Declaration of the initiative For Open Judiciary on the disciplinary procedure against Miroslav Gavalec

In January 2010 upon the motion of JUDr. Stefan Harabin, President of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic, a disciplinary procedure started against JUDr. Ing. Miroslav Gavalec, Judge and Chairman of the Administrative Senate of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic, for alleged not fulfilment of his obligations of a judge to be trained, with the proposed penalty of removal to a lower level court.

The Judge Miroslav Gavalec belongs to known critics of Stefan Harabin and relationships in judiciary, he is the member of the judicial council of the Supreme Court, he was one of the spokesmen of the group of judges who in September 2009 issued the Analysis of Current Situation in Judiciary and he is also one of the spokesmen of the independent judicial initiative For Open Judiciary established in March 2010 and he critically speaks mainly about activities of the Judicial Council headed by Stefan Harabin.

 

With the group of judges who protested against the disciplinary procedure of Judge Gavalec (and also 13 more judges) the civic association Via Juris spoke out and they considered the disciplinary motion for clearing accounts between Stefan Harabin and his critics, they also accentuated the superior knowledge of law Miroslav Gavalec proved as the judge and his decisions referring to international legal standards were recommended to law students.

Stefan Harabin in his motion of 6 August 2010 modified his motion for imposed penalty and instead of the originally proposed penalty he proposed the strictest penalty for Miroslav Gavalec penalty of removal from judicial position. He has not changed legal qualification of the accused action and he did not widen accusation by any other action. In his motion he stated that “Miroslav Gavalec also after filed disciplinary motion continued his politically motivated activities, for instance declaration to suspended sickness bonus for the judge Marta Laukova, call to the Members of the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic and the Court Chairmen and he used ungrounded, demagogic and untrue statements. He also charged Judge Gavalec that “this unobjective view not corresponding to reality on the situation in judiciary was taken also by politicians, among them by the Minister of Finance who influences financial policy related to judiciary, and the whole judiciary  pays for this situation. Miroslav Gavalec does not wish to understand that a judge is bound by laws and also by Codes of Ethics.“

Stefan Harabin in the disciplinary motion against Miroslav Gavalec accused him for insufficient knowledge of law. He himself does not know and does not respect provisions of the Act on Judges according to which a judge must not be disadvantaged for his opinions and positions of a judge and member of a judicial council, and provisions that guarantee the right of judges to associate in judicial organisations with the aim to protect rights of judges and their independence. He disciplinary prosecutes Miroslav Gavalec for expressed opinions on relationships in judiciary and the head representatives and for his activities as one of the members of the judicial initiative For Open Judiciary. He accused him also for the opinions of the politicians, namely the Minister of Finance and the steps he wants to take in judiciary. It is symptomatic that Stefan Harabin proposed modification of the penalty to Judge Gavalec immediately after Judge Gavalec as the member of the judicial council of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic on 5 August 2010 expressed several negative comments on activities and judge Daniel Hudak in connection with his candidacy to selection procedure for the post of a judge of the Supreme Court. It is known that Daniel Hudak is a person very close to Stefan Harabin who uses all means to pass Daniel Hudak after termination of his position of the vice minister at the Ministry of Justice to the judicial position directly at the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic.

Stefan Harabin wilfully adopted the power to decide, which statements on judiciary are true and objective and which are not, and misusing his powers of the Minister of Justice and the President of the Supreme Court, he prosecuted and punished critical judges for expressed opinions such as Miroslav Gavalec, and also for instance Peter Paluda and Darina Kuchtova, and through Chairmen of the Courts also other judges, where he in his position of the Minister of Justice suspended their judicial positions. This also happened to the judges who did not criticised him but who were not willing to be influenced in their decisions.

Stefan Harabin refers to Codes of Ethics, but he is the most responsible for the loss of moral credit of judiciary, by his uncleared contacts to the underworld and misused power in judiciary. It was him who repeatedly and until now without punishment breached the laws and refused control of manipulation of the Supreme Court with public finances. Part of the judges and also the public are provoked also by unusually high financial means that were allocated from the public financial means for remunerations to persons close to Stefan Harabin and according to his current property statement also to himself in time when the courts have not had sufficient financial means for basic working means and the whole society was in crisis.

Bratislava 11 August 2010

Proxy signatories of the initiative:
Katarína Javorčíková; Ľudmila Babjaková; Juraj Babjak; Edita Szabová; Peter Paluda; Mária Tóthová;
Ján Hrubala; Elena Berthotyová; Igor Belko; Juraj Kliment; Zuzana Ďurišová; Peter Szabo; Peter Hatala; Milan Karabín; Jana Henčeková; Dáša Kontríková; Dušan Čimo; Magdaléna Škorpilová; Anton Jaček; Angela Balázsová

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