Publication details

Nekonečný příběh Nejvyšší rady soudnictví: Kdo ji chce a proč ji pořád nemáme?

Title in English The Neverending Story of the Council for the Judiciary: Who Wants It and Why We Do Not Have It?


Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Časopis pro právní vědu a praxi
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Open access časopisu
Keywords Judicial Governance; Judicial Council; Courts; Judges; Ministry of Justice; Court Presidents; Separation ofPowers; Judicial Politics
Description Establishment of the judicial council has been debated for decades in Czechia. However, we still miss acomprehensive understanding of the positions and arguments of key actors involved in judicial governance: judges, politicians and lawyers. This article fills this gap and maps the existing arguments in favour and against ajudicial council. It poses three research questions: (1) Do elites support the establishment of ajudicial council and how do they justify their position? (2) What form of judicial governance do they perceive as ideal? (3) What are their expectations from the judicial council?Judges, politicians and lawyers identify the same two core challenges of the current system: The ministry of justice lacks the vision and capacity to govern the courts, and thus it informally delegates majority of its competences on court presidents. Too strong court presidents in turn make the system fragmented and endanger internal independence of rank-and-file judges. Elites however disagree whether the establishment of ajudicial council can solve these issues. Majority of judges support the judicial council and hope for the unification of judicial governance across the country. Some politicians are willing to accept aweak model of judicial council if the ministry of justice can still determine the contours of judicial governance. At the same time, politicians consider the current fragmented system of judicial governance as more resistant against the capture of the judiciary. Lawyers see judicial council as arisky model which might encapsulate the judiciary. The key solution of the current problems, according to lawyers, rests in the reform of legal education and enhancing the quality of the judicial decision-making. Unfortunately, the neither recent policy debates nor the pending bills on the Law on Courts and Judges have addressed the key challenges raised by our interviewees.
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