ACCORDING to the independent judicial initiative “For Open Justice”, it will take the efforts of those responsible for the current situation at the highest level, including the President of the Supreme Court, Štefan Harabin, and Justice Minister Viera Petríková if conditions are to improve.
“The president of the Slovak Republic as well as the parliament, the cabinet and the judiciary have the constitutional power to recall those members of the Judicial Council that were appointed to their positions,” Katarína Javorčíková and Miroslav Gavalec, judges who signed the initiative, told the SITA newswire.
The judges noted that recent statements by President Ivan Gašparovič about the current state of the Slovak justice system have confirmed the legitimacy of past complaints made by the judges. The judges said their accusations of abuse of power, including conflicts of interest, an atmosphere of fear in courts, non-transparent tenders and the removal of uncooperative judges through trumped up disciplinary actions have drawn the attention of the public at large as well as top constitutional officials.
Gašparovič has stated previously that the Slovak justice system needs reform; that the
organisation of courts, the Judicial Council and disciplinary senates should be changed. Due to delays in court proceedings, citizens have lost confidence in the judiciary system and were beginning to trust European courts more than Slovak ones, Gašparovič has said.
10. May 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff