NEWS IN SHORT

Only two candidates for ECHR post

SLOVAKIA will not send three names for a vacant post at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by January 5 as was required, with the Judicial Council failing to elect all three candidates.

SLOVAKIA will not send three names for a vacant post at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by January 5 as was required, with the Judicial Council failing to elect all three candidates.

Only two have already received the necessary support: Košice-based judge Ladislav Duditš and Zuzana Dlugošová, who worked at the ECHR between 2009 and 2013 as a lawyer and now serves as an advisor to the US Embassy to Slovakia, the SITA newswire reported.

The tenure of previous Slovak judge at the ECHR, Ján Šikuta, expired on October 31, 2013.
The judges will now have 45 days to submit their nominees for the third slot. This has already been the third vote. Slovakia has submitted the list of candidates to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe twice, but the candidates have been rejected. The reasons were insufficient qualification and lack of experience, the TASR newswire wrote.

Duditš received 11 votes of 16 members of the Judicial Council present, while Dlugošová picked up 10. The judges, however, failed to elect the third as neither constitutional law expert Peter Kresák, nor Supreme Court Judge Alena Poláčková received enough votes in the second round of the vote. In the first round Kresák received nine votes, while Poláčková had seven. In a repeated vote Kresánek was supported by eight council members and Poláčková by seven, TASR reported.

The council’s chair Jana Bajánková hopes that after selecting the third candidate, Slovakia will finally succeed in filling the open slot. The first two candidates have experience with European law, exhibit substantial knowledge and meet language requirements, SITA wrote.
Bajánková also said that the failure to elect the third candidate proves that both nominees are of high quality and that their chances are even. This was confirmed by the votes from the council members being divided between them.

The list of candidates will still have to be approved by the government. Then it will be sent to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as reported by SITA.

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