European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is a human rights judicial body located in Strasbourg, France, which is charged with supervising the enforcement of European Convention on Human Rights. The Court has jurisdiction over the complaints filed by States or individuals concerning any violations against European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) including a variety of civil and political freedoms. The Court was created by the Council of Europe therefore both member states of the Council and EU member states (including individuals) can apply to the court. The decisions are binding on all signatories however, the court also has advisory jurisdiction over some of the cases. Some of these States have also ratified one or more of the additional protocols to the Convention (ECHR), which protects additional rights. In the controversial case at the hand, judges of the ECtHR will decide on a crucial matter between the applicant Saadettin Altınbaş, one of the co-chairs of the biggest left-wing pro- Kurdish political party, and The Turkish Government about the applicant’s pre-trial detention itself and its repercussions on the referendum and the presidential election. The applicant is alleging that several Articles of European Convention on Human Rights are breached including Article 18 as the result of the period of his pre-trial detention. Saadettin Altınbaş believes that his “extended” pre-trial detention not only violated his rights and freedoms as an individual but also damaged the whole democratic system itself due to the fact that the detention period covers the referendum that contains one of the most significant amendment to the Constitution introducing a whole different presidential system. On the contrary, The Turkish Government defends that the applicant had been detained on “reasonable suspicion” of having committed a criminal offence, therefore, the applicant’s initial pre-trial detention had complied with domestic legislation. Before the detention process begins, the public prosecutors applied Turkish National Assembly to have the applicant’s parliamentary immunity lifted in connection with the criminal investigations concerning him. The majority of the reports concerned terrorism-related offences.

Court information

  • Case

    Saadettin Alttınbaş v Turkey

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