Publication details

Přinesla „Pospíšilova“ reforma kárného řízení skutečně zpřísnění kárného postihu českých soudců?

Title in English Has "Pospíšil's" Reform of Disciplining Judges Really Led to Harsher Disciplinary Sanctions?


Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Časopis pro právní vědu a praxi
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Open access časopisu
Field Law sciences
Keywords courts; Judges; Disciplinary Proceedings; Independence of Judges; Judicial Reform
Attached files
Description The aim of this article is to assess consequences of the introduction of a new model of disciplining judges proposed by the Minister of Justice Jiří Pospíšil and his allies in 2008. The so-called "Pospíšil's reform" (Law no. 314/2008 Coll.) transferred disciplinary trials with judges to the Supreme Administrative Court, introduced single-instance disciplinary proceedings with judges, established mixed composition of disciplinary panels with a parity of judges and non-judges, and in many aspects tightened disciplinary proceedings (e.g. by allowing harsher sanctions, extending subjective as well as objective time limits for initiating the disciplinary motion, and establishing the “three strikes” principle). In the Czech context it was a revolutionary change. Not surprisingly, judges immediately challenged Pospíšil's reform before the Czech Constitutional Court (CCC). However, the CCC rejected their arguments and thus Pospíšil's model has prevailed until today. That allows us to ask the following research question: Has Pospíšil's reform met the expectations of the drafters and led to harsher disciplinary sanctions of Czech judges? To answer this question we employ the “before/after” research design and compare the results of disciplinary motions with judges initiated before Pospíšil’s reform (between 2003 and 2008) with the results of disciplinary motions initiated after Pospíšil’s reform (between 2009 and 2014). The main conclusion of our quantitative study is that, contrary to the expectations of the drafters, Pospíšil’s reform has not (regarding almost all indicators) tightened disciplining of Czech judges in the medium term. Most importantly, after the implementation of Pospíšil’s reform the number of disciplinary motions declined, the number of successful disciplinary motions (i.e. the motions that led to a disciplinary punishment) decreased nominally as well as proportionally, and the number of judges who were forced to leave the judiciary (i.e. the total number of judges who were either recalled by a disciplinary panel or resigned after the disciplinary motion had been initiated against them) dropped as well.

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