Invitation to the elections of members of the Judicial Council SR

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to invite you to the elections of eight members of the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic I convoked to 29 May 2012.

Despite several legal opinions  I guarantee to you that the elections will be held in accordance with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic. Each of you had the option to candidate in accordance with the constitutional conditions and each of you has the right to take part in the elections.

We have the right to decide in secret vote about the future development in the judiciary during the forthcoming five years. This is a unique chance for us judges to choose the way because we stand at the cross roads. There is one way I continuously stress and it is the guarantee of independence of judges, material coverage for fluent performance of the judicial position, right to legal opinion and fulfilment of the international judicial standards for judges. I will not repeat the unquestionable facts when the politicians decreased wages with promotion and support of some of us, when justice ministers made press conferences on decisions of judges in cases they were not aware of at all, they publicly informed about filed disciplinary motions against judges. This is the other way, because there are colleagues who cooperated and supported projects with the aim to subordinate judiciary to the politicians, when we are the only public actors who guarantee our functions by our property what was unique in the whole European Union and in the civilised world. That is why  I will on Monday use my judicial right and I will go to vote.

Unlike the others I am not ashamed of my opinion, I do not need to organise any secret meetings in cooperation with the third sector, to establish unions with politicians and media campaigns paid from abroad, to distribute tickets, because I am happy, that among those who try to get our confidence are real judicial personalities. That is why I definitely do not have any problem to publicly write that I will give my vote for instance to one of the best and the most experienced judges in criminal law with federal experience – Igor Burger, who succeeded to face attacks of the ministers since he created the Regional Court in Presov and he managed to protect it against cancellation. Equally Imrich Volkai the former president of the Regional Court in Kosice proved his professional abilities despite unfavourable conditions. My vote will definitely be given to Jana Bajankova the chairman of the civil law collegium of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic. To Viera Petrikova the former minister of justice for presenting independence of judiciary and improved material conditions of judges. I definitely will vote for Dana Bystrianska the president of the Association of Slovak Judges for her principle attitudes who contrary to the so-called judicial organisation “ZOJ“ has never resigned to political orders. However, I consider support for the judges Richard Molnar, Jozef Janik and Jozef Turza, possibly Eva Cvengova, Peter Samko, Alena Polackova.

However, each of us have the freedom to decide and express his/her opinion, we have nothing to fear at voting. Nobody is allowed to instruct us, we have the right to publicly present our opinion. The only threats for independent judiciary are servile careerists collaborating with interested groups and unions for the vision of positions.

I wrote this letter to prevent speculations and provocations, I do not hid or urge in form of marketing campaigns.

In the end I am pleased to meet us in our judicial elections.

With regards,

Bratislava 24 May 2012

Stefan Harabin

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