13. 03. 2019 15:06
Slovakia is still ranked at the bottom among EU member states as far as perception of the independence of the judiciary is concerned, the European Commission (EC) has stated in its country report. According to the EC, problems remain regarding the efficiency, independence and quality of the judiciary system. "Concerns about the independence of the judiciary remain largely unchanged and don't seem to have been addressed," reads the commission's report. In reaction, the Justice Ministry pointed out the difference between the actual institutional independence of the judiciary and how this independence is perceived by the public. According to the ministry, the institutional independence of Slovakia's judiciary is unquestionable. "An independent Judicial Council operates in Slovakia and new judges have been selected through mass selection procedures since July 1, 2017, during which time maximum transparency has been guaranteed," said Justice Ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Drobová.
The ministry will address the problematic perception of judicial independence via questionnaires issued to people who have come in contact with the courts. "The questionnaires should reflect the real experience of people using the courts, unaffected by the often misrepresented public perception of the independence of the judiciary. Further steps will be taken on the basis of the data obtained and evaluation of the questionnaire," said Drobová.