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CC judge nominees approved

THE PARLIAMENTARY constitutional committee has approved all 13 judges who will compete for three seats in the Constitutional Court (CC) that will open up after the 12-year tenure of justices Ján Auxt, Juraj Horváth and Ján Luby expires on July 4. The applicants include a barrister who has defended people suspected of having links to organised crime and a judge suspected of cronyism, the Sme daily reported in its March 4 issue.

THE PARLIAMENTARY constitutional committee has approved all 13 judges who will compete for three seats in the Constitutional Court (CC) that will open up after the 12-year tenure of justices Ján Auxt, Juraj Horváth and Ján Luby expires on July 4. The applicants include a barrister who has defended people suspected of having links to organised crime and a judge suspected of cronyism, the Sme daily reported in its March 4 issue.

The committee stated on March 11 that all of the candidates met the requirements for becoming a CC judge. Parliament will elect six candidates, of which three will be chosen by President Ivan Gašparovič, the SITA newswire wrote.

The list of candidates includes: Supreme Court judge Jana Baricová, Nitra judge Ján Bernát, Supreme Court judge Rudolf Čirč, university teacher and former constitutional judge Ján Drgonec, notary Miroslav Duriš, barrister Peter Filip, judge of the Bratislava I District Court Eva Fulcová, prosecutor Vladimír Horváth, law expert Peter Kresák, former CC president Ján Mazák, university teacher Robert Schronk, Slovak judge at the European Court of Human Rights Ján Šikuta, and Košice Regional Court judge Imrich Volkai.

The only candidate nominated by a political party is Mazák, who was proposed by Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) chairman Ján Figeľ.

The list, according to Sme, contains some controversial applicants. One of them is Filip, nominated by the Slovak Bar Association, who has defended several controversial personalities, like Jozef Majský in a case involving embezzlement of two unlicensed non-banking firms; people charged with the murder of student Daniel Tupý; and other groups suspected of having ties to organised crime. Some opposition deputies have criticised the nomination.

Filip responded that he does not choose his clients, Sme wrote.

Two of the candidates, Baricová (nominated by Supreme Court President Štefan Harabin) and Fulcová (the nominee of the dean of the Faculty of Law of the Comenius University in Bratislava), have filed antidiscrimination lawsuits against the state.

Judge Volkai (nominated by the dean of the Faculty of Law of the P. J. Šafárik University in Košice) is, according to Sme, cited as an example of cronyism in the court system.

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