Justice Minister Ján Čarnogurský yesterday presented measures to cabinet to speed the work of the Slovak courts, but admitted that with only five months left before elections the changes might not be in place before the end of the government’s term. Čarnogurský said that some of the worst legal loopholes dragging out court cases – such as one allowing a defendant to delay a final verdict by feigning illness – would be plugged by the new measures. While in 2001 only four judges were disciplined for deliberately slowing the progress of cases, this year more than 30 face disciplinary proceedings. Čarnogurský said that while in 1999 the judicial system had a collective backlog of 600,000 cases, by 2002 this had shrunk to 500,000.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.