Bratislava, May 11 (TASR) – The Judicial Council elected Jan Sikuta as Supreme Court chair, however, in order to become one, he must be appointed by President Zuzana Caputova, TASR learnt on Monday.
Sikuta received 12 out of 17 votes in a public election. No one voted for his opponent Ivan Rumana. Sikuta considers improving the perception of justice in the eyes of the public to be a priority in office.
“Currently, the Slovak judiciary is in a situation in which probably no European country has found itself, when there are so many judges from all levels prosecuted for suspected corruption,” noted Sikuta. He therefore considers the cleansing of the judiciary a priority. He also wants to achieve this through effective asset declarations and screening of judges. He also pointed out that legislative changes are needed to achieve this.
Judicial Council Chair Lenka Prazenkova congratulated Sikuta and stated that he had convinced her with more specific content in the presentation of his vision of the court management than his opponent.
New member of the Judicial Council and Supreme Court judge Juraj Kliment, who was among the judges who did not vote for any of the candidates, stated that Sikuta’s election is a compromise and a surprise. “I don’t consider this vote to be significant for cleansing and changes in the judiciary. I’m personally disappointed,” said Kliment. He and other members of the Judicial Council criticise Sikuta for his past, which is allegedly associated with Stefan Harabin and the judges around him. Harabin served as Supreme Court chair from 2009 to 2014.
The Supreme Court has been without a chair since October 2019, when the tenure of Daniela Svecova expired.