PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska again declined to sign into law the bill on judges that introduces stricter conditions for judges as well as secret balloting concerning personnel issues at the Judicial Council.

The amendment to the Act on Judges will come into effect regardless, as the Smer-dominated Parliament has already overridden Kiska's veto, the TASR newswire reported.

The secret vote will apply Judicial Council selection and dismissal of judges, Supreme Court chair and vice-chairs, Judicial Council vice-chairs as well as members and chairs of disciplinary committees.

As of September, the legislation will also introduce sterner rules for judges, including mandatory security screenings to determine eligibility. The changes are linked to the constitutional amendment sponsored by both governing Smer and opposition Christian Democrats (KDH). The bill also changes the way candidates are appointed to the Judicial Council and separates the position of the Judicial Council chair from that of the Supreme Court chair.

The proposal also addresses disciplinary procedures, measures to combat dilatory court proceedings in Slovakia and verification of incapability to work due to illness. Among other changes, the number of vice-chairs at larger-sized courts is increased and the tenure of court chair and vice-chairs is extended from three to five years.

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.