THE PARLIAMENTARY Assembly of the Council of Europe is not happy with the latest list of three candidates submitted by Slovakia for the judicial post of the European Court for Human Rights, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said.

At the Strasburg-based court it is necessary to replace Ján Šikuta, whose tenure expired on October 31, 2013. The Council of Europe, however, rejected Slovakia’s first list of hopefuls, which prompted the Judicial Council to nominate another group of candidates in December, set to be presented in Strasburg by the government, the TASR newswire wrote.

Lajčák stressed that he is interested in offering to the Council of Europe names that stand a realistic chance of success.

"I would hate to expose the country to humiliation of having our list rejected again. I care about receiving names from the Judicial Council that the government will be happy to approve with a clear conscience," he claimed, as quoted by TASR.

The election of a Slovak judge at the court was supposed to take place in January and was later postponed to April, though it still has not happened yet, with Lajčák explaining that the government is waiting for the formation of new lineup on the currently chairless Judicial Council.

"Let's wait for the new administration of the Judicial Council to be formed and address the issue then," TASR quoted him as saying.

The Slovak diplomatic chief does not perceive the vacancy at the Slovak post in the European Court to be a critical problem and pointed out that Šikuta continues to work at the court even after his tenure has expired. Furthermore, Slovakia has ad hoc judges to preside over cases that Šikuta is not allowed to address anymore.

Lajčák refused to provide further details on the objections to the Slovak candidates, claiming that the information concerns confidential communications between the government and the Council of Europe.

The current list, drafted by the Judicial Council in December, consists of lawyer and Law Faculty of Comenius University subdean Ondrej Laciak, Bratislava District III Court judge Andrea Krisková and current Slovak Representative to the European Court for Human Rights Marica Pirošíková.

Source: TASR

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