IN SHORT

Slovak attorney offices remain unchanged

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

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

The programme statement also addresses other issues in Slovakia's justice system such as access to justice, delays in proceedings as well as 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 assigned to the courts. Certain measures, such as the closing of several district courts, adopted as part of the reform and optimisation of the judicial system under previous ministers, should be revised in light of better access to justice, SITA wrote.

The government plans to introduce measures to put an end to the Supreme Court's 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 organised crime should undergo a detailed analysis focusing on financial costs of both institutions.

According to the justice minister Štefan Harabin, the fact that special judges and prosecutors earn more than regular judges and attorneys is against the constitution.

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

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