A VIA IURIS survey: The public urges for a duly conducted hearing of candidates for constitutional judges
Slovaks believe that candidates for judges of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic should be subjected to a thorough hearing to determine whether they are trustworthy persons and experts. Citizens want to know about them a few months before the election. These are the outputs collected from the survey conducted by Focus for VIA IURIS.
Less than a week remains until the constitutional committee starts a public hearing of the candidates for judges of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic. Given the unique position of the Constitutional Court, according to a survey conducted by VIA IURIS, more than 83 per cent of respondents prefer candidates to publicly answer a large number of detailed questions to determine whether people and professionals are trustworthy.
“Since the vote of one judge may be decisive in the questions concerning fundamental rights and the rule of law usually heard before the Constitutional Court, it is important what kind of individual becomes a judge. All MPs can be present at the hearings, and everyone can also ask questions. Therefore, they must take advantage of this opportunity,” points out Kristína Babiaková, an attorney-at-law collaborating with VIA IURIS.
The public wants to know as much as possible about the candidates
One of the positive changes to the new Constitutional Court Act is the extension of the 15-day deadline for publishing information about candidates before they are heard. However, the survey shows that the public would like to know more. Up to 85 per cent of respondents would like to get to know each candidate a few months before the election and to have detailed information about their previous work, career and personality. “The survey confirms that the public, as well as experts, consider having reliable and detailed information about candidates as essential. The key hearing should be preceded by an intensive public debate on individual candidates, freed of political interests with only one goal and that is to find the best,” said Kristína Babiaková.
Candidates’ profiles – www.zadobruvolbu.sk
For full and better access to the information about individual candidates, VIA IURIS has prepared a website where the public can find candidates’ profiles with their CVs and motivation letters. Due to the complexity of the topic, the site also contains essential information about the mission and functioning of the Constitutional Court. “The Constitutional Court is the last guarantor of justice for citizens in case other institutions fail. Due to the significant powers that this institution has, it is necessary to pay equal attention to all potential judges of the Constitutional Court, ”concludes Babiaková.
The survey for VIA IURIS was carried out by Focus agency in the period 18.09.2018 – 25.9.2018, on a sample of 1015 respondents. We conducted the study with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.