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Slovenia: GRECO considers whether parliamentary inquiry into judiciary interferes with separation of powers

Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) Strasbourg 18 February 2020
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Slovenia: GRECO considers whether parliamentary inquiry into judiciary interferes with separation of powers

In a new ad hoc report on Slovenia the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption group GRECO did not rule out that parliamentary inquiries, if directed towards the judiciary in ongoing individual cases, may potentially interfere with the separation of powers and respect for judicial independence. However, GRECO said it would only be able to fully assess at a later stage whether there had been a breach of the Council of Europe anti-corruption standards. (see the Slovenian and French versions of the report)

GRECO launched an ad hoc evaluation procedure in respect of Slovenia in June 2019, following the information it received about possible political interference by the legislative branch in respect of public officials, prosecutors and judges in Slovenia. The issue at stake was the request by the National Council of Slovenia to the National Assembly (Parliament) to establish a parliamentary inquiry regarding judicial proceedings against a politician (a member of the National Council of Slovenia and former mayor). The proceedings are still pending; in November 2019 the Constitutional Court has put on hold the implementation of the parliamentary inquiry.

GRECO cannot intervene in individual cases; its consideration is therefore limited to the question of whether the use of a parliamentary inquiry is evidence that the judiciary and/or other elements of the justice system is subject to, or open to, political interference.


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