THE PRESIDENT could have the final word in selecting the head of the Judicial Council. Prime Minister Robert Fico admitted, when speaking in parliament on February 6, that he is considering granting the president the power to select the Judicial Council chair from among two candidates proposed by the Judicial Council members, the Sme daily reported.

At the moment, the Judicial Council elects its own chairman, who then also automatically becomes the Supreme Court president. The posts are currently held by Štefan Harabin. His term finishes at the end of June, and the Council must select his successor before that.

Fico announced earlier that he wants to divide the two posts.

“We simply cannot imagine that the Judicial Council would elect its chairman from among its own ranks,” Fico said, as quoted by Sme, adding that the selection process should be more demanding and complicated given the fact that the Judicial Council chair is a constitutional official.

The change would require a constitutional majority in parliament, meaning that at least seven opposition MPs would have to support it. Fico said the change might even be passed through the law proposed by an independent MP, former justice minister Lucia Žitňanská , who recently submitted a proposal to divide the twin posts currently held by Harabin.

Žitňanská said she was ready to discuss this.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.