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ADR Center International



Turkey – September 2007 / April 2009

Technical Assistance for Better Access to Justice.



ADR Center is leading the EC-sponsored project ‘Technical Assistance for Better Access to Justice – Turkey’, in partnership with PriceWaterhouseCoopers Danışmanlık Hizmetleri Ltd. Şti (Turkey), IBF International Consulting (Belgium), Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey), and the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (UK).
In one particularly notable element of the project, 1000 lawyers are receiving ADR awareness training. These lawyers volunteer to participate in the courses, which are being held with the cooperation of Bar Associations in several locations throughout Turkey. A small number of lawyers will be involved in more specialized training, to become some of the first mediator service providers in Turkey.


The project's overall objective is to strengthen the rule of law in Turkey, in order to guarantee all citizens access to justice according to the EU acquis standard.

The project has legal aid, ADR, information technology (IT) and nationwide survey components. The legal aid component aims at improving access to justice by increasing the understanding and utilization of the legal aid system. The ADR component focuses on making ADR more widely applied in the justice system, strengthening the ADR-related functioning of the judiciary, and increasing public awareness. The IT component is to train professionals of the Turkish Ministry of Justice to use the newest elements of their expanding technical infrastructure. Finally, ADR Center will conduct a nationwide survey to measure the success of the project, working closely with the beneficiary institutions in Turkey.

The primary target groups are citizens who need legal aid/ADR; lawyers; other Turkish justice system members including judges, prosecutors, and officials; and institutions responsible for practical implementation of the judicial acquis and for management of EU-funded and other judicial infrastructure projects.

Key Activities:

  • Research Study. A research study will be carried out to identify the gaps and needs of the present legal aid system.
  • Public Awareness Activities. Posters and brochures on legal aid and ADR will be developed and distributed among bar associations, judges and lawyers. Also, ADR demo CD’s will provide model arbitration and mediation samples.
  • Training for Lawyers. Intensive train-the-trainer courses on legal aid and ADR will be organized for lawyers.
  • International Symposia. Major international symposia on legal aid and ADR will be organized, involving numerous speakers from the EU and Turkey.
  • Study Visits. Staff of the Ministry of Justice will attend ADR and IT study visits to EU countries.
  • Nationwide Survey. A nationwide survey will be designed and conducted to measure the success of the project.

A new draft law on mediation is expected to become part of Turkish law, possibly as soon as 2009. This new legislation is expected to require both judges and practicing lawyers to recognize an increased role for mediation and ADR. It is expected to use as a starting point the structure of the EU Mediation Directive, recently approved and recognized by the 27 EU member states as the template for mediation use and practice in those countries.


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