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The year 2017 was replete with interesting development to Slovak constitutional law. The master-text Constitution changed thrice in close succession: in February (15th amendment), March (16th), and May (17th) of the same year. The first amendment was a one-off extension of the term of office for assemblies and chief executives of higher territorial units (regions). Their mandates were extended to five years to synchronize the regional and communal elections in 2022. The second amendment vested a new power in the National Council (NaCo) – to abolish a presidential amnesty or individual pardon that had been granted contrary to the principles of the rule of law and democracy. The last amendment entrenched the “protection of land” in the Constitution as an extension to the right to a healthy environment.

The first two amendments will be introduced in more detail in the third section of this report along with case law on the right to vote and electoral disputes as well as the monumental decision of the Constitutional Court (CC) that upheld the abolition of the so-called “Mečiar’s amnesties.” This contribution further reports on the decision I. ÚS 575/2016 in the Constitutional Court Appointments Case, which ultimately lead to the resolution of a long-drawn conflict between the President and the CC, and the NaCO over the appointments of constitutional judges. The CC, therefore, celebrated the end of the year 2017 in full composition after a long while. But even incomplete, the CC decided seven judicial review cases on merits, out of 17 challenges to statutes, and struck down statutory provisions in two cases. The Court also found a violation of the fundamental right to a hearing without undue delay and the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time in 289 constitutional complaint cases.

The next section starts with a review of the state of liberal democracy in Slovakia gauged by the aggregate results in various democracy indices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationI·CONnect-Clough Center 2017 Global Review of Constitutional Law
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-692-15916-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 231252997