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The year 2018 started on a high note after the resolution of a prolonged inter-branch conflict between the President, the Constitutional Court (CC), and the National Council (NaCo) over the appointment of constitutional judges. President Andrej Kiska appointed judges Jana Laššáková, Mojmír Mamojka, and Miroslav Duriš to the Court late in December 2017, filling three vacancies that had opened up in 2014. With all 13 judges in place, the Court was finally able to start working at the full capacity.

The resolution of the conflict in the CC Appointments Case carried a promise of improved relations between political branches of power, which was necessary in order to change the Constitution in time for the next CC appointments due in mid-February 2019. The Ministry of Justice initiated the drafting and consultation of an amendment to fix the selection and appointment mechanism for constitutional judges in the summer, ostensibly to make good on its promise in the Programme Proclamation of the Government. The government proposal was submitted to the National Council (NaCo) after several months of public debate and critique, but efforts to change the Constitution failed after a dramatic late-night session in the NaCo, in late autumn. The selection and appointment mechanism did not change, and due to the failure, the relationship between President Kiska and the government coalition further deteriorated. Since the key constitutional moment of the year failed to deliver, we focus on the development of sub-constitutional rules governing the selection and appointment of constitutional judges. Changes to legislation still had an impact on the upcoming selection round, and we will review them in the next section.

At the time of writing of this report, the CC has not yet published its annual statistics for the year 2018. However, the available data for the first six months provides us with a rough measure to estimate the judicial output of the Court for the whole year. The Court received 1 332 petitions (constitutional complaints and judicial review petitions combined) in the first half of 2018 and addressed 1 469 cases. These cases include all pending litigation, which kept accumulating during the time that the Court had been incomplete. A single judge decided 113 cases on average, with most of the cases being constitutional complaints that are handled by one of the four three-member Senates. The Plenum decided six cases of review of litigation on merits. Three of the decisions found a statute in part or wholly contrary to, and one in conformity with the Constitution. We review some of the cases, which may be interesting to a global audience in the third section. The report concludes with two observations on the future development of the Slovak constitutional law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationI·CONnect-Clough Center 2018 Global Review of Constitutional Law
EditorsRichard Albert, David Landau, Pietro Faraguna, Šimon Drugda
Number of pages5
PublisherClough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College
Publication date2019
ISBN (Electronic)9780692159163
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 231252818