THE ELECTION of the Supreme Court president and his or her deputies, as well as the selection of the Judicial Council chair and his or her deputies, should be held in secret, according to a proposal to amend the law on judges and judicial assistants submitted by Smer MP Antonín Cicoň.

In addition, Cicoň proposes that Judicial Council votes over the appointment or dismissal of judicial personnel, as well as of members of the disciplinary senates or the selection of judges who represent Slovakia in international organisations, should be non-public as well, the SITA newswire reported on May 28.

The Judicial Council, among other things, decides over the president of the Supreme Court. Recently the council failed to elect one of the three candidates, current Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin and Judges Jana Bajánková and Zuzana Ďurišová, in a public ballot. The Judicial Council now has to announce a new vote.

Based on the amendment to the constitution proposed by the ruling Smer party and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the posts of the Supreme Court president and the Judicial Council chair, currently held by one person, will be split. The council will choose its chair from its members, SITA wrote.

Smer MP Anton Martvoň said that Judicial Council voting over personnel was held in secret in the past, but this changed under the rule of the Iveta Radičová government (2010-12). He also stressed that the secret ballot gives more personal freedom to judges, and that parliament also holds secret ballots when deciding over personnel matters, as reported by SITA.

“The right for secret ballot … also stems from Article 30 of the constitution,” Martvoň told SITA.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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