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Government focuses on access to justice, prosecutions unchanged

THE STATUS of the Slovak attorney offices will remain unchanged during the new government's term according to its program statement, which cabinet ministers approved on July 31.

The government promised not to modify the current status or organization of the attorney offices, including social benefits for prosecutors.

The program statement also addresses other issues in Slovakia's justice system, such as access to justice, delays in proceedings as well as the special judicial institutions established under the former Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic.

Court delays should be remedied by a temporary increase in the number of judges working in the courts. Certain measures, such as the closing of several district courts, adopted as a part of the optimization of judicial system reforms by previous ministers should be revised in the light of better access to justice, the newswire SITA wrote.

The government plans to introduce measures to put an end to the Supreme Court's material and budgetary dependence on the Justice Ministry. In addition, both the Special Court and the Special Attorney Office set up to fight top-level corruption and organized crime should undergo a detailed analysis focusing on the financial and material costs of both institutions.

According to Justice Minister Štefan Harabin, the fact that special judges and prosecutors earn more than regular judges and attorneys is in violation of the constitution.

The new government wants continue with the previous government's policy of increasing the transparency of the judiciary and improving of objective information about proceedings and decisions. Therefore, all court rulings as well as lists of hearings should be published on the Internet.

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

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