Demanding security clearance of judges is unconstitutional

The Constitutional amendment from 2014 introduced by the second Robert Fico government is unconstitutional.

Building of Constitutional Court in KošiceBuilding of Constitutional Court in Košice (Source: TASR)

Across-the-board security clearances of judges as introduced in 2014 is not in accordance with the Constitution.

That is the verdict of the Constitutional Court about the amendment on the second government of Robert Fico passed in 2014. Based on the provision that it inserted in the Constitution, clearances for judges via the National Security Authority (NBÚ) were implemented.

Part of the law contradicts the“implicit material core of Constitution of the Slovak Republic” stemming from the principles of democracy, rule of law and the principle of power distribution linked to the independence of the judiciary.

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“Constitutional laws cannot contradict the implicit material core of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic,” declared the Constitutional Court, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The Constitutional Court also sees a contradiction with the principle of power distribution and independence of judiciary power concerning the security clearances of already-appointed judges.

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The amendment was meant to change attitudes in the judiciary. All current judges and candidates for the posts of judges were to go through security clearances conducted by NBÚ.

Many judges criticised it, saying that the information could be used against them. They also objected the retroactive character of the amendment and the threat to the independence of the judiciary.

Jana Bajánková, former chair of the Judiciary Council, filed a motion against the law with the Constitutional Court after the amendment was passed.

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