How the Matovič government plans to deal with low trust in judiciary

The plan outlined in the programme statement leaves experts cautiously optimistic.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

Judges and courts were protagonists of some of the leading stories in the media, not necessarily in their usual places in the courtroom.

Most notable, the public learnt that the rulings of some judges were up for sale and several justices were cooperating with Marian Kočner, a mobster who currently faces charges of ordering the murder of Ján Kuciak as well as in other cases. Not only judges but also attorneys and prosecutors faced allegations, as did then state secretary (deputy minister) at the Justice Ministry, Monika Jankovská.

The results of the Eurobarometer survey from November 2019 show that 72 percent of people do not trust the judiciary system in Slovakia. It is one of the worst results of the EU. Only Croatia scored worse.

The government of Igor Matovič says they want to change that. Their programme statement includes a plan of how the judiciary should be reformed: through changes to the Judicial Council and the Constitutional Court, the introduction of a Supreme Administration Court and the improved screening of judges' property. The "Restoring Trust in the Rule of Law and Securing that Laws and Justice are Applied Equally to Everyone" part of the programme statement, drafted by the Justice Ministry, covers nearly nine of the programme statement's 121 pages.

Related story:Lie detector, cinema discounts and pensions for ex-spies. The most interesting parts of the manifesto Read more 

The cleansing of the judiciary system was one of the main topics in the pre-election battle. Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) and Za Ľudí (who nominated Justice Minister Mária Kolíková) were among those who stressed the need for reform of the judiciary system in order to return public trust in it.

“Overall, we consider this part of the programme statement as very progressive and ambitious,” Eva Kováčechová, attorney cooperating with Via Iuris NGO, told The Slovak Spectator.

Selection of prosecutors should be less politicised

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Kindergartens and the first stage of primary schools open for all children from Monday

Ministry promises more information on April 12, when it will announce how schools should operate from April 19.

8. apr
Andrew Giarelli

If Bratislava had “talking statues”, they would gossip about Sputnik

Andrew Giarelli’s novel explores Rome’s centuries-long tradition of putting social commentary on statues.

16 h
Illustrative stock photo

Another age group can now register for vaccination

The Health Ministry opened the registration for people older than 45 years.

10. apr
PM Eduard Heger

Heger: The decision to make Matovič discuss Sputnik V was pragmatic

The prime minister also commented on the recent statements of an OĽaNO MP.

10. apr