Constitution changes mooted

A parliamentary team of lawyers, formed to propose revisions to the Slovak Constitution, has finished a report it will present to the October session of parliament.
The revision team is composed of three government party MP's and two opposition MP's; Ladislav Orosz (SDĽ), Peter Kresák (SOP), Lajoš Meszároš (SMK), Peter Brňák (HZDS) and Eva Slavkovská (SNS).
The three government MP's told a press conference on October 28 that the draft amendment to the Constitution includes 67 points. Even though the process of revision is extensive and will eventually address six chapters of the constitution, the current amendment deals with only the most urgently needed changes.

A parliamentary team of lawyers, formed to propose revisions to the Slovak Constitution, has finished a report it will present to the October session of parliament.

The revision team is composed of three government party MP's and two opposition MP's; Ladislav Orosz (SDĽ), Peter Kresák (SOP), Lajoš Meszároš (SMK), Peter Brňák (HZDS) and Eva Slavkovská (SNS).

The three government MP's told a press conference on October 28 that the draft amendment to the Constitution includes 67 points. Even though the process of revision is extensive and will eventually address six chapters of the constitution, the current amendment deals with only the most urgently needed changes.

Among other things, the amendment sets out the international agreements to which Slovakia is signatory, in order to bring them into harmony with Slovakia's interest in joining the European Union.

Kresák said that the duration for which police will be allowed to hold suspects in custody without filing criminal charges will be extended from 24 to 48 hours.

Parts of the Constitution which concern the Slovak parliament are also scheduled for modification, as the immunity which members of parliament currently enjoy from prosecution will be somewhat curtailed. According to the proposal, parliament must approve the criminal prosecution of a deputy before police can take action.

The relationship between the president and the Constitutional Court will also be modified. The president will be able to consult certain legal issues with the court before he or she announces a referendum.

The cabinet will be allowed to consult the Constitutional Court before signing international agreements.

The amendment strengthens the self-governing character of courts, and proposes that a council of judges be established that would nominate new judges and also would have the power to decide on disciplinary proceedings.

The number of Constitutional Court judges also should increase, in accordance with an expected growth in the legal agenda it will administer.

The team also dealt with the request of the Supreme Supervisory Bureau (NKÚ), which acts as a corruption watchdog on every walk of political, economic and social life, to have the NKÚ under a separate chapter of the Constitution, and to have the scope of its powers widened.

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