Government Okays Draft of New Rules for Electing Constitutional Judges

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Constitutional Court (stock photo by TASR)
Bratislava, August 22 (TASR) – The Government already has an idea of what rules should be used to carry out the upcoming major personnel replacement at the Constitutional Court, TASR learnt on Wednesday.

The proposal to amend the Constitution prepared by Justice Minister Gabor Gal (Most-Hid) was approved by ministers on Wednesday. The coalition will also need Opposition votes in order for the amendment to pass through Parliament, but the Opposition hasn’t expressed its support for the changes yet.
After the Cabinet meeting the minister admitted that he didn’t have the 90 votes of MPs necessary for approving the draft. He’s preparing for talks with the Opposition, and he also admitted that he’d make concessions. At the same time, he rejected criticism from experts, refusing to take on board their objections. He warned that if there is a failure to agree on a change in the rules, nine out of a total of 13 constitutional judges whose term ends in February 2019 will be elected according to the old rules.
In the material Gal declared that he wants to improve the process of selecting candidates for constitutional judges. He hopes to achieve this by tightening up the qualification prerequisites for appointment. The conditions for carrying out the post of constitutional judge will be defined only in the Constitution.
“This means a minimum age of 45 years, moral integrity, 15 years of legal practice. It must be a recognised figure in the field of law, and their previous life should give a guarantee that they’ll decide impartially and honestly,” said the minister, explaining the conditions that applicants for the post of constitutional judge should meet.