Platform for an Independent Judiciary in TurkeyYesterday, Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize Winner Murat Arslan, President of the Independent Turkish Judges Association YARSAV, has been convicted under charges of being member of an armed terrorist organization (namely of being active member of FETÖ/PDY) and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Mr Murat Arslan is a Turkish judge and president of the Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV). He has been arrested in October 2016 and remains since then in (pre-trial) detention.

He was awarded in October 2017 the Václav-Havel Human Rights prize by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Murat ArslanToday, January 18th, 2019, was held the last session of the trial against Murat Arslan, unlawfully accused and persecuted by the Turkish authorities and arrested since October 19th, 2016.

In today’s session, the court issued the decision, sentencing Murat Arslan to 10 years of imprisonment.

The sentence issued today by the Turkish court was not a surprise. The whole procedure before the Turkish courts was not transparent and didn’t meet the criteria of a due process of law.

Murat Arslan faces very difficult conditions of detention. He is in an overcrowded cell, with 16 other inmates: 8 sleep on the floor, 8 have a bed and there aren’t enough toilets.

MEDELMEDEL – Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés, has sent last Friday, December 14th, 2018, a letter to Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission) and Ms. Vera Jourová (European Commissioner of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality), regarding the recently issued reports of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) on Bulgaria and Romania.

In that letter, MEDEL raises serious concerns regarding the conclusions expressed in those reports which, from its perspective, do not match the realities in both countries.

Platform for an Independent Judiciary in TurkeyMarking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Europe (of which MEDEL is a member) published a letter today, remembering the situation in Turkey and the violation of basic human rights in that country, mainly in what regards the right to a fair trial and an independent Judiciary.

MEDELBelow you can find some of the presentations given by the speakers in the international conference „The role of the Judges in the public debate on the rule of Law” in Sofia last month.

The conference has been organized by MEDEL and Bulgarian Judges Association.


At the last CA meeting of MEDEL which took place in Sofia on the 17th of November 2018, Udruženje sudija Crne Gore (Association of Judges of Montenegro) and Stowarzyszenie Prokuratorów Lex Super Omnia (Association of Prosecutors Lex Super Omnia) were admitted as MEDEL members.


MEDEL acknowledges the growing role of judges and prosecutors in the public debate on the Rule of Law. 

Magistrates are not only allowed to, but have the duty to participate in informing the society about the rights of citizens and to reinforce the rule of law and the perception of it.

Magistrates shall also publicly oppose the violation of the rule of law and voice their disapproval upon the implementations of legal acts violating it.


The right to association and freedom of speech is one of the basic human rights in a democratic society.

Nevertheless, having in mind situation in Serbia, MEDEL noticed the trend of formation of professional organization of judges and prosecutors, which operation is primarily directed to the confirmation or justification of previously presented opinions and visions of governmental authorities.


MEDEL and Bulgarian Judges Association will organize on Friday, November 16th, an international conference on the subject „THE ROLE OF JUDGES IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE ON THE RULE OF LAW”.

The conference will take place at the Sofia Balkan Hotel and will have speakers from different European countries.

MEDELTirza Del Carmen Flores Lanza and Guillermo López Lone, appeal court judge and judge in the district court of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, together with two colleagues, took part in a demonstration against the coup d’État that in 2009 deposed president Zelaya. Both have been members and co- founders of the Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia, in Honduras.

During this time, the judges took actions in defense of the rule of law and carried out their duties to defend it. They were dismissed from their positions for actions such as participating in demonstrations against the coup, publishing newspaper articles opposing the new government and making comments against the coup to judicial colleagues.

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