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Sources of Parliamentary Law

According to generally accepted law classification, the sources of parliamentary law are divided into main and subsidiary sources.

1. Main Sources

The main sources of parliamentary law are the Constitution, the Rules of Procedure, and laws.

a) Constitution

The Constitution, which regulates the fundamental structure and functioning of the state organs and human rights and freedom, is classified at the top of the norm hierarchy.  The provisions of the Constitution are the fundamental rules of law, which bind the legislative, executive and judiciary organs,  administrative offices, other institutions, and people.

The Constitution consists of seven parts. There are regulations related to the Assembly between the 75th and 100th articles of the first chapter under the heading “Legislation” of the third part titled “Fundamental Organs of the Republic.” There are also provisions related to the Assembly in some other articles of the Constitution.

The Constitution, which was adopted on November 7, 1982, has been amended 17 times until today.

b) The Rules of Procedure

The Rules of Procedure is the total number of rules that regulates the structure and functions of the Assembly

In the Rules of Procedure, the structure and functioning of the institutions like the Office of the Speaker, the Bureau of the Assembly, the Board of Spokespersons, the committees and the Plenary are regulated. Besides provisions concerning the lawmaking process, ways of scrutiny and other activities of the Assembly are laid down by the Rules of Procedure.

Legally, the Rules of Procedure, as a parliamentary resolution, has the Constitution as its source. According to the 95th article of the Constitution, the GNAT carries out its duties in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Procedure it has produced. Parliament’s procedural independency requires that it makes its own Rules of Procedure, which is in line with the principle of the separation of powers.

The current Rules of Procedure consists of 186 articles. The Rules of Procedure was adopted on March 5, 1973, and has been amended 13 times until today.

c) Laws

Laws constitute another source of parliamentary law. Laws concerning the deputies and activities of the Assembly are as follows:

·         Law on the Human Rights Inquiry Committee

·         Law on the European Union Harmonization Committee

·         Law on the Equal Opportunity for Women and Men Committee

·         Law on the Use of the Right to Petition

·         Law on Regulating the Scrutiny of the Public Economic Enterprises and Funds by the Assembly

·         Law on Authorizing the Council of Ministers for concluding, enacting and publishing International Agreements and Making Some Agreements

·         Law on Putting Development Plans into effect and the Protection of their Integrity

·         Law on the Affairs Incompatible with the Membership of the Assembly

·         Law on the Regulation of Foreign Relations of the Assembly

·         Law on the Turkish Court of Accounts

·         Law on the Political Parties

·         Law on the Election of Deputies

·         Law on the Administrative Organization of the Office of the Speaker

·         Law on the Representative Remunerations of the Speaker and Members of the Bureau of the Assembly and Remuneration of the Auditor who is elected by the Committee on Reviewing the Assembly’s Accounts

·         Law on the Representative Remuneration of the Prime Minister and Ministers and Remunerations and allowances of the Ministers Appointed from Outside

·         Law on the Declaration of Assets and the Fight against Bribery and Corruption

·         Law on the Remuneration, Allowances and Pensions of the Members of the Assembly

·         Law on the Establishment of Radios and Televisions and their Broadcasting Services

·         Law on the Establishment of the Constitutional Court and Judgment Procedures

1.      Subsidiary Sources

The rulings of the Constitutional Court, Practice and Doctrine may be considered as subsidiary sources of parliamentary law.

a) Rulings of the Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court reviews the compatibility of the laws, decrees having the force of law, and the Rules of Procedure with the Constitution in form and content.  It also makes decisions on individual applications. It reviews Constitutional amendments only in form. Besides, the Constitutional Court makes final decisions on annulment demands of the resolutions, on lifting parliamentary immunity or loss of membership when incompatibility with the Constitution, laws, or the Rules of Procedure is alleged.

It should be noted that the Constitutional Court reviews the compatibility of the resolutions and operations of the Assembly (which are not subject to review) with the Constitution since it interprets them as “de facto amendment of rules of procedure.”

b) Practices

The rules concerning matters on which no clear and binding law exists, but which are consistently and regularly implemented and which have generally been accepted for a long time, are called Practices.  Generally, practices are an outcome of reconciliation.

c) Doctrine

Scientific documents written in the field of parliamentary law, as guides, are considered among subsidiary sources.

·   The Constitution

·   The Rules of Procedure

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