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Judges' association questions proposed judiciary changes
3 Feb 2014 Flash News
AN ASSOCIATION of judges called For an Open Judiciary (ZOJ) believes the changes currently being prepared for the judiciary will demotivate judges and will not increase their credibility or improve the efficiency of the courts, the TASR newswire reported.
This reaction came in response to a series of proposals aimed at making significant changes to the work of judges, presented this week by Prime Minister Robert Fico and Justice Minister Tomáš Borec.
"The actual change would occur only in the event that the judges would actually start to abide by ethical rules, and if all the allegations of cronyism and nepotism are investigated, and the people found guilty are punished," said ZOJ President Katarína Javorčíková, as quoted by TASR.
"The integrity of judges who entered into the judicial system after the revolution should be secured by selection procedures," reads the ZOJ statement, according to TASR.
ZOJ considers the proposed changes to the laws on the work of judges to represent an application of collective guilt to all judges.
"Most judges have no guilt over the status quo of the Slovak justice system with their work or their behaviour," according to the statement.
ZOJ believes many judges, particularly judicial representatives – especially Harabin – lack credibility, and highlights the slipshod work of the Judicial Council.
Independent MP and former justice minister for the SDKÚ Lucia Žitňanská believes that the proposed changes to the judiciary will not go into effect before this year’s election for the Supreme Court chairman, according to TASR.
Harabin's terms as both the Supreme Court and the Judicial Council chair will expire on June 22.
"These laws aren't even written yet and the Prime Minister and the Justice Minister want to discuss them with experts and the Opposition," said Žitňanská, who added that some of these proposals will require constitutional amendments, TASR quoted.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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