Turkish courts are regularly burdened by heavy caseloads, which inevitably lead to delayed outcomes in the cases pending before them. ere have been attempts in recent years to alleviate these backlogs by introducing requirements to initiate mandatory alternative dispute resolution (ADR) sessions prior to filing suit in court.
Such requirements have been introduced in consumer disputes and collective labour disputes before, albeit without much success. Most recently, a proposal has been advanced to introduce mandatory me- diation in labour disputes. is proposal would be limited to the work of the specialised labour courts, and promises to ease their workload significantly.
The conceptual presumption underlying Turkish labour law is that employers and employees have unequal bargaining power, leading to unjust outcomes to the disadvantage of employees, and that employees need protective rules to cor- rect this imbalance. Labour courts have jurisdiction over employment-related disputes and are cognisant of this motivating purpose behind the law, with the attendant licence and tendency to interpret the law favourably towards em- ployees wherever they have discretion to do so. is slant in favour of employees has tended to encourage would-be em- ployee-plainti s to le suit, even with relatively weak claims.
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First published by Chambers and Partners, Global Practice Guides, Litigation, Turkey – Trends & Developments 2017.