Slovak president vetoes Judicial Council amendment act

Slovak president Ivan Gašparovič vetoed an amendment to the Judicial Council Act.

Created in 2002, the Judicial Council is a 15 member committee of experienced judges and legal experts responsible for the nomination of judges. While all judges in Slovakia are formally appointed by the president, he does so only on recommendation of the Judicial Council.

The vetoed ammendment act foresaw amongst others the introduction of an incompatability clause following which members of the Council would not be allowed to hold the positions of chairman or vice-chairman of any court. Mr Gašparovič justified his veto stating that there was no objective need to introduce the incompatability clause.

The Slovak National Council can now either amend the bill in question with regard to the president’s proposed changes by introducing it anew or try to overrule the president’s veto. An absolute majority – or 76 of 150 seats in the National Council, respectively – is needed to overrule the presidential veto; the government currently disposes of 79 seats in the assembly.

It is president Gašparovič’s 12th veto since his re-election in June 2009 and the second veto since the inauguration of the new government in August this year.

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