QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

OPINION ON QUESTIONS RELATING
TO THE APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES
OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC


Venice Commission Opinion By Richard Clayton QC

Introduction

By letter of 8 December 2016, the President of the Slovak Republic requested the Venice Commission to give an opinion on three questions concerning the appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic.

The Commission invited Mr Richard Clayton, Mr Michael Frendo, Mr Christoph Grabenwarter and Mr Ben Vermeulen to act as rapporteurs for this opinion.

On 31 January 2017, a delegation of the Commission, composed of Mr Clayton and Mr Grabenwarter, accompanied by Mr Schnutz Dürr from the Secretariat, visited Bratislava on 31 January 2017 and met with (in chronological order) the President of the Slovak Republic, Mr Andrej Kiska, the President of the Constitutional Court, Ms Ivetta Macejková, the Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Mr Andrej Danko, the Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council, Mr Robert Madej, and the legal advisor of the Prime Minister, Mr Eduard Bárány.

Already on 7 November 2016, upon invitation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Slovak Republic, Mr Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, accompanied by Schnutz Dürr, had met with (in chronological order) the President of the Slovak Republic, Mr Andrej Kiska, the Prime Minister, Mr Robert Fico, the President of Parliament, Mr Andrej Danko and the President of the Constitutional Court, Ms Ivetta Macejková, in order to discuss the issue of appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court. During that visit President Kiska announced that he would request an opinion from the Venice Commission if the problem of the appointment of the judges of the Constitutional Court were not settled soon.

The present opinion was prepared on the basis of contributions by the rapporteurs and on the basis of unofficial translations of the decisions of the Constitutional Court (CDL-REF(2016)008 and 013). Inaccuracies may occur in this opinion as a result of incorrect translations.

Following its discussion at the Sub-Commission on Constitutional Justice (Venice, 9 March 2017) and an exchange of views with Mr Róbert Madej, Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and Mr Jan Mazak, Adviser to the President of the Slovak Republic, this opinion was adopted by the Venice Commission at its 110th Plenary Session (Venice, 10-11 March 2017).


A copy of the full opinion is here.  

13 March 2017

Richard Clayton QC