Vision of Judiciary Reform

Basic goal:
The judicial power serves to citizens and it is performed by judges together with expert and assistance staff of the Courts. EQUAL CHANCES – the constitutional right defined in Article 12 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic must be guaranteed to all these sections.


1. For citizens: Equal chance to fair, impartial and legal court protection in reasonable time,
2. For judges: Equal or at least comparable conditions for performing their rights and obligations, carrier, and equal criteria of their responsibility for performing their position, including disciplinary responsibility,
3. For assistance and expert staff: Equal chances in selection procedures, in increasing their expertise and improvement of their statute positions and their working conditions.

The judiciary must be formed by independently thinking and expert erudited judges with their opinion who are not afraid to express it and within limit of the laws also to reason it clearly and convincingly. We do not see the development of judiciary in increased number of judges but in improved expertise and specialisation, higher number of quality expert and assistance court staff, in electronisation of court procedure and communication of the parties in court proceedings with the Courts, and objective and expert demanding selection procedures.

Proposed recommended changes in the near future:

1. Reconstruction of the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic and the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic

- to define the position of the Judicial Council in the Slovak Constitution as the supreme body of judiciary administration,
- to try to replace members of the Judicial Council elected by judges,
- to separate the position of the Chairman of the Judicial Council and the President of the Supreme Court and to modify the way of creating these positions,
- to limit competences of the President of the Supreme Court and to pass them to the Supreme Court Judges Plenum, to the Court judicial council and to chairmen of collegia,
- to define incompatibility of the position of a chairmen or a vice chairmen of a general court and the position of a member of the Judicial Council,
- to terminate the competence of the Judicial Council to file disciplinary motions.

2. Changes at the level of administration of District and Regional Courts:

- personal changes in court management positions in administration of the Courts

3. Changes to recover ethical and expert credit of judges, to increase their responsibility and also to strengthen independence of judiciary

- to define by law incompatibility of the judicial position and a position in executive or legislative powers. A political position must be conditioned by waiving the judicial position. Alternatively to introduce the rule that a judge after return from an executive or legislative position can continue his judicial position only after three years,
- to create the Ethical Commission from authorities outside judicial environment, the role of which would be to delegate 1 member of a selection committee to all selection procedures,
- to solve the need to define the number of judges with thorough implementation of the rule 1 judge : 1 higher court officer,
- to introduce the obligation for judges to publicly declare any of their family relationships in judiciary (the so-called principle of hidden family relationships)
- we prefer to create disciplinary senates by random selection from a database defined in advance of judges for each case,
- we prefer obligatory complex evaluation of judges always after 5 years of performing their position. First evaluation of judges should be made after maximum one year from effect of such law and followingly in five years periods. A repeated negative evaluation should be the reason for removing a judge from his position,
- the Code of Ethics of Judges and Court Officers should be adopted and the Ethical Commission should check its compliance, the opinions of the Ethical Commission should be the background also in regular evaluation of judges.

4. Transparency of Court proceedings and openness to public

- all Court decisions and also procedural ones should be published at the Internet,
- in the same way court statistics on load of particular Courts and judges and work results of particular judges should be regularly published.
- to introduce electronic recording of all hearings.

5. Protection of independence of the judges

- for protecting independence of judges against purposeful disciplinary actions to immediately modify the Act on Judges and to define the penalty of removal from a judicial position only for actions incompatible with judicial position as defined in the Slovak Constitution,
- to enumeratively define reasons for temporary suspension of a judicial position,
- to stop evaluation of judges and their load only according to quantitative indicators and to evaluate them individually and according to quality parameters (complexity of cases, composition of cases, type of agenda, staff in court department of a judge, court working conditions, etc.).

26 June 2010

Katarina Javorcikova
Miroslav Gavalec
Spokesmen of the Initiative

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