THE JUDICIAL Council will turn to the Constitutional Court to determine whether the mandatory across-the-board security screenings that candidates for judicial posts and already appointed judges will have to pass to become eligible for the job are in compliance with the constitution.

“The Judicial Council still cannot send [the motion] since the law becomes effective on September 1,” said its deputy chair Ján Vanko, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He did not specify the council’s main objections to the law.

Vanko also said that the motion includes a request to temporarily halt the effectiveness of the constitutional amendment that pertains to the security clearances.

Though Justice Minister Tomáš Borec said the system for screening judges was set up properly, he admitted that the Constitutional Court could have a different opinion, as reported by TASR.

Several judges are concerned that information received during the security clearance screenings could be used against them. They have also pointed out that the clearances could allegedly be done retroactively and that they could threaten the independence of the judiciary.

As many as 660 out of 1,400 judges supported a statement expressing opposition to security clearances in mid-June. One of the initiators of the statement, Judge Katarína Javorčíková, said that the across-the-board screenings are dangerous as they are based on the presumption of guilt and that judges could be checked without securing the protection of their personal information. She does not have problem, however, with selective clearances.

The Justice Ministry, on the other hand, claims that the judicial clearance screenings should be used to dismiss judges who hold property whose value exceeds their salaries, as well as those who engage in corrupt activities or are addicted to alcohol or drugs, TASR reported.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.