Constitutional Court in 2000: the commission of inquiry cannot question judges

The chairman of the parliamentary commission in the Kangler case, Dejan Kaloh (SDS), in response to the Constitutional Court’s finding that the parliamentary inquiry law and the rules of procedure of the parliamentary inquiry were unconstitutional, noted that in 2000 the Constitutional Court ruled otherwise. This is not true, as it already established at that time that the parliamentary commission of inquiry does not have to question judges regarding the legality of individual court decisions.

STA

The commission of inquiry into the Kangler case is currently chaired by SDS MP Dejan Kaloh.

The government of Janez Janša has appointed former Maribor mayor Franc Kangler as state secretary at the Ministry of the Interior.

The commission of inquiry is examining the political responsibility of those involved in the prosecution of the former mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler, who was in a number of pre-trial and criminal proceedings but was not convicted in the end. The members of the commission wanted to interrogate prosecutors and judges, among other things.

The Constitutional Court announced on Wednesday that the law on parliamentary inquiry and the rules of procedure on parliamentary inquiry are inconsistent with the constitution. At the same time, it annulled the act ordering a parliamentary inquiry into the Franc Kangler case, in so far as it concerned the assessment of the correctness of specific judicial decisions and the determination of the responsibility of judges for decisions in proceedings.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry Dejan Kaloh | (SDS), in response to the Constitutional Court’s finding that the Parliamentary Inquiry Act and the Rules of Procedure of the Parliamentary Inquiry were unconstitutional, drew attention to a 2000 Constitutional Court decision stating that the Act and the Rules of Procedure were not unconstitutional. According to him, the Constitutional Court allegedly overturned its own case law, but this is not true.

The commission of inquiry must not interfere with the principle of separation of powers

A review of the constitutionality of the said law and rules of procedure was proposed to the court in 2000 by former judges in the bankruptcy proceedings concerning the company Elan and witnesses in the then parliamentary investigation on the suspicion of abuse of public authority in the operations of this company Vojko Pintar in Anton Šubic.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the law and the rules of procedure on parliamentary inquiry are not inconsistent with the Constitution, but noted that the commission of inquiry must not interfere with the principle of separation of powers. “The subject of a parliamentary inquiry cannot be the legality and appropriateness of individual court decisions and court proceedings, and judges cannot be heard in parliamentary proceedings on issues that have been the subject of a court decision,” the findings of the Constitutional Court were reported on 26 June 2000 by the Slovenian Press Agency.

As the Constitutional Court emphasized in a press release at the time, the essential finding is that the parliamentary inquiry procedure is not judicial, and therefore not a criminal or “quasi” criminal procedure.

The investigative power of the parliament serves as an aid in the exercise of the legislative function, and its weight in the parliamentary democracy, according to the Constitutional Court, is in clarifying the events in the field of government responsibility.

The hearing of judges in 2019 prevented the Constitutional Court

According to the 2000 decision of the Constitutional Court, to which Kaloh refers, it is also unusual for him to find that the parliamentary inquiry was carried out from the outset within the limits of constitutional powers and the powers of the commission of inquiry. Namely, the interrogation of judges and prosecutors was prevented by the Constitutional Commission by a temporary decision at the end of 2019.

The initiative for the constitutional review was given by the Attorney General Drago Šketa, the Supreme State Prosecutor ‘s Office and the Supreme Court.
The commission of inquiry was then headed by the then SDS deputy Jean Mahnic, who is currently employed as Secretary of State for National Security in the Prime Minister’s Office. According to the SDS, the powers of the chairman of the commission of inquiry also include equating constitutional judges with the mafia, when the party does not like the decisions of the highest Slovenian court. “The mafia protected the mafia,” Mahnič commented on the temporary ban on hearing judges in November 2019.


Source: Svet24.si by novice.svet24.si.

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