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Slovak Judiciary as Seen by the Public, Experts, and Judges

Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) carried out a research project Slovak Judiciary as Seen by the Public, Experts, and Judges. The aim of the project is to map opinions of the general public, experts and judges about problems of the Slovak justice system, their causes and potential solutions. Within the project a number of opinion surveys of citizens on a representative sample of the population and opinion surveys of experts and judges in two specially designed panels, are realized.

In June 2012, a survey on the credibility of the institutions of the Slovak constitutional system was conducted. The survey also included questions about the prospective future developments and trends in justice, as well as two other current issues in Slovak judiciary. Institute for Public Affairs also formed a panel of experts and panel of judges, who were answered the same questions as general public.

Results of the fourth survey (summer 2012)

Two particular results are stated in Table 1 and Table 2.
Full results were published in the Press release (PDF, in Slovak).

Table 1
The credibility of institutions in the justice system among citizens, experts and judges (% trust: distrust %)

Public Experts Judges
Constitutional Court of SR 43:49 33:67 51:49
Supreme Court of SR 37:54 12:88 42:58
Judiciary (as a whole) 28:67 29:71 58:39

Source: Institute for Public Affairs, June-July 2012.
Note: the remainder of the 100% comprises the answer „I do not know“.


Table 2

In your opinion, how will the situation in Slovak judiciary change over the next year or two? (in %)

Public Experts Judges
It will improve 12 13 29
It will remain the same 46 33 26
It will worsen 35 54 45
do not know 7 - -

Source: Institute for Public Affairs, June-July 2012.

***

Press release, SITA press agency, 20.07.2012

IVO Survey Shows Public Distrusts Judicial Institutions in Slovakia

BRATISLAVA, July 20, (SITA) -- Distrust in judicial institutions still prevails among the people in Slovakia. This was confirmed by the June survey of the agency Focus, published by the think tank Institute for Public Affairs. The Constitutional Court has the trust (complete or more trust than distrust) of 43 percent of respondents, while 49 percent of respondents did not trust it (entirely, and more distrust than trust). The Supreme Court is trusted by 37 percent of survey participants, while 54 percent of respondents did not trust it. "It was again confirmed that in particular general courts suffer from a deficit of confidence in Slovakia," states the IVO report prepared by Grigory Meseznikov, Olga Gyarfasova and Jan Bartos. In June general courts were considered trustworthy by only 28 percent of respondents in contrast to 67 percent who distrust them. The survey was conducted on a representative sample of 1,026 respondents from the population of Slovakia older than 18. Focus collected the data in personal interviews from June 5 to June 11. Compared with the results of a survey in October 2011, confidence increased in the Constitutional Court (from 37 percent to 43 percent) and confidence increased by two percentage points in the Supreme Court and in general courts.

***

Press release, TASR press agency, 20.07.2012

Distrust in Courts Pervasive in Slovak Society

Bratislava, July 20 (TASR) - The Slovak Constitutional Court is trusted or relatively trusted by 43 percent and distrusted by 49 percent of respondents according to a poll carried out by the FOCUS agency for the Public Affairs Institute (IVO) in June.

The results published on Friday show that the Supreme Court only evokes confidence among 37 percent of the 1,026 respondents with 54 percent expressing distrust.

The lower-level courts in general seem to be the least trusted, however, with only 28 percent believing in their abilities to mete out justice but 67 percent giving a thumbs down.

Compared to the figures from October 2011, the Constitutional Court's trustworthiness is up by 6 percent. Supreme Court and general courts also saw a slight improvement - equalling 2 percent – in both cases.

Only 17 percent of the respondents view the prospects in the sphere of the justice and judiciary to be rosy, expecting an improvement. On the other hand, 44 percent don't anticipate any change and 35 percent foresee negative development. As many as four percent couldn't answer the question.
 



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