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Friday, December 2, 2022

Slovenian Democratic Party And New Slovenia Party Have Filed A Request For A Constitutional Review Of The Act For The Reduction Of Inequalities And Harmful Political Interference

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

Following July’s adoption of the Act for the Reduction of Inequalities and Harmful Political Interference and for Ensuring Respect for the Rule of Law, which interferes with the content of 11 previously-adopted laws, the parliamentary groups of the opposition parties Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) and New Slovenia party (Nova Slovenija – NSi) have decided to submit a request to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia to assess the constitutionality of the aforementioned law.

When the National Assembly adopted the Act for the Reduction of Inequalities and Harmful Political Interference and for Ensuring Respect for the Rule of Law on the 21st of July this year, it used a specific legislative amendment technique (the so-called omnibus approach). “The Act contains provisions that affect 11 existing laws, and some of the amendments to the existing laws affected by the Act have not yet entered into force,” the parliamentary groups pointed out.

For these reasons, according to both groups of MPs, it is neither possible to speak of an assessment of the situation or of the harmful consequences of the laws in force, which would be affected by the new Act in question, the substantive aim of which is to abolish certain amendments to the law that have been adopted for political reasons, which does not guarantee legal certainty or equality before the law. “It therefore violates or is incompatible with Articles 2, 14, 15, 44, 90 and 153 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia,” they critically pointed out.

The Act affects the content of eleven laws, which are not of the same kind and are not inextricably linked to each other; therefore, in the opinion of the signatories of the request for a review of the constitutionality of the Act, such a legal approach or the application of the so-called omnibus approach in amending the legislation in force is not justified. The Legislative and Legal Service of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia has also pointed this out in its opinion. Such a legislative approach is, as already stated above, permissible only exceptionally, in a strictly limited scope of content, and if justified reasons are demonstrated.

This is also an impermissible interference with the rights deriving from the institution of the legislative referendum
The submitters of the request for a review of constitutionality also believe that there is an inadmissible interference with the rights arising from the institution of the legislative referendum. “The proposed solutions in the law amending and supplementing the eleven laws in force are, in a relatively short period of time, changing the legal regime again, in some cases by introducing the same regime as that which was in force before the last amendments to the eleven laws in question,” they stressed, adding that in such a case, the legislator is obliged to respect the principle of equality (second paragraph of Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia), according to which it may regulate the same legal situation differently only if it has a sensible reason to do so, arising from the nature of the matter. However, in the absence of such a reason, they argue, the solutions must be substantiated, otherwise, the legislator is obliged to regulate in the same way the legal situation of the subjects who have been subject to a different regulation in the meantime.

We, the submitters of the present request for a constitutional review, are of the opinion that the promoter of the law has not done so. It is a matter of amending several laws that are not linked in substance, and in a relatively short period of time since their entry into force, which undermines the principle of legal certainty,” they pointed out. In their request for an assessment of the constitutionality of the Act, in order to reduce inequalities and harmful political interference and to ensure respect for the rule of law, the MPs from the SDS and NSi parties asked the Constitutional Court to:

1. immediately suspend the implementation of the Act for the Reduction of Inequalities and Harmful Political Interference and for Ensuring Respect for the Rule of Law, in view of the occurrence of consequences that are difficult to remedy,

2. declare that the Act for the Reduction of Inequalities and Harmful Political Interference and for Ensuring Respect for the Rule of Law is incompatible with Articles 2, 14, 15, 44, 90 and 153 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia,

3. repeal the provisions of the Act for the Reduction of Inequalities and Harmful Political Interference and for Ensuring Respect for the Rule of Law and,

4. order the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the National Assembly to harmonise the Act with the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia within three months.

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