A judge of Slovakia’s Supreme Court considers the plenary meeting held on September 6, convened by Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin to respond to legislative initiatives of the Justice Ministry, to be unlawful, the SITA newswire wrote.
“The law does not confer the right to deliberate or decide on such matters,” said Supreme Court Justice Peter Paluďa, who is currently facing disciplinary proceedings and has been suspended as a judge and was banned from the plenary meeting by Harabin. Paluďa claims that Harabin was unable to tell him what provisions of the law were used to prevent him from attending the plenary session.
Harabin invited Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská, Prosecutor General Dobroslav Trnka, Ombudsman Pavol Kandráč and chairs of regional courts and the Specialised Criminal Court to the meeting. The judges were supposed to discuss the position of the Supreme Court to the proposed changes to the Slovak Constitution aimed at curbing the immunity from prosecution of judges as well as the draft revision to the Act on the Slovak Judicial Council.
Paluďa told the SITA newswire that the main theme of the plenary session was to condemn the executive power for political interference in the judiciary and accuse it of undermining judicial independence. Paluďa noted that each executive branch had a tendency to interfere in the independence of the judiciary but in his opinion, the current situation in the judiciary is unbearable; he repeatedly mentioned the Supreme Court President, who "decides that the judge has no right [to attend], without any support in legislation”.
Paluďa said he personally considers it necessary to advance some of the Justice Ministry’s proposals saying he does not mind limiting judicial immunity only to decisions made in court. On the other hand, he disagrees with the proposal that would make it impossible for court chairpersons to be members of the Judicial Council.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
7. Sep 2010 at 14:00