Slovak government seeks to curb parliamentary immunity

Immunity from prosecution for MPs should be limited to voting and statements made in parliament, according to a constitutional law proposal and Criminal Code amendment drawn up by Prime Minister Iveta Radičová of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and approved by the government at its extraordinary session on July 15, the TASR newswire reported.

Immunity from prosecution for MPs should be limited to voting and statements made in parliament, according to a constitutional law proposal and Criminal Code amendment drawn up by Prime Minister Iveta Radičová of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and approved by the government at its extraordinary session on July 15, the TASR newswire reported.

The proposed curb on immunity would also affect judges so that immunity will apply only to their rulings. According to the proposal, criminal prosecutions of MPs could be launched even without parliament's consent, although imprisonment of an MP, judge or the Prosecutor-General would still have to be approved by the parliament.

Radičová stated that immunity should not protect MPs and judges from criminal prosecution when it comes to activities that are not linked to their parliamentary or judicial activities, saying that this should ensure better protection for civil society from abuses of power.

If parliament approves the amendments to the constitutional law, the changes would become valid as of November 1, 2010. The coalition with its 79 MPs will need opposition votes as well since the votes of 90 MPs are needed to pass a constitutional law.

Opposition party Smer as well as the Slovak National Party (SNS) voiced objections on July 15 to the government's proposal to enact legislation that will change parliamentary immunity.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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