The chair of the Constitutional Court, Ivetta Macejková pre-empted a recent law change and allocated the disputed complaint filed by Jozef Čentéš to Peter Brňák, a judge who has previously been excluded from the case due to a complaint of bias by Čentéš, the Sme daily has reported. The law change, pushed through by the ruling Smer party, changes the rules governing the operation of the Constitutional Court to allow previously excluded judges to rule on stalled cases.
The case has been deadlocked after the plaintiff, general-prosecutor-elect Čentéš, who is claiming that President Ivan Gašparovič acted unlawfully by refusing to confirm his election to the post by parliament, and Gašparovič, acting as another party to the case, lodged complaints against all but one of the Constitutional Court's judges.
Brňák himself protested against Macejková's move and called on her to respect the principle of unbiased decision-making and impartial judgement. Macejková defended her actions, arguing that Brňák would “probably” get the case later anyway. Justice Brňák wrote a protesting e-mail to Macejková and all the Constitutional Court's justices, and Sme managed to obtain it. Former chair of the court Ján Mazák opined for Sme that the action of his successor Macejková has no support in law and that it undermines the trustworthiness of the Constitutional Court. He called the course of events unprecedented.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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