Three judges, representatives of the 105 judges who were signatories to the September 26 petition (‘5 Sentences’) protesting the state of Slovakia's justice sector, have expressed their strong disapproval of Prime Minster Robert Fico's reaction on Friday, October 2, that this is an internal affair of judges that they must work out for themselves, the TASR newswire reported.
“The judiciary is a public matter concerning the whole of society and every citizen. It is therefore not only judges who are responsible for the state it is in but representatives of the executive and legislative powers are equally responsible,” the three judges told TASR. Supreme Court judge Miroslav Gavalec, Bratislava Regional Court judge Katarína Javorčíková and Dušan Cimo a judge of the Trnava Regional Court had signed and unveiled the document entitled Five Sentences on Thursday, October 1.
The document spoke about an atmosphere of fear which the 105 judges say they work in. It also spoke about an absence of freedom because they are penalised for publicly stating their views – critical of the role of Supreme Court chairman and former justice minister Štefan Harabin – about the sector.
In his reaction, Fico (a lawyer and former judge) said he honours the independence of the judiciary and urged the judges to catch up on their backlog of cases. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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