Half of Slovakia’s citizens perceive courts in Slovakia as corrupt, based on a survey undertaken by the non-governmental organization Transparency International Slovakia, the SITA newswire wrote.
“Compared to 2006, the perception of cronyism in courts has grown by one-third,” states the conclusion of the survey, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “Nearly every other Slovak considers bribery in courts and the prosecutor’s office to be very widespread.”
The survey was carried out by the Focus polling agency in November 2009 for Transparency International Slovakia. After a decline in 2004-2006, corruption in the judiciary has been stagnating since the last elections.
Another 25 percent of the survey’s respondents claim that there is corruption in courts and the prosecutor’s office: however, they could not specify its extent. Following health care, courts and ministries rank second in the category of the most perceived cases of bribery.
In the past three and a half years, the perception of personal interests at the expense of public interest grew from 22 percent to 30 percent, according to the survey. Cronyism in courts is perceived as the fourth worst, following cronyism of parliamentary deputies, Cabinet ministers and civil servants.
Gabriel Šípoš, the director of Transparency International Slovakia stated that this perception of courts by the public comes unfortunately at a time when the country needs to have its courts as independent as possible.
“The courts are handing down verdicts in disputes in which politicians dominating the executive and legislative power are stepping up their attacks on media, the private sector and even non-governmental organisations,” SITA quoted Šípoš as saying. SITA
Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
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15. Dec 2009 at 10:00