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Slovakia's list of nominees for ECHR judge refused

THE GOVERNMENT must suggest three new candidates to serve on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after the Council of Europe rejected Slovakia’s appointees in late June.

THE GOVERNMENT must suggest three new candidates to serve on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after the Council of Europe rejected Slovakia’s appointees in late June.

“While other candidates from Lithuania and Iceland were approved for the election in the plenum of the parliamentary assembly, the Council of Europe will request a new list to be submitted by the Slovak government in the coming days,” the spokeswoman of the Most-Híd party Nikoleta Kovácsová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Most-Híd MP József Nagy, who also serves as a member of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, informed from Strasbourg, leaving the party spokeswoman to relay the message.

Marica Pirošíková, currently Slovakia’s representative to the ECHR, prosecutor Marek Tomašovič, and former Constitutional Court judge Ján Drgonec, who already ran as a candidate in 2004, were the rejected candidates, according to TASR.

Kovácsová said the candidates allegedly did not convince the committee for election of judges during their hearing.

“It’s a very unpleasant situation for Slovakia,” Nagy told TASR. “It doesn’t necessarily have to mean a wrong selection of candidates, but it [might also be] a lack of diplomacy. It requires better preparation, and that is hard if members of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe from Slovakia can only attend plenary sessions because of the budget measures of the parliament’s office.”

As evidence that budget cuts are harming the country’s image, Nagy claimed he was Slovakia’s only representative at the late-June Council session and that he paid his own expenses, TASR wrote.

A lack of diplomacy is not listed among the reasons for Council of Europe’s rejection of Slovakia’s candidates, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Peter Susko noted, as reported by the SITA newswire.

“Since the candidates aren’t sufficiently qualified, the sub-committee recommends the slate to be refused by the assembly and the government of the Slovak Republic was requested to create a new list of candidates,” the statement of the pre-committee reads, as quoted by SITA.

This is not the first time Slovakia’s nominees for judges were rejected. In 2004, a similar situation occurred. In the end, Ján Šikuta become the country’s judge at the ECHR. His term ends on October 31, according to TASR.

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