Turkey: The Treatment of Foreign Law in Turkey
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This paper deals with the treatment of foreign law under Turkish private international law. The paper initially explains the legal history in this area of law by introducing the preceding legislative acts and the law currently in force entitled “Private International Law and International Civil Procedure Law” (“PILA”). After presenting PILA’s scope of application, the paper examines the application of foreign law before Turkish courts in light of certain articles of PILA and Turkish civil law. Accordingly, where the conflicts of laws rules indicate so, it is the judge’s duty to accurately apply foreign law to disputes with a foreign element ex officio. In connection with this duty, parties’ limited role in determining the applicable law, the judge’s obligation to obtain information to ascertain the content of foreign law and the examination by the court of cassation are explained. The paper then details the means and legal sources provided to judges for access to foreign law. Nevertheless, it is stated that in practice judges are reluctant to apply foreign law for constraints in time and knowledge.