UPDATED: 30. OCT 2015, AT: 17:47

Constitutional Court may be blocked

THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court will not answer President Andrej Kiska’s question whether he must or only can appoint candidates for the post of a constitutional judge elected by Smer. 

President Andrej KiskaPresident Andrej Kiska (Source: SITA)

It turned down his request for interpreting the constitution. Four judges, however, presented a different legal opinion than the one contained in the aforementioned ruling.

This in fact means that the situation at the court remains complicated. It currently has only 11 instead of 13 judges. Moreover, the term in office of another judge ends in February 2016 and problems with appointing may repeat, the Sme daily reported.

Read also:President: Constitutional Court’s decision to drop my request is seriousRead more 

The whole dispute goes back to July 2014 when Kiska rejected five of six candidates for the constitutional judge post proposed by the parliament. He appointed only one judge, Jana Baricová, stating that in the remaining candidates he did not see enough interest in constitutional law and necessary competence. The rejected candidates then turned to the Constitutional Court.

The court issued a ruling on March 17, 2015, stating that the president violated the rights of three candidates, Eva Fulcová, Juraj Sopoliga and Miroslav Ďuriš, to access the public offices under non-discriminatory conditions. There were, however, contradictions between the ruling issued viva voce and the additional written explanation that the president received two months later. The president subsequently turned to the court for an explanation, the TASR newswire wrote.

Read also:Pellegrini will not launch new vote on Constitutional Court judges Read more 

The Constitutional Court has meanwhile published its reasons for turning down the request. It did so already during the preliminary proceeding. The court claimed that the document did not contain certain provisions required by law, while part of the motion was unjustified. It also stressed that it was already deciding whether the president must, or just can appoint the candidates for the judicial post in the past. Back in March it ruled that the president violated the rights of three candidates when he rejected appointing them, as reported by Sme.

Moreover, the court criticised Kiska, saying that if he had doubts about his powers, he should have turned to the Constitutional Court before he refused the candidates.

Lawyers are cautious in regard to their comments on the Constitutional Court’s decision. 

While Sme writes that even the court’s decision cannot force Kiska to pick one of the rejected candidates which may cause further problems at the Constitutional Court, the Denník N daily reports that the ruling means the president needs to appoint one of the rejected candidates.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková said that the blocked appointing has become a relatively big problem for the court.

“This situation significantly influences the tempo of the work of plenary and also panels,” Macejková told Sme. However, she added that they try to fulfil their tasks as much as possible.

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