Although it has been nine months since the first COVID-19 virus case in our country, the pandemic is increasingly continuing. Experts state that the pandemic will pose a severe threat to our lives during the winter months.
The right to health certainly has an importance that directly affects all fundamental rights and even constitutes a reason for the restriction of fundamental rights when the issue is “general health.” It is stated in Article 12 of our Constitution that “fundamental rights and freedoms include the duties and responsibilities of a person towards society, his/her family and other persons.” In Article 56 of our Constitution, “Everyone has the right to live in a healthy and balanced environment.” Our Constitution imposes duties on both the State and our citizens regarding the right to health.
Undoubtedly, the fight against the epidemic should not be limited to the State’s efforts. All our citizens should fight the epidemic effectively; each individual should protect himself/herself first and then avoid violating other people’s rights.
Economic activities continue in the world and our country. Many organizations from the public and private sectors in our country have focused on remote work.
In judicial services, the UYAP system has been widely used by our colleagues since 2005. UYAP has dramatically reduced the obligation to go to the courthouse, made it possible for the parties and their attorneys to access all documents remotely in the physical file, and enabled online hearings in pilot courts, albeit limited.
Online trial applications are becoming widespread in many countries due to the epidemic.
It is understood from the statements made by our Ministry of Health that the places where the epidemic spreads the most are workplaces and homes. In courthouses, our second home, there has been an extraordinary increase in the number of patients – cases in recent days, courts and enforcement offices have been de facto inoperative for at least two weeks due to COVID – 19 cases among court and/or enforcement office employees.
Our colleagues, especially our young colleagues, have been in a challenging situation, especially from March 2020 and June 2020, when the deadlines and all transactions in the judiciary stopped. Especially in the recent period, many of our colleagues have closed their offices, and many of our young colleagues have been unemployed.
The Ministry of Justice and the Council of Judges and Prosecutors, which have shown the necessary sensitivity and prepared the necessary infrastructure in the recent past, to support and encourage the effective use of the UYAP system by all stakeholders in courts and enforcement offices by taking a right to seek justice and the right to health together, to adopt the remote working system by taking necessary measures in courts and enforcement offices, online hearings in all courts will play a critical role in an effective fight against the epidemic. Thus, the right to a fair trial will not be interrupted, and judicial activities will continue without slowing down.
We respectfully share with the public.