IN SHORT

Ombudsman: Laws confuse people

PAVOL Kandráč, the Slovak ombudsman, said that the country's legislation was "not of the best quality" and that it was confusing, although he also noted that the legal awareness of Slovaks is low.

At a press conference on January 7, Kandráč said that his office has had to field a number of complaints in which it was ultimately found that the problems do not fall under the ombudsman's sphere of influence.

To improve the legal awareness of the people, Kandráč wants to increase the number of employees in his office so that more experts would provide citizens with free legal advice.

Based on the proposals of Slovak citizens, Kandráč wants to push through changes to two laws - the law on custody, and the law on IDs, the private news agency SITA wrote.

According to Kandráč, it is unacceptable that Slovakia's laws enable someone to be held in custody for up to five years. The change in the ID legislation would concern the issuing of IDs to mentally disabled people, who are currently not given fully independent legal status. Such people in Slovakia, Kandráč said, "are people all the same, but they are [legally considered] nobody".

According to current Slovak laws, people who are not deemed legally eligible carry no IDs, and their only document is the court verdict on their ineligibility. Consequently, these people cannot even stay in a hotel without their legal attorney.

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