Zitnanska versus Harabin; Next Round
Justice minister Lucia Zitnanska is biting at the heels of Stefan Harabin again as she is trying to dislodge him from his double throne of Supreme Court chairman and head also of the Judicial Council. She will therefore submit a draft revision to the Constitution to prevent such a situation in future.
Zitnanska’s plan will probably not make it through parliament, though, as a Constitutional change would need the support of some opposition MPs, which is not so likely to happen.
By way of its MP Robert Madej, opposition party Smer-SD party made it clear that the motion would not get its support, with Madej citing that it was only logical that the posts should be held by the same person, and that this was made possible thanks to the Mikulas Dzurinda government in 2001.
Zitnanska wants the Judicial Council to be free of court heads and for it to be composed by proportionate representation of election districts according to their territory.
On another note, Zitnanska also wants to re-establish annual performance appraisals of all judges in terms of the number of cases and other details, which would then be comparable against the national average. This system of appraisal was abolished three years ago in 2008. If a judge gets three bad performance appraisals, they would be requested to give up their post.
In response Stefan Harabin said that Zitnanska was afraid of democracy and was trying to adapt the rules in the middle of play, calling it all part of her personal vendetta against him.