The judges that filed lawsuits requesting financial compensation for alleged salary discrimination in comparison with judges from Slovakia’s previous Special Court have damaged their image, Prime Minister Robert Fico told the TASR newswire after carrying out a review at the Justice Ministry on March 1.
“It’s a pity,” said Fico, adding that the judges’ actions haven’t received a warm response from the public. While he understands their personal motives, he also asserts that the state does not have €100 million for compensating fictitious differences. Fico believes that many legal questions will still arise concerning the matter, such as the impartiality of judges that filed lawsuits.
When asked whether Justice Minister Viera Petríková should not withdraw her own lawsuit as well, the premier said that he cannot force a person with the right to file a lawsuit to withdraw it. In the same breath, he said that Petríková should take an active part in resolving the problem.
Petríková reacted by saying that she submitted her complaint when she was a judge and wanted to use it to indicate that the Special Court was unconstitutional.
“The money didn’t matter,” she told TASR, adding that she is considering further moves at the moment. The Justice Minister said that the case has obviously been puffed up by the media in view of the upcoming parliamentary elections as the suits were filed with the courts three years ago.
She noted that there are 150 suits in total with no dramatic increase recently. The Sme daily reported in early February that the Bratislava Regional Court on February 1 awarded almost €90,000 to Trenčín Regional Court judge Ondrej Gaborík because he received a salary lower than those of Special Court judges. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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2. Mar 2010 at 14:00