FORMER Justice Minister and current opposition deputy Lucia Žitňanská has submitted a draft proposal to parliament’s constitutional and legislative committee suggesting ways to prevent the abuse of disciplinary procedures against judges, the SITA newswire reported.
According to Žitňanská the current state of affairs in the Slovak judiciary is bad, and is likely to remain so.
“Today's situation, in which we have taken a kind of a test, a stress-test under the leadership of Minister [Štefan] Harabin, has actually revealed the weakest points of the system,” she said as quoted by SITA.
The draft to prevent the abuse of disciplinary proceedings against judges is derived from an initiative by dissatisfied judges. Žitňanská suggests that only disciplinary courts should be able to suspend a judge, and not the justice minister or the Judicial Council.
The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), of which Žitňanská is a member, also suggests other changes to the judiciary, such as a change in the procedures used to select people working in the system, separation of the posts of head of the Judicial Council from the Supreme Court president and a change in the rules to select council members.
“The establishment of a council for ethics in the judiciary would [also] be a good step,” Žitňanská said.