4. 3. 2024

Full House - Constitutional Court Finally Complete

Constitutional Court, the highest instance for the protection of constitutionality and fundamental human rights, is composed of 15 judges. According to the Czech constitution, these judges are appointed for a term of 10 years by the President of the Republic with the consent of the Senate, the upper chamber of Parliament.

In practice, the President submits to the Senate his proposals for judges, and the Senate votes on these candidates. So the selection of candidates for judges of the Constitutional Court depends on both the person of the President of the Republic and the current composition of the Senate and the judges of the Constitutional Court reflect to some extent certain political positions of those involved in their appointment. The current President of the Republic, Petr Pavel, after taking office in March 2023, has already appointed eight new judges, including the President of the Constitutional Court. He had a significant influence on the composition of the court.

At the moment, the Constitutional Court is complete. Nevertheless, in the course of 2024, the terms of office of three more judges will expire and need to be replaced. In 2025, two more Constitutional Court judges will have to be appointed. In order to select individual candidates, President Petr Pavel has set up an advisory team to help him nominate suitable candidates.

Not all of the candidates selected by the President are subsequently approved by the Senate, or their approval is hotly debated. The Senate, for example, agreed about a candidate who, before the 1989 revolution, was a member of the Communist Party and, as a judge of a general court, was involved in one of the cases manipulated by the state security service. This candidate, although approved by the Senate, decided to withdraw his candidacy. The Senate did not approve the appointment of a candidate who, among other things, in addition to his activities as a judge of the general court, was conducting healing activities according to Chinese methods. Senators found that this activity is a business that is incompatible with the performance of the function of a judge of the Constitutional Court.

President Pavel undoubtedly has and will have a major influence on the current composition of the Constitutional Court and it will be interesting to see what direction his decision-making will take.


By JUDr. Ondřej Rathouský

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G&P Newsletter 1/2024(PDF)

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JUDr. Ondřej Rathouský

JUDr. Ondřej Rathouský

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