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New rules intended to resolve stalemate at Constitutional Court

The cabinet, meeting on April 24, approved an amendment to the law on the organisation of the Constitutional Court drafted by the Justice Ministry that is intended to resolve the deadlock at the court related to the appointment of a new general prosecutor, the TASR newswire learnt.

The cabinet, meeting on April 24, approved an amendment to the law on the organisation of the Constitutional Court drafted by the Justice Ministry that is intended to resolve the deadlock at the court related to the appointment of a new general prosecutor, the TASR newswire learnt.

The amendment foresees the implementation of the doctrine of necessity based on the so-called Bangalore principles of judicial conduct, aimed at setting a framework for regulating judicial conduct and at allowing a judge who is otherwise excluded from deciding on a given matter to act and make decisions if inactivity on the part of the court would lead to the denial of access to fair judicial treatment.

The current wording of the law pertaining to decision-making in the plenum has been supplemented by new wording that sets the framework for the steps to be taken if several judges of the court are excluded from proceedings due to complaints concerning bias among them filed by the parties involved in litigation. According to the proposal, the court won't take into account repeated complaints against bias filed by the parties involved and will have the court's plenum decide on the matter.

The Constitutional Court is supposed to rule on whether President Ivan Gašparovič violated the constitution by failing to appoint lawfully elected general-prosecutor candidate Jozef Čentéš to office for more than a year and to assess the reasons for this decision that the president presented in late December 2012. Čentéš filed his complaint with the Constitutional Court immediately after Gašparovič announced his decision. Both sides have since submitted complaints against individual judges of the court, alleging bias; these could rule out 12 of the court's 13 judges. The resulting situation at the court has been described as a stalemate, since only one judge is now left to deal with a matter that requires the decision of a three-member senate.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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