Prominent Lawyers Urge Parliament to Scrap Meciar’s Amnesties

Former prime minister Vladimir Meciar. (Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 30 (TASR) – It would be legitimate to scrap the amnesties issued by former premier Vladimir Meciar as acting president in 1998 concerning the 1995 kidnapping of then president Michal Kovac’s son Michal and of a thwarted referendum, several prominent lawyers claim in a statement released on Monday.

The signatories include several Supreme Court judges, former Constitutional Court chairman Jan Mazak, several other former constitutional judges, EU Court of Justice judge Daniel Svaby, Slovak Academy of Science’s (SAV) State and Law Institute director Jozef Vozar and former Slovak representative at the European Court of Human Rights Peter Vrsansky.

The issue of scrapping Meciar’s amnesties should be on the next parliamentary session’s agenda beginning on Tuesday.

“Annulment by a constitutional law of the amnesties released by former prime minister Vladimir Meciar is a legitimate tool in a law-based state with the aim of, first, meeting Slovakia’s international commitments, second, providing effective protection of fundamental rights for victims of the pardoned actions, and last but not least, boosting the authority and trustworthiness of law and justice enforcement in Slovakia,” reads the statement.

The lawyers believe that Meciar, by issuing the amnesties, wasn’t taking into account the public interest and he wasn’t seeking to protect and defend the Constitution, either. “Instead, by his decisions on the amnesties he significantly harmed natural justice and decency in law, and he misused the law. This misuse of law is unprecedented in Slovakia’s modern history and it would be a blot for any democratic and law-based state,” claim the signatories.

According to them, the Radbruch Formula should be applied here: “The conflict between justice and the reliability of the law should be solved in favour of the positive law, law enacted by proper authority and power, even in cases where it is unjust in terms of content and purpose, except for cases where the discrepancy between the positive law and justice reaches a level so unbearable that the statute has to make way for justice because it has to be considered ‘erroneous law’.”

Further, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED), which was adopted in 2006 and ratified by Slovakia in 2014, is superseded to the country’s laws, with the state being obliged to adopt necessary measures against actions impairing investigation and punishment of crimes such as abduction with the involvement of state officials, add the lawyers.