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President again refuses to sign amended law on judges

On Wednesday, December 7, President Ivan Gašparovič refused for a second time to sign an amendment passed by parliament to the law on judges and lay judges, based on which elections to the Judicial Council should be changed in a way proposed by Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)). The Slovak Parliament voted on November 29 to override the president’s veto without accepting any of his objections, the SITA newswire wrote.

On Wednesday, December 7, President Ivan Gašparovič refused for a second time to sign an amendment passed by parliament to the law on judges and lay judges, based on which elections to the Judicial Council should be changed in a way proposed by Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)). The Slovak Parliament voted on November 29 to override the president’s veto without accepting any of his objections, the SITA newswire wrote.

The law change will now take effect on January 1, 2012, even without the president's signature. In line with the amendment, judges will elect members of the Judicial Council based on a regional principle, with judges in each region electing one member. The amendment further enacts compulsory
evaluation of judges once every five years, something which was abolished in the law that is currently in force. If deficiencies are found in the work of a judge, he/she is assessed again after one year. If it is proved that a judge has lost his/her professional capacity for acting as a judge, he/she can be removed from office.

The president also refused to pass an amended bill on local taxes and fees. On November 29, MPs overrode his original veto but agreed to postpone its effects by one year to December 1, 2012, in line with Gašparovič's recommendation. Despite this, the president has again refused to sign the new bill into law, which will introduce a single common tax return form for local taxes and fees.

Gašparovič did, however, sign into law the amendment to the law on labour inspection. Parliament accepted the president's remarks in late November and approved the bill in line with his recommendations.

Source: SITA

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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