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Kiska: Process to select judges should change

THE RULES governing the selection of new judges should be improved, President Andrej Kiska said October 23 when holding talks with Justice Minister Tomáš Borec and Judicial Council head Jana Bajánková, the TASR newswire reported.

THE RULES governing the selection of new judges should be improved, President Andrej Kiska said October 23 when holding talks with Justice Minister Tomáš Borec and Judicial Council head Jana Bajánková, the TASR newswire reported.

During their hour-long conversation at the Presidential Palace, the three discussed recent alterations to the Slovak Constitution along with changes in legislation associated with the judiciary.

“I have to reiterate that I can see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Kiska as quoted by TASR, “but just because Mr. [Štefan] Harabin is no longer the head of the judicial system and in spite of the changes that have been made, this doesn’t mean that we’ve dealt with everything that needed to be salvaged in the judiciary.”

Kiska stated that he is first and foremost concerned about the selection of judges and is convinced that the very best people should preside over the courts. He presented his own ideas on how to improve selection procedures with respect to supervisory committees and the contents of entrance exams. For example, he proposed the written part of the tender for the post of a judge to be made equal with the oral part – which, although being biased, has been boosted by Borec, according to the SME daily.

“I’ll insist on rules that would make it easier to ensure that there wasn’t a single bit of doubt as to whether the nominations for new judges were made in a clear, transparent and fair manner for everyone,” Kiska said, as quoted by TASR.

Responding to Kiska’s proposals, Borec said that he does not rule out any further adjustments to the selection regulations. At the same time he stated that such changes should not be made in haste.

“I told the president that I’m ready to revisit the matter and to come up with another legislative change after assessing all potential good ideas,” said Borec, as quoted by TASR.

(Source: TASR, Sme)

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