The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Marks Constitution Day


One of the authors of the Constitution and former Constitutional Court Judge Tone Jerovšek said that the document was still good in general, while some things should be changed, including the way the government is formed, the position of the Constitutional Court, judges' life-long tenure, electoral system and referendum regulations.

Jerovšek believes that the top court should be able to decide on its own which cases it would take, while judges would still get a life-long tenure, but after a trial period. "Nobody can say that they were born to be a judge," he noted.

Former Constitutional Judge Dragica Wedam Lukić also believes that major changes to the Constitution are not needed. However, like Jerovšek, she believes that the powers of the Constitutional Court should be altered.

Their belief was echoed by Constitutional Court President Ernest Petrič, who said that such "change would allow us to deal with between 100 and 200 cases that are really important, instead of taking on around 2,000 cases per year".

He added that referendum rules should be changed, as Slovenia has lax regulation of referenda in regards to other countries. While it can easily be requested, "only several percent of people can turn out, but their decision will be binding to everybody".

Jerovšek agrees with changes to referendum rules proposed by the parliamentary Constitutional Commission. The commission proposed that at least 25% of all eligible voters need to vote against a law in a referendum for it law to be rejected.

He moreover said that changes to electoral system should be deliberated - whether to keep the proportional system or introduce the majority system. "Otherwise, the Slovenian society will persist on opposite banks, and this completely blocks decision-making."

Slovenia has observed Constitution Day on 23 December since 1997, when the Constitutional Court declared it a non-bank holiday.

The holiday falls on the day Slovenia's Constitution was passed and stepped into force in 1991, paving the ground for a new parliamentary democratic system in the newly-independent country. Since then the Constitution had been amended seven times.


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