Activity Date: 10.03.2011
PANEL ON DEFENSE COUNCIL IN CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Organized by the Presidency of Istanbul Bar Association, the panel on Defense Counsel System in Criminal Procedure was realized between 11.00-13.00 on March 10, 2011 in Orhan Apaydın Conference Hall. Opened by the welcoming remarks of Atty. Ass. Prof. Ümit Kocasakal, President of Istanbul Bar Association, the panel was moderated by Atty. A. Metin Uracin, Chairman of Foreign Relations Center of Istanbul Bar Association.
The panel has been realized with the presence of Board Members of Istanbul Bar Association- Atty. Aydeniz Tuskan, Atty. Füsun Dikmenli, Atty. Turgay Demirci, Atty. İsmail Altay and Atty. Hasan Kılıç- and with the contributions of Atty. Burcu Aslan, Secretary General of Foreign Relations Center along with Executive Committee Members of Foreign Relations Center- Atty. Elif Dağ, Atty. Nahide Tahan, Atty. Meltem Yakın-, Atty. Işıl Baytok, Consultant to the Center, Atty. Yasemin Eğinlioğlu, Ece Basmacı Karalar, Coordinator of the Center along with Ceylan Beşiroğlu and Begüm Gencer.
Having participated in the panel as the chief speaker, Michael Terry, President of the Bar Association of Atlanta, the capital city of Georgia state, USA, has presented a speech on The History of Indigent Defense and Defense Systems in the United States during which he has given detailed information regarding three systems employed in the provision of defense council initiated by Powell v. Alabama case in America.
Michael Terry addressing in the panel, well-attended by attorneys and trainee lawyers, has touched on the decrees by the United States Supreme Court which enabled the provision of a lawyer at a state expense to the indigent defendants. Provision of defense counsel for the indigent people has been initiated in cases seeking death penalty via Powell v. Alabama case in 1932, in cases in the federal courts seeking more than one year in prison via Johnson v. Zelbst case in 1938, in cases in the state courts seeking more than one year in prison via Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963, Terry said. Every defendant is granted a lawyer at state expense in cases seeking imprisonment of any length as of 1972, Terry added. Putting an emphasis on three different types of defense counsel in Georgia, Terry, President of Atlanta Bar Association, has listed down the advantages and the disadvantages of these three systems, which are the Public Defender in which the defense lawyers are appointed and salaried by the government, the Contract Defender , in which the defense lawyers is paid a fixed fee under a contract, and the panel of defenders in which the defense lawyers are appointed by the judge or bar association.
Following Terrys speech, addressing to the panel participants in his short speech, Atty. Ass. Prof. Ümit Kocasakal has put a strong emphasis on the principle of equality of arms, which secures equal treatment for both the defense and the prosecution, the problems encountered by defense lawyers in having access to the files during investigation and the importance of Article 160 of the Turkish Code of Criminal Procedure regulating the obligation that the public prosecutor shall collect and secure evidence both in favor and in disfavor of the suspect. While the indictment is disguised from the defense lawyer within the scope of the privacy of investigation, information is leaked to the press and the actors of this remain to be an issue arousing cruosity. Much to our surprise, even the defense lawyer gets informed of the content of the file from the press said Kocasakal.
Atty. A. Metin Uracin s general evaluation of the panel has then been followed by a question and answer session during which Criminal Procedure system in Turkey, the problems encountered by the Turkish defense attorneys, jury system in America, appointment of jury members, the effects of jury system on the defense counsel have been discussed.
A book titled Türk ve Amerikan Hukuk Sistemlerinde Ceza Hukuku ve Ceza Yargılaması Hukuku (Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law in Turkish and American Legal Systems) by Istanbul Bar Association Publishing as well as some hand-outs regarding Powell v. Alabama case have been distributed to the participants of the panel.