The Slovenia Times

Čeferin: Human rights law should be adjusted to social changes


This is why the protection of human rights at a time of fast digital technology development will be one of the future challenges of the Constitutional Court, he said.

Outlining his 30-year career as lawyer, Čeferin, 55, pointed to his doctoral thesis focussing on the boundaries of freedom of the press in the case law of the Slovenian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

Having completed his PhD, he wrote a book on freedom of the press, which caught the eye of journalism professors at the Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences, where he has now taught for the past five years.

Responding to the criticism he advocates exaggerated restrictions to the freedom of expression, Čeferin said the freedom of expression was one of the most important human rights and one of the fundamental prerequisites for a democracy.

This is why a free flow of information regarding any topic which is in the public interest must be secured. However, inciting hate, violence and intolerance towards certain underprivileged groups can be dangerous, he noted.

"The limit of hate speech is where argumented debate stops and where entire groups of people start to be insulted arbitrarily, not based on arguments."

Čeferin also finds it unacceptable for Constitutional Court rulings not to be implemented, saying the non-implementation violates the principle of the division of power.

Asked whether the Court should more often take substantive decisions as it did in the case of the Ankaran municipality, he warned this could lead to it assuming the role of a legislation.

In 2011, the Court ruled the National Assembly had failed to comply with the constitution by not setting up the municipality, and it formally established it itself.

"However, the law allows for such action in exceptional cases, so it is right the Constitutional Court should do it," the candidate noted.

Čeferin also commented on the Court ordering full state funding of private primary schools with state-approved curricula in 2014, which has not yet been implemented.

If the Court was to rule on the law which will implement the ruling which is still in the making, its decision should leave no doubt it is informed exclusively by legal arguments rather than any ideological ones.

Čeferin's nomination, made by President Pahor on Monday, will be discussed by the parliamentary Privileges and Credential Commission tomorrow.

If endorsed, it will be put to vote at the June plenary session of the National Assembly, which gets under way next week.

Čeferin is to replace Etelka Korpič-Horvat, whose nine-year term on the nine-member Court expires on 27 September.


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