On 6th April 2017, the President of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic, Ms. Daniela Švecová, has received the ambassador of the French Republic H.E. Christophe Léonzi, who begun his mission in Slovakia in September 2016 and visited the Slovak Supreme Court for the first time.
The French ambassador was interested in the operation of the Supreme Court and changes that await. He mentioned possible topics, which the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic and the Court of Cassation of the French Republic could cooperate on in the future. These include cooperation in the EU, openness of the judiciary to the public, fight against corruption and closer relations between judges and the presidents of the colleges. Christophe Léonzi commended Slovakia for a very positive cooperation during the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, especially in the agenda of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). He pointed out that the EU is based on common values enshrined in the rule of law and it is necessary that the EU members help each other to defend these values against other political forces.
President of the Slovak Supreme Court explained the ambassador the structure of the Supreme Court, which is significantly different from the French system – mostly in administrative matters. In France, the Council of the State (Conseil d´Etat) is separated from the Court of Cassation and fulfils an advisory role to the government on the qualities of laws as well as the function of the highest court for administrative matters. The ambassador added that the institution is based on the ideals of the French Revolution and that it was reformed into more modern form by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Another topic was the issue of transparency and corruption. Christophe Léonzi acknowledged that France has similar problems and is interested what the Slovak Supreme Court intends to do about it and whether there will be some reforms. Daniela Švecová mentioned that a major reform has already taken place – the separation of the office of President of the Supreme Court from the office of the President of the Judicial Council and their competencies. Judicial power is, therefore, not concentrated in the hands of one person. In addition, currently a lot of attention is paid to streamlining the Slovak Supreme Court on the technical side and to solve the issue of having a permanent seat of the Supreme Court.
At the conclusion of the meeting, H.E. Christophe Léonzi confirmed interest in arranging a meeting between the President of the Slovak Supreme Court Daniela Švecová and the President of the French Court of Cassation, Bertrand Louvel.
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