Kiska must select constitutional judges but he has run out of options

The President has no deadline for appointing judges but the parliament could force him to make one through a lawsuit.

President Andrej KiskaPresident Andrej Kiska (Source: Sme)

Surprising, contestable, exceeding the powers – that is how lawyers deem the latest ruling of the Constitutional Court (CC) that states President Andrej Kiska must pick and appoint judges from a pool of candidates offered by the parliament. Despite criticism of the reasoning and the ruling itself, made by a panel composed of CC judges Peter Brňák, Milan Ľalík and Marianna Mochnáčová, the president must abide as he has no more options left to contest it, experts say.

“There is no other remedial tool against this ruling admissible, so there are no more options left,” Kamil Baraník of the Law Faculty of Comenius University says.

Thus, Kiska has to pick three out of the seven candidates he originally refused. Those chosen will then be appointed as constitutional judges. Originally, Kiska did not want to appoint the candidates, arguing they have so far not been interested in constitutional law, so he would prefer someone with more expertise. Among the pool of candidates are long-time Smer MP Jana Laššáková and notary Miroslav Ďuriš.

If the CC does not respond to candidates' complaints, they can theoretically still turn to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Kiska, on the other hand, cannot turn to international institutions in the current situation, states Baraník. The President did so one year ago when he asked the Venice Commission for their stance. The commission's answer was unclear, however, and legally not binding.

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