Turkey's eJustice system (UYAP)

Published on: 11/06/2007

UYAP is an eJustice platform developed in order to ensure a fast, reliable and accurate judicial system in Turkey. As a central information system it covers all the judicial institutions and other governmental departments, which have been equiped with computers and given access to all legislation, jurisprudence and judicial records. All judiciary processes and transactions are now transmitted into an electronic environment. UYAP is carried out by Ministry of Justice since 2000. All the judicial units and agencies use ICT in their daily processes; UYAP currently has 34.250 users and 24.714.923 files stored. Nearly 50.000 new files are being entered into the system daily.

Policy Context

Turkish Constitution sets out under Art. 36 that everyone has the right to a legal remedy either as plaintiff or defendant and entitled to the right to a fair trial. Bearing in mind the eternal reality ‘justice delayed, justice denied’ the constitution states that Justice should be maintained in a swift and economic manner. Modernisation of Justice is included as fundamental priorities in the Accession Partnership and in the National Plan. Legaal, technical and politic reasons resulted in UYAP, which is now considered as an indispensable part of the eGovernment programmes, policies and strategies. The job done by UYAP totally complies with the E-Plus strategy of the EU which aims to establish a high level information society and remove the gap between the justice staff and the individuals seeking justice.

Description of target users and groups

UYAP directly or indirectly has influence and impact over the daily life of 5,951 judges and 3,739 public prosecutors, 818 administrative judges, 30,000 auxiliary court staff, 1,159 trainee judges, 300 highcourt members, 66,000 lawyers (aprox.), 58,000 detainee and prisoners, 31,000 prison staff, etc. Citizens and lawyers can realize their justice related works through internet without going to the courts. According to latest figures, 18,992 lawyers have been registered in the lawyer's portal and 4,517 of them use this system effectively.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The IT Department of the Ministry of Justice has the duty and responsibility to establish, operate, and maintain the informatics system in cooperation with the units of the MoJ. Accordingly, the Department is in charge of providing coordination and cooperation relating to the IT projects among the ministerial units. UYAP is developed by the collaboration of Ministry of Justice and HAVELSAN A.?. by using the most updated technology and methodologies. All the phases of the project are carried out under the supervision of the personnel of Ministry of Justice’s IT Department. Before the software is practised, it is tested by the staff of the IT.Department.

Main results, benefits and impacts

With the on line connection of courts, expenses of bureaucracy and postal costs are removed. The judicial record database has been integrated with the database of UYAP. Birth certificates, Land Registries and driver licenses can also be retrieved online and instantly at every stage of the trials. All cases in courts can be accessible on line by judges without delay. The processes and correspondences that formerly took hours or days can now be done only in minutes through UYAP. Before UYAP, judicial units used to write the forms by hand one by one. Thanks to template forms, all data is now automatically received by the system and transmitted into the documents. As a result, it has led to some 30% labour force savings and provided speed and reliance. Thanks to UYAP the judicial inspections can be tackled online and remotely. Thanks to the databank which provides updated legal sources, verdicts have been facilitated. UYAP provides a very powerful tool to combat fraud and abuse of verdicts. Overall, UYAP has enhanced the authority of the state, ensured victims to reach the Justice immediately and made easy to punish offenders.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Larger than €10,000,000

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - The importance of team work and spirit. Our team was totally backed by the judges and court clerks. Lesson 2 - Using informatic technologies in judiciary has more advantages than supposed. At the beginning of the project there was resistance, until perceiving UYAP’s benefits. In the course of the studies the initial scepticals have also contributed the development of the new versions of the programme. Lesson 3 - It is not so difficult to use and to get used the technology. Ministry of Justice has achieved all of its personnel to be computer literate in just three years time period. This includes staff who have been working for the Ministry for more than 25-30 years.

Scope: National