President will insist on his plan to nominate candidate for Chief Justice

NEWS 24.02.2021 19:14
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zoran milanović
Source: Josip Regovic/PIXSELL

President Zoran Milanovic will not draw back from his constitutional right to nominate Supreme Court President and that will be someone who is willing to introduce changes in the judiciary with which a large portion of citizens are dissatisfied with, a source in the president's office said.

The president’s team said that there is no need to rush because the incumbent chief justice’s term does not end until July. Nevertheless, they said, the nomination will be made in a timely manner so that it can be on the parliament’s agenda in June at the latest.

Apart from speaking with officials in HDZ and SDP, Milanovic will also discuss the matter with other political groups, such as minority representatives, the same source said.

If the parliament wishes to endorse the president’s proposal for the candidate who will be ready to introduce changes in the judicial system, it will vote for that nomination. Otherwise, the legislature will show that it prefers to preserve status quo, he added.

He also denied claims by the ruling majority that the president cannot recommend someone who did not apply when the position was publicly advertised by the State Judicial Council (DSV), which in this case only has the role of acting as a postman.

It is unacceptable that the body that selects and dismisses judges has been authorised by law to only forward candidatures to the Office of the President, the source said, adding the president will exercise his constitutional right while any other approach leads to a standstill.

Even though they are aware of the legislative vagueness and inconsistency with the Constitution, the president’s team said that they had not consulted with the Constitutional Court because Milanovic’s predecessors waited for years for a response from the court.

The president’s office considers comments that Milanovic’s candidate should send an application to the DSV are hypocritical. They claim the candidate’s name will not be leaked to the public before an official recommendation has been made to the parliament.

However, they suggested that it would be desirable that the candidate does not come from the judiciary and that they are willing to introduce changes and, with the protection of judges, launch disciplinary procedures against those who are not doing their job well.

Three candidates applied to the position of Supreme Court Chief Justice advertised by the the DSV  – the incumbent chief justice Djuro Sessa, and two Zagreb attorneys, Lidija Horvat and Sime Savic.

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