Caputova: Condition of Disciplinary Judiciary is Insufficient

Supreme Court President Daniela Svecova, left, and President Zuzana Caputova, right, in the Presidential Palace (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 22 (TASR) – The condition of Slovakia’s disciplinary judiciary is insufficient although it is one of the basic preconditions for an independent judiciary, said President Zuzana Caputova following her meeting with Supreme Court President Daniela Svecova on Monday.

Caputova finds a disciplinary judiciary to be important, as it should provide a space for drawing responsibility against judges in case they fail. “The judiciary can only work well, if a high level of independence functions in a high-quality accountability system and this should chiefly be ensured by a disciplinary judiciary,” said the president. Svecova sees a big reserve in disciplinary courts as well. However, she pointed to the fact that supervision over them isn’t in the Supreme Court’s powers.

Svecova stated that trust in courts has increased during her term in office thanks to reduction of the time of court proceedings. While in 2014 the average duration of proceedings at the Supreme Court was 245 days, it was a mere 74 days in 2018. “We found out that we only can reduce the length of proceedings by increasing the number of assistants,” she said. The number of assistants has tripled, from 30 to 90, during her tenure. “There’s one assistant for each judge at the moment,” stated Svecova, adding that material-technical equipment has also improved.

During their meeting the two officials also touched on the issue of Daniela Svecova’s successor, as her tenure will expire in October. “I would be glad if it was a person who would continue the tendencies launched during my term in office,” said Svecova. Caputova can envisage in this post an expert with a high moral credit, who raises no doubts, is a respected authority and will contribute towards the judiciary’s trustworthiness. The two officials declined to provide any concrete names for now.