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President halts judicial appointment

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska has halted the appointment of Judge Judita Gabonaiová Hrenčuková to the judicial post.

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska has halted the appointment of Judge Judita Gabonaiová Hrenčuková to the judicial post.

“The reason is serious doubts about the unbiased and non-discriminatory approach of the selectors to all candidates in the selection process in which the candidate won,” Kiska’s spokesperson Peter Petrus said on August 26, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The president sent a letter to Judicial Council deputy chair Ján Vanko in which he cited several reasons that led to his stopping the proceeding. The candidate, for example, did not succeed in any other selection procedure. She works at the district court to which she would be appointed, and her mother has been a judge at the same court for several years. Moreover, those who selected her were picked by the president of the very same court, as reported by TASR.

“Doubts were raised also by the fact that the candidate won only after the oral part of the testing, in which she significantly, but without any possibility for reviewing it, outperformed the other candidates,” Petrus added, as quoted by TASR.

The spokesperson added that despite these doubts, the Judicial Council did not deal with the case at its June 16 session. Kiska assumes that the council should either confirm or disprove the doubts about the selection.

In a letter sent to Vanko, the president hopes that cooperation between the president and the Judicial Council will bring about a significant improvement to the Slovak judiciary and will help improve the credibility of the judges and courts in Slovakia. To reach this goal, however, it is “more than necessary to devote enough attention to the selection of new judges and to prevent any suspicion that not the best ones, but those who can arrange it, get the gowns”, as reported by TASR.

Kiska also believes that the process of selecting and appointing judges would be better if the Judicial Council used a united, normatively modified, clear and transparent methods for assessing candidates for judges from the individual competitions.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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