NGO calls for unified rules for judges

LEGAL watchdog Via Iuris calls for unified rules for people applying for a job as a judge. Moreover, the Judicial Council which has the final word in selection procedure should publish its decisions.

LEGAL watchdog Via Iuris calls for unified rules for people applying for a job as a judge. Moreover, the Judicial Council which has the final word in selection procedure should publish its decisions.

The association has analysed together 31 selection procedures to fill judicial posts at district court and 84 selection procedures for presidents of district and regional courts, the SITA newswire reported.

“We can say that the criteria for selecting the judges and court presidents in Slovakia are not set sufficiently compared with other countries and international standards,” said Kristína Babiaková, lawyer cooperating with Via Iuris, as quoted by SITA.

According to Babiaková, the survey confirmed that the feminisation at courts is very high, but mostly men become court presidents. Only 14 percent of applicants had family relatives working in judiciary, of which 30 percent finally became judges.

“The results call for the need of increased attention since they do not take the existence of possible links of other applicants to people working in judicial sector into consideration,” Babiaková said, as quoted by SITA.

On the other hand, the survey showed that nearly one quarter of appointed judges has experience from other than judicial environment which can bring different opinions, experience and knowledge to this sector, according to the association.

Based on the results Via Iuris also created a profile of typical successful applicant: a woman aged 30-35 who has passed a judicial exam, speaks English and was working as higher judicial clerk. This person does not have any relatives in judiciary. Regarding the court presidents, this function usually went to a man 51-60 years-old who was already presiding over the court and speaks Russian, as reported by SITA.

The Justice Ministry responded to the proposals of Via Iuris with saying that it already prepares the legislative changes of so-called status laws which will also affect the selection procedures, its spokesperson Alexandra Donevová told SITA.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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