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News > Press Releases 2019 > The reaction of the Czech Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová on the attempts of the President to interfere with the independence of the judiciary

The reaction of the Czech Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová on the attempts of the President to interfere with the independence of the judiciary

06. 02. 2019

The former President of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic, Josef Baxa, recently informed the public about attempts of the President Miloš Zeman to influence the decision-making of the above mentioned court. Josef Baxa gave an interview to Deník N in which he stated, among other things: "Subsequently he (the President) started to namet the list of my so-called sins, meaning specific court decisions he did not like. ... And when I opposed that the judges are independent and so on he repeatedly responded by saying: You are the boss, you have to arrange it."

The Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová decided to react on this disturbing information by a statement: "It is always necessary to stand up against the efforts of the executive power to interfere with the independence of the courts. I therefore very much appreciate the openness with which JUDr. Josef Baxa spoke about his experiences and informed the public about the hidden pressure some judges are exposed to. It is the key role of the presidents of the courts to resist such pressure and protect individual judges from interference with their independence. Independent courts are one of the cornerstones of a democratic state governed by the rule of law."

Equally disturbing information was given by the statement of the judge of the Constitutional Court Vojtech Šimíček for the weekly Respekt.

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