The Slovenia Times

Lawyer Rok Čeferin appointed Constitutional Court judge


Čeferin has already been sworn in. He said the appointment was a great honour but also a big responsibility. "I try to justify it by consistently advocating the protection of the constitution and the human rights which are written in it."

Čeferin, 55, is the older brother of UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and works for the law firm founded by their father Peter Čeferin in 1967.

While not as present in the media as his brother and father, he lectures media law at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana and has made a name for himself in professional circles as a theoretician of law. He holds a PhD from the Ljubljana Faculty of Law.

Čeferin is seen as qualified for the job, but some conservatives have raised concern in the run-up to the appointment arguing that the Čeferin family risked becoming too powerful in the legal circles.

The head of the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC), Igor Zorčič, said today "such questions are not unimportant, but there are mechanisms which provide for unbiased decisions".

The coalition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) believes Čeferin being an expert on media law is welcome at a time when hate speech is penetrating all walks of life. Deputy group leader Maša Kociper said the fact that he could not be linked to any political party was also an asset.

On the other hand, the opposition Democrats (SDS) believe some of Čeferin's statements have showed that by reinterpreting the article about the freedom of speech, he could undermine Slovenia's democratic order.

Čeferin is the second Constitutional Court judge to come from his father's law firm; Špelca Mežnar worked there briefly before being appointed to the court. Slovenia's judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Marko Bošnjak, is also a Čeferin Law Firm luminary.

In his public presentation last week, Čeferin stressed that human rights law should be adjusted to social changes.

This was seen by many as an indication that he may side with those who advocate the need to curb hate speech rather than with the advocates of absolute freedom of speech.

A free flow of information regarding any topic which is in the public interest must be secured, but inciting hate, violence and intolerance towards certain underprivileged groups can be dangerous, he said.

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

Čeferin also said last week the protection of human rights at a time of fast digital technology development would be one of the challenges for the Constitutional Court.


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