The sessions of Slovakia’s Judicial Council scheduled for May 21 and 22 in Dudince are the last session of the current council as the judges were supposed to elect eight new members in the following week, the Sme daily reported.
But Štefan Harabin, the chairman of the Judicial Council and President of Slovakia’s Supreme Court, is considering postponing the voting, stating as his reason doubt about whether the election process can be conducted based on the previously established procedural rules. Those rules, proposed by former justice minister Lucia Žitňanská from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), are no longer valid Sme wrote on May 22 because they were stayed by a decision of the Constitutional Court in March.
Harabin explained that since new rules have not been confirmed and the old ones are under review by the court the process of electing new council members is in a legal vacuum. He added that this is only one of several legal opinions, with others saying that if new rules are not approved the previous ones remain automatically in effect.
Harabin did not say which legal opinion he was inclined to, adding that he would respect the opinion of the majority of the members of the Judicial Council. If the council postpones the voting, the judges will wait until a final ruling comes from the Constitutional Court regarding the changes initiated by Žitňanská.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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