Judges should be elected in public vote, says Kiska

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska wants the Judicial Council to vote on personnel matters publicly, rather than in secret. He has thus returned to parliament the amendment to the law on judges and judicial assistants, which lawmakers approved on June 24.

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska wants the Judicial Council to vote on personnel matters publicly, rather than in secret. He has thus returned to parliament the amendment to the law on judges and judicial assistants, which lawmakers approved on June 24.

The best option for solving the current situation in the judiciary is to preserve the public decision making of the Judicial Council, including the vote for the Supreme Court president, according to Kiska. The president pointed out that transparency is important, since the judiciary-related revision to the constitution, adopted June 4, 2014, gave the Judicial Council new tasks in supervising the judiciary, the TASR newswire reported.

Parliament however did not accept the president’s comments on the amendment and voted for its original wording. Smer MP Anton Martvoň highlighted the fact that Kiska is opposed to just a small part of the amendment and did not criticise the broader judiciary changes, including security clearances for judges.

“It [the amendment] is probably truly very well made,” Martvoň said, as quoted by TASR. “Mr President thus indirectly indicated that he agrees with clearances, and for that we [Smer] thank him.”

Oppositions MPs sided with Kiska, claiming that secret voting increases corruption and manipulation, and hinders transparency.

“The secret vote is standard in general elections, such as parliament elections, not in the case of the Judicial Council vote,” NOVA party head Daniel Lipšic said, as quoted by TASR. “People have a right to know how their representatives vote.”

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports
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