Supreme Court starts hearing petitions against ATL


The Supreme Court started hearing oral arguments against the Anti-Terrorism Law or ATL last February 2. Seven lawyers representing 37 petitioners participated in the session. Outside the court, around 500 individuals gathered to support them.

To facilitate the hearing, the court earlier ordered the petitioners to conso­lidate the 37 petitions filed since last year. In turn, the petitioners consolidated their petitions into six clusters.

The petitions were clustered into: 1) establishing legal standing to file the petition in the Supreme Court; 2) challenging the constitutionality of the law, especially its overbroad and vague definition of terrorism; 3) challenging the constitutionality of the powers accorded to the Anti-Terrorism Council; 4) challenging the definition and preemptive punishment of“terrorist acts” which is against the bills of attainder and ex post facto laws; 5) challenging the provision for longer detention which is against local and international laws; 6) challenging the removal of indemnification for victims of torture and other human rights violations as previously awarded by law.

During the first day, the question whether the Supreme Court was the appropriate court was raised as no case has been filed yet in relation to the law. In response, the petitioners cited the hundreds of cases of red-tagging and related cases of harassment and extra­judicial killings.

On the morning of the same day, lawyers filed a petition for intervention at the Supreme Court for two Aetas who were the first to be arrested, tortured and charged with violating the ATL.

The lawyers argued their cases excellently. The hearing is set to resume on February 9.

Supreme Court starts hearing petitions against ATL