Protests expressing disagreement with the court map also took place in several other Slovak cities. The Ministry is holding controversial proceedings on fundamental comments on the new court map raised by regional and district courts. The protesters expressed disagreement with the sounds of rapkas, trumpets or banners with inscriptions such as Stop the court map or Enough was ignored.
They called on the Minister of Justice, Maria Kolíková, to resign. “The statements that the second draft of the court map was based on the comments made against the first court map are untrue. Nothing has changed for the courts in the Bratislava Regional Court. The second draft is identical to the first and represents the annulment of the Bratislava Regional Court. political decisions, are not a solution to problems in the judiciary or an acceptance of our comments, “ Viera Habová, Vice-President of the Trade Union of the Bratislava Regional Court, announced. “We believe that judicial reform needs to be addressed by modernizing the courts, replacing computers, improving systems. These are obstacles to the speed, modernization and development of the judiciary. We ask you to withdraw the entire court map.” she added.
The claims that the courts are currently not functioning effectively were rejected by the chairwoman of the trade union of employees of the Slovak judiciary, Ingrid Vrkočová. She recalled the amount of work of court staff and the lack of staff. “It’s hard work, a lot of things have to be decided within 24 hours, people swear at court employees,” she stated.
Judges and court staff also claim that disputes over dozens of comments have taken place shortly after their delivery to the MS. They are convinced that it was therefore not possible to be fully aware of the comments. “By being present in front of the MS building, judges and court staff want to express their disagreement with the ministry’s procedure in relation to the evaluation of the comments made on the draft new court map and ignoring the demands of courts, judges and staff of individual courts,” said Pavol Adamčiak, a spokesman for the Regional Court in Bratislava.
The reform of the court map presupposes the reorganization of regional and district courts as well as the establishment of municipal courts in Košice and Bratislava. The number of districts of district courts is to be reduced from 54 to 30. It also envisages the creation of three administrative courts.