Former Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic is convinced that the Justice Ministry is trying to "cancel the justice reform that we introduced". After the first 10 months of Štefan Harabin's rule, we can say that this is not another biased political statement but an accurate reflection of the current state of affairs. The minister is cancelling what his predecessor introduced, and bringing back what Lipšic scrapped.
Three years ago, the former government's "court system optimization" proposal entered its final reading in parliament. It was an exceedingly unpopular proposal, because it closed courts in two regions and 13 districts. The aim was to create a classic three-level system, allowing the courts of first contact to specialize in certain areas of the law. No one disagreed that it was folly to maintain courts that had three judges and two prosecutors, but most MPs fought hard to protect "their" courts. After weeks of argument, parliament agreed to scrap only 10 district courts, and no regional courts. Lipšic said at the time that any more compromises, and the law wouldn't have been worth passing.
After January 1, 2005, when the law took effect, it had no major impact. Opinions on the law, while still divided, are far less explosive. If the Justice Ministry now proposes that the government re-establish the courts that were closed, it will be asking for two things: That the state waste the money that was invested in closing the courts, and that it give the ministry extra funds to start them up again.
The new minister is so fixated on the old that his diagnoses deserves a number. If not a random one, then at least that of the total costs of everything he is expensively abolishing and needlessly renewing.
Sme, May 31
4. Jun 2007 at 0:00 | Marián Leško