Coalition: Constitutional Judge Should Be at Least 45 and Speak World Language

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(stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 22 (TASR) – An age of at least 45, mastering at least one world language and passing judicial, lawyer’s or prosecutor’s exams – these might be the new criteria for selecting candidates for constitutional judges, with the governing coalition agreeing on them at its session on Tuesday.

“We’ve discussed these changes at a Coalition Council session … The most important change concerns the selection of the candidates itself. Currently, a simple majority is enough, and we propose that [the votes of] at least 76 MPs will be necessary. We can’t agree with a constitutional majority because in that case the House wouldn’t be able to choose anyone,” said senior governing Smer-SD party head Robert Fico, adding that the new conditions will significantly shorten the list of suitable candidates for Constitutional Court judges. He added that the changes will also boost the quality of this institution.

Regarding the age limits for the judges, junior coalition SNS leader Andrej Danko said that a person without a certain level of experience shouldn’t run for the post at all. “Age is a certain matter, of course, as the Constitutional Court is the showcase of the law,” he added.

According to junior coalition Most-Hid party chairman Bela Bugar, the coalition also discussed how the hearings of candidates will be carried out in the future.

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) added that Justice Minister Gabor Gal (Most-Hid) has been tasked with drawing up the new bill as soon as possible so that next year’s selection of constitutional court judges is carried out under the new rules.

The Constitutional Court is about to see a big reshuffle in February 2019, as nine out of the 13 judges will be replaced. The Constitutional Court will work in its new composition until 2031.