Slovakia’s state budget cannot bear the financial claims of judges who want to be compensated for alleged discrimination in salaries, said Prime Minister Robert Fico on February 15, adding he expects the Justice Ministry to present a solution, the TASR newswire reported.
“Any notion of the state paying €100 million to judges as additions to their salaries, which are relatively high anyway, is completely unrealistic,” said Fico.
Fico – himself a lawyer – declined, however, to comment on legal aspects of the situation, labelling it a complicated legal dispute. Based on the Slovakia’s Non-Discrimination Act, hundreds of judges filed lawsuits arguing that judges on Slovakia’s Special Court were receiving €4,000 per month more than judges sitting at other courts. In early February, a Bratislava District court ruled that the state must pay almost €90,000 in compensation to Trenčín Regional Court judge Ondrej Gáborík for wage discrimination.
Former justice minister Daniel Lipšic from the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), who initiated the Special Court in 2004, criticised the notion of using the Non-Discrimination Act in the lawsuits, as the law deals with discrimination based on sex, religious conviction, race, national and ethnic origin, age, health handicaps and sexual orientation.
“Based on which of these reasons have the judges decided about the judges that weren’t on the Special Court?” asked Lipšic as quoted by TASR, stressing that any judge could have applied for a post in the Special Court at the time. Justice Minister Viera Petríková has announced that the ministry will appeal the ruling in the Gáborík case. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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16. Feb 2010 at 10:00