The independent judicial initiative For an Open Judiciary has come out in support of the proposal by Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská to launch disciplinary proceedings against Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin, the SITA newswire reported on November 30.
"… His [Harabin’s] activities in the office of minister of justice and Supreme Court president damaged the perception of the Slovak judiciary to such an extent that it will need many years for it to be restored. Lying in parliament, being on friendly terms with a drug dealer, his clear political profile, blocking authorised bodies from conducting an audit of the management of public finances entrusted [to the Supreme Court], disciplinary proposals targeted against opponents holding differing opinions, doubts about the bonuses awarded to judges and his close colleagues, and deliberate interventions in the work schedule at the Supreme Court: all of these are facts that should already have been the subject of interest by responsible authorities in the past," Katarína Javorčíková and Miroslav Gavalec from the independent judicial initiative For an Open Judiciary wrote in the statement.
They added that they believe that if the present minister of justice has decided to initiate disciplinary action against the Supreme Court president for actions she finds are in violation of the law, her course of action is not only legitimate but also necessary.
Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská submitted her original proposal to the Constitutional Court to start disciplinary action against Harabin for a serious disciplinary violation he allegedly committed by blocking a Finance Ministry team from conducting a government audit at the Supreme Court. The minister lodged a second motion at the Constitutional Court because she believes that Harabin seriously violated the duty of a judicial official and seriously compromised the trustworthiness of the judiciary through changes in the work schedule at the Supreme Court by disrespecting the principle of random assignment of cases to individual judges.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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1. Dec 2010 at 14:00