasize that the legal time limits (i.e., response periods, objection periods) will continue to run during the full lockdown period.
Please stay up to date with further developments through the Esin Attorney Partnership Coronavirus Helpdesk.