we would like to inform you that in accordance to Act from July 15th 2020 amending Act no. 153/2001 Coll. on the Prosecutor’s Office, as amended and which amends certain laws (hereinafter referred to as the “Act on the Prosecutor’s Office“).
The deputies of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as “the National Council“) discussed and approved an amendment to the Act on the Prosecutor’s Office at the ninth meeting, which was also the last for the summer break. The following may be newly appointed Prosecutor General of the Slovak Republic:
- a citizen of the Slovak Republic who is eligible for election to the National Council of the Slovak Republic
- has reached the age of 40
- has a second-degree university degree in law
- has been active in the legal profession for at least 15 years
- has clean criminal record,
- his moral qualities and life so far guarantee that he will perform the function of Attorney General properly and honestly.
With this amendment, the deputies opened the possibility to run for the post of Attorney General also as a “non-prosecutor”, so the new Attorney General can be anyone who, among other conditions, has at least 15 years of experience in the legal profession.
Candidate can be nominated for the post of Attorney General by:
- Member of the National Council, Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic
- the Ombudsman
- Council of Prosecutors of the Slovak Republic
- professional organization of lawyers
The proposal for the election of candidates for the post of Attorney General must be substantiated and must be accompanied by a letter of motivation and a concept of management and further development of the Prosecutor’s Office prepared by the person nominated for the post of Prosecutor General. If a person who is not a prosecutor at the time of his appointment is appointed as Prosecutor General, he or she becomes the Prosecutor of the General Prosecutor’s Office on the day of taking the oath.
The legislator has introduced new conditions on the basis of which the President of the Slovak Republic may dismiss the Attorney General at the proposal of the National Council of the Slovak Republic:
- was limited by legal capacity by a valid court decision
- he has ceased to perform his duties properly, honestly, independently or impartially. (The legislator does not specify what we should imagine under these terms, which creates space for a certain arbitrariness)
The Act on the Prosecutor’s Office was to enter into force on the day of its promulgation; the President of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as the “President”) returned it to the National Council of the Slovak Republic for renegotiation. The President does not agree that the National Council should be able to dismiss the Attorney General if he or she ceases to perform his or her duties properly and honestly. The dismissal itself on the basis of the condition of loss of “honesty” may lead to the abuse of the possibility of dismissing the Attorney General in case he ceases to comply with the currently ruling political party and thus increases his dependence on the National Council. The President therefore considers the provisions of the Prosecutor’s Office Act dealing with the conditions of the Prosecutor General’s dismissal to be unconstitutional.
It is assumed that the National Council of the Slovak Republic will break the veto of the President and the law will thus enter into force unchanged. The President has already announced in advance that in such a case she will challenge the law in the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic.