THE HIGHEST court in the land, the Constitutional Court, awarded damages for unduly lengthy court proceedings to two claimants on July 9.
In both cases the compensation, amounting to Sk5,000 ($110) and Sk25,000 ($560), was awarded for ungrounded and unjust inaction by judges on court cases affecting the plaintiffs. According to Constitutional Court Chief Justice Ján Mazák, the court has received 40 similar demands for damages, with individual claims amounting to as much as Sk5,000,000 ($110,000).
"Most requests are related to delays and unjust imprisonment" Mazák said, warning that if Slovakia's hugely overburdened and achingly slow court system kept producing such suits, it could cost the state hundreds of millions of crowns.
The power to award such damages was given to the Court by a constitutional amendment which came into force at the beginning of this year, making Slovakia the first country to introduce indemnification to citizens for human rights' violations by state organs.
15. Jul 2002 at 0:00