Brno, June 20 (CTK) – Efforts to blur the border between executive and court powers starts to appear in Europe, which is a dangerous trend, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said when opening a legal conference today.
He said political pressure put on courts, or even their subordination to the executive power are incompatible with democracy and the rule of law.
He did not specify any country where he can see this trend.
Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland also said a number of attempts to attack the role of courts can be seen in Europe.
The conference on the binding character of court decisions is one of the major events staged within the Czech presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.
The Czech Republic focuses on the rights of minorities and fighting corruption.
“However, the main point remains the same: we want to work on topics that are connected with the development of democracy and the rule of law,” Sobotka said.
Jagland also stressed the importance of an independent judiciary.
Corruption and abuse of power are rampant where the judiciary is not operable, which can produce unrest, conflicts and wars, he said.
Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) said the Czech Republic is not one of the countries where executive power interferes in the courts’ free decision-making.
He said possible tension between the executive power and the judiciary from time to time is part of the normal functioning of any state.
“The existence of the tension actually shows that both parts are sufficiently self-confident, that they are ready to defend their position, it shows that the relationship is sound,” Pelikan said.
Pavel Samal, chairman of the Supreme Court, said the role of courts and the executive power is balanced.
He said, however, that the Czech Republic has not yet heeded the CE’s recommendation concerning the independence of the judiciary as a whole.
Jagland pointed out the CE recommendation, according to which every country should have a supreme judiciary council.
The tops of the Czech judiciary have been calling for a certain form of the judiciary’s self-rule, but Pelikan takes a reserved stance on the idea.