The parliamentary meeting of the Council of Europe was to elect a Slovak nominee to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. However, it failed to do so, as it found none of the three candidates offered by the Slovak Judicial Council appropriate.
The Sme daily wrote in its Tuesday, June 25 issue that the Judicial Council, led by Štefan Harabin, proposed current Slovak representative before the European Court of Justice Marica Pirošíková, former justice of the Constitutional Court and lawyer Ján Drgonec and prosecutor of the General Prosecutor’s Office Marek Tomašovič for the Monday vote. After the failed election, Slovakia must hand in another list of candidates for the ECHR, as the term of Slovak nominee Ján Šikuta ends in October.
“Several qualifications are taken into consideration when selecting judges for the ECHR, including experience in criminal law and language skills,” Angus McDonald of the Council of Europe press department said, adding that the Slovak candidates were insufficiently qualified, had no court experience or did not master both official languages of the EC, English and French.
Drgonec who was refused for a second time commented, as quoted by Sme, that the selection process was rather a lobbying process made by politicians. Pirošíková opined that Slovak judges, overwhelmed by their caseloads, have no time to study the EC legislation and languages; while Tomašovič refused to comment.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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