The office of President Borut Pahor has received seven bids for an upcoming vacancy on the Constitutional Court, including from Supreme Court judge Barbara Zobec, and several members of the academia who have unsuccessfully vied for one of the posts on the nine-strong court before.
Those include Andraž Teršek, a constitutional jurist and law philosopher known for his outspoken views who teaches at the University of Primorska and at the European Faculty of Law affiliated with the Nova Gorica-based New University.
He bid for a vacancy on the Constitutional Court in 2018, but withdrew from the nomination process after the Democrats (SDS) declined their support for him in talks with President Borut Pahor.
Others who are bidding for the post again include European Faculty of Law professor Anže Eberžnik and Ljubljana School of Economics and Business professor Branko Korže; they both applied unsuccessfully in 2016.
Also applying for the post anew is Janez Pogorelec, the former head of the government legal service, who unsuccessfully bid for the post last year. He has also failed in his bid for the post of president of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption this year.
Barbara Zobec has been serving as judge at the Supreme Court’s criminal department since 2002, serving as deputy head of the department since 2010.
According to information on the Catholic Institute’s Faculty of Law and Business Studies, where she teaches, her greatest research interest involves the mass executions during and immediately after World War II. Her husband Jan Zobec is a former Constitutional Court judge.
The other two candidates are Rok Svetlič, the head of the Law Institute at the Koper Science and Research Centre, and Marko Starman of the European Faculty of Law.
Most recently, Svetlič has been unsuccessful in his bid for the post of human rights ombudsman, while Starman failed to get shortlisted as a nominee for the Slovenian judge at the European Court of Human Rights.
The candidates are bidding for the post that will be vacated as the term of Dunja Jadek Pensa expires on 14 July 2020.
However, the law on the Constitutional Court gives the head of state the option to either pick one of the applied candidates to put forward to parliament or other candidates.
Eligible for the post are legal experts with Slovenian citizenship who are at least 40 years old.
Pahor will consult deputy factions in parliament before making his nomination in a bid to secure sufficient majority for the appointment. Before the vote, the nominee will be presented to the public.
To get appointed, the nominee requires to win an outright majority of 46 votes in the 90-strong National Assembly.
The president’s office noted on Thursday that Pahor had so far nominated eight candidates for judges on the Constitutional Court, all of whom were appointed by a convincing majority.