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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Janez Janša, through the X network, explained why the constitutional amendment regarding the appointment of judges is harmful in the long term: “The constitution will cement the judicial majority in the Judicial Council, which will remain locked in place”

By: G. B.

President of the SDS, Janez Janša, once again critically assessed the constitutional changes regarding the restructuring of the judiciary and the appointment of judges on the X network.

We publish his message in its entirety:

The secret appointment of judges in the Judicial Council and the PRS Office – instead of the previously public elections in the National Assembly – is in the final stage of the proposal to change the constitution regarding the appointment of judges, and if adopted, it will have catastrophic effects on the future of Slovenia. The monopoly of the transitional left in the judiciary will be further strengthened and permanently locked. According to the new proposal, the constitution is to determine that the Judicial Council consists of 15 members. Eight are appointed by judges themselves, and seven by the National Assembly with a 2/3 majority, according to a procedure to be specified in a non-existing constitutional law.

  1. The constitution will cement the judicial majority in the Judicial Council, which will remain locked. So far, judges themselves have appointed 6 out of 11 members, but now they will appoint 8 out of 15.
  1. Under the new proposal, a 2/3 majority in the National Assembly will be required for the adoption of the new law on the Judicial Council, rather than a simple majority. The law can specify the criteria that members of the Judicial Council, both judges and others, must meet. You can define the transparency of their work, determine the required majority for individual decisions, etc.
  1. The left-wing government coalition intends to, immediately after the adoption of the constitutional amendment with the help of NSi, pass a law on the Judicial Council according to its own preferences. This law will then remain locked with a 2/3 majority.
  1. Until a new law and a new Judicial Council are established, the current Judicial Council will remain in place, which suits the left-wing entirely. It can wait (even if NSi were to set new conditions under public pressure) without the fear that the next composition of the National Assembly with a simple majority would amend the law. This will be locked.
  1. When the new law on the Judicial Council is adopted with a 2/3 majority and with the votes of NSi, the National Assembly will be able to elect 7 judges with a 2/3 majority. There will always be at least 3 from the left, and only 2 are needed. Ten votes out of 15 constitute a 2/3 majority. In the first composition of the Judicial Council to be appointed in the current term, it will be enough to propose only 1 or 2 candidates at the discretion of NSi (such as Janez Pogorelec, etc.), and they will have a guaranteed 2/3 majority for all 7. We will end up with something similar to today’s “depoliticised” Programme Council of RTVS. Five votes of unanimity.
  1. We are familiar with this trick from the beginning of the term in appointing KNOVS and KNJF. The left coalition + NSi counts 61 votes. Can you imagine the reactions if, in the previous term, in the government coalition led by SDS, both opposition oversight commissions were entrusted to Jelinčič’s SNS? This would be just as consistent with the rules as the current leadership of both commissions by NSi. However, it would (as it is now) be inconsistent with all principles of democracy.
  1. Until now, judges have been finally appointed by the National Assembly. Now, this safeguard is eliminated. So far, in the National Assembly, we have rejected Masleša, Dordević, Karakaš, and some 3 others for high positions. Some were proposed again, while SOME were never proposed AT ALL because they feared public scrutiny and debate in the National Assembly. Now, everything will be published in the Official Gazette upon appointment. At that time, the people will learn for the first time who will judge them – in the name of the people.
  1. Supporters of the proposed constitutional changes from NSi want to convince the public that all 53 MPs from leftist parties want to cut down one of the central branches on which they have maintained their power for years. In reality, the left knows exactly what they are doing. In the first constitutional commission that proposed the current constitution in 1991, successors of the Communist Party, Potrč, Ribičič, and others insisted that judges should be appointed by the president of the republic, claiming it to be the norm. The debate lasted until one of the members of the Constitutional Commission asked a simple question: “What will actually change then? Judges will still be decided by the same person as in the previous regime.” Only then was the compromise adopted, which is now in the constitution, whereby judges have the majority in the Judicial Council, but judges are ultimately elected by the National Assembly. It is the result of the situation we were in then and which is unfortunately even more pressing today. Since 1991, the left has consistently problematised this constitutional arrangement and tried to change it. They did not have the constitutional majority for this step until now, but unfortunately, this time NSi provides it for them.

Source: X network

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