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Legal Studies


Recent developments reveal that the legal system in Turkey has fallen short of contemporary standards. However, the continuity and functionality of the social, political and economic life depends on a legal system established and implemented with the purpose of meeting certain demands. TEPAV Institute of Legal Studies was established in January 2011 to assess the legal issues that are of general interest to the social life with a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective and to formulate ideas on and solutions to those issues.

One of the main research areas of the Institute of Legal Studies is Constitution Studies. The Institute is inspired by the achievements of TEPAV's Constitution Platform experience in 2007, especially by the Platform's commonly upheld principle that Turkey's need for a new constitution can be met through a participatory constitution making process. The Institute aims at investigating the "participatory methods" that are necessary for a constitution making process which relies on the democratic contributions of the public and civil society and examining other constitutional experiences in the world in light of Turkey's constitutional agenda by using the comparative literature on constitutions. With an effort to carry the debates on the new constitution on an axis of social consensus rather than political polarization, the Institute seeks to develop comparative, scientific and critical answers to the question regarding the methods and content of the constitutional architecture of Turkey that is to be shaped in the near future.

In addition to its focus on "constitution making", TEPAV Institute of Legal Studies carries out regular studies in the following related areas:

1-    "government systems" that will ensure the  formation of checks-and-balances mechanisms and separation of powers under the new constitutional structure;

2-    "election systems" that will guarantee fair representation without compromising political and administrative stability;

3-    "judicial independence" that  safeguards not only democratization and fundamental rights and freedoms but also economic growth and social change in general.

TEPAV Institute of Legal Studies hopes that the attempts to provide an accessible and comprehensive knowledge set via non-partisan and objective analyses in these and other related fields will make a humble contribution to the establishment of a modern legal culture in Turkey.