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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Former Constitutional Court Judge: The Speaker of the National Assembly Does Not Know the Constitution!

By: Domen Mezeg / Nova24tv

“What some civil society organisations are allowed to do is also what the Church is allowed to do. They will slowly have to get used to the fact that if they are calling themselves “freedom,” “a democratic society,” and so on, they will have to start following the standards of a democratic society, even in the case of the Church,” said the constitutional lawyer Dr Tone Jerovšek.

In the case of the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje svoboda), double standards of “ours” and “yours” are becoming more and more apparent. And what is even more noticeable is their low level of knowledge of the law and the Slovenian Constitution. At the first session of the National Assembly, the former judge and President of the legislative branch of power, Urška Klakočar Zupančič, already violated the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly and went even further in her interview with the magazine Mladina, where she showed even greater ignorance of the constitutional principles and her lack of knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, and – above all – she made it obvious to everyone that she does not have any tolerance or a cosmopolitan mindset in her, despite what she often and fondly emphasises.

When asked about religious communities in Slovenia and their activities, she said: “I respect all religions, I respect believers, I also respect the institutions, but the time had passed when religions were involved in state affairs; the time had passed when the Catholic Church was the one to judge on the severity of criminal offences. The Catholic Church can be politically active, just like any other institution, but only to a certain extent.”

“After all, at the top of the Catholic Church, we have knowledgeable and wise people who have graduated from the Faculty of Theology and who should know how far their competencies reach. If they do not know that or if they are ignorant, then we can explain the Slovenian Constitution to them once again.” With this statement, Klakočar Zupančil responded to the journalist’s claims that the outgoing government financed the Church, which warned the faithful “against cycling protesters and other nuisances.”
Well, as Klakočar Zupančič said, the time had passed when the Catholic Church assessed the “seriousness of criminal offences”… However, that is apparently not true for the Institute of the 8th of March (Inštitut 8. marec) (and for the first-class descendants of party officials, like Nika Kovač and others). Let us remind you of their introduction of legislation to repeal the measures of the outgoing government, which the Freedom Movement did not find controversial.

These are severe double standards. Imagine the panic that would arise if the Church, as an institution, decided to engage in something similar. Let us remind you of Golob’s important announcement that “civil society will be involved in policy planning and implementation.” Both the Institute of the 8th of March and the Church are part of the civil society, but in this case, it is clear who Golob had in mind. We could also do a public experiment (especially since Golob apparently adores public experiments (for example, with healthcare) that involve other people, which, unfortunately, is reminiscent of the infamous Josef Mengele) – we could switch the words “civil society” with the word “Church.” “The Church will be involved in policy planning and implementation.” Imagine how many people would speak up and protest that… We could certainly count on the Constitutional Court judges to speak up, as well as people like Nataša Pirc Musar, the “independent journalists,” intellectuals of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Metelkova 6, transitional politics, and others.

“What some civil society organisations are allowed to do is also what the Church is allowed to do.”
A whole battalion of helpful socio-political workers (“volunteer fighters”) would speak up! In such critical moments, even the last President of the League of Communists of Slovenia, Milan Kučan, would eagerly activate himself and make a public statement or two, or perhaps do an interview with the media outlets he likes, to scare the class enemy a bit… And what would follow would be complaints sent abroad, mass protests by the political cyclists, and so on. An avalanche of insults would ensue…
Constitutional lawyer Tone Jerovšek shared his opinion on Klakočar Zupančič’s scandalous statement. “At that time, they said that they would pass a number of laws written by the Institute of the 8th of March. The statement was worded in a way which shows that they do not distinguish between civil and non-civil society. What some civil society organisations are allowed to do is also what the Church is allowed to do.”

However, the latter has been constantly under attack and stigmatised since 1945. Priests were being imprisoned without a reason. That is also why the attacks on the Church are still present today, and that is why politicians can still make this distinction: what the Institute of the 8th of March does is positive, it is the civil society, and we cannot get involved in that, but if the Church says something, then that is inherently wrong. They will slowly have to get used to the fact that if they are calling themselves “freedom,” “a democratic society,” and so on, they will have to start following the standards of a democratic society, even in the case of the Church, Jerovšek also said. In addition, such statements made at the beginning of the mandate, of who will be listened to or who is “smart” or not, seem somehow misplaced.

The Speaker of the National Assembly is violating the Constitution
Former journalist Boris Meglič wrote that the separation of state and the Church does not mean that the Church should not be allowed or able to express its belief on certain things, as this is actually related to the freedom of public expression of opinions and thoughts. The separation between power and the Church is strictly enforced by the state because it only means that we do not have representatives of the clergy in parliament nor in the National Council or anywhere else. “What Klakočar represents and what she is talking about is actually censorship. Forbidding the Church to speak out is a violation of the Constitution, not its defence.”

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