Senators should elect three more candidates for constitutional judges during December and January.
After the case of Robert Fremr, whose nomination they supported, but after a few weeks it became clear that the judge had participated in the sentencing of emigrants from Czechoslovakia in the 1980s, lawmakers began to be more cautious in deciding on new constitutional judges.
And they would like to know the rationale for the choice from the Office of the President of the Republic (KPR), which sends the proposals.
In October, the senate committees and the plenum rejected Supreme Court judge Pavel Simon, now the senators are looking for information on the other three proposed candidates.
A surprising candidate
Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (ODS) and President Petr Pavel agreed on Thursday that in the future the candidates could include experts on criminal and EU law.
However, part of the senators complain that the Castle does not give them much justification for their choice. Actually not at all. This was evident in the case of the last candidate, Milan Hulmák, whose nomination the Senate should discuss in January.
“The last candidate surprised me. He is from a large law firm that works for Prague or large companies, so there may be a conflict of interest. From the side of the Castle, the reasons for his nomination are not stated at all,” said member of the constitutional and legal committee, senator Hana Kordová Marvanová (non-party for KDU-ČSL, ODS and TOP 09).
She told Seznam Zprávám that she was expecting other names, behind which there is publishing activity or other work. He said he does not know the reason for the nomination from the presidential office. “The president goes to the plenum to defend proposals. Mr. Lebeda goes to the committee behind his office, but he doesn’t talk about the nominations there.”
The editors wanted to ask Tomáš Lebeda, the director of the internal political department of the KPR, about the justification of the candidates. He didn’t pick up the phone, he still hasn’t answered the SMS question.
Nominations that stuck
Not all nominations for constitutional judges from President Petr Pavel’s workshop went smoothly. The senators rejected Pavel Simon, after criticism of his professional history, Robert Fremr gave up his candidacy, although he narrowly passed the Senate.
“The result cannot be predicted”
The aforementioned Milan Hulmák previously worked for the Havel & Partners law firm, and is currently still a partner of the Havel & Partners Academy.
The law firm is one of the largest in the Czech Republic – its sales last year exceeded one billion crowns. Among the clients are the richest Czechs and Slovaks, but also public administration bodies, which they often represent in proceedings with the antimonopoly office and before the courts.
One of the partners of the office is the husband of the unsuccessful presidential candidate Danuša Nerudová.
The senator and member of the constitutional and legal committee Jan Holásek (not in the SEN21 and Pirates club) will probably abstain from the vote on Hulmák. He met Hulmák at work in the aforementioned office. He was its founding partner, the office was then called Havel, Holásek & Partners. He left her in 2017.
“The result of the vote cannot be predicted yet. In the case of Mr. Hulmák, I really assume that I will stay,” he confirmed in an SMS to Seznam Zprávám.
Interview with the President’s Advisor
President Petr Pavel lamented that the senators are stricter on his candidates than before. Jan Kysela, Pavlo’s advisor and constitutional lawyer, spoke about the method of candidate selection in the Ptám se ja ja podcast.
Hulmák is a member of the working committee of the Legislative Council of the Government for private law, participated as an expert in arbitration proceedings and works as a lecturer at the Czech and Slovak Judicial Academy.
He is the author of the publication Concluding Contracts in Civil Law, co-author of commentaries on the Civil Code and author or co-author of a number of other professional publications and articles in the field of private law.
At their meeting scheduled for December 14, the senators should approve two candidates for constitutional judges – they will discuss the nominations of lawyer Lucie Dolanská Banyaiová and judge Zdeňko Kühn of the Supreme Administrative Court. The Constitutional-Legal Committee will discuss their nomination a day earlier, on December 13. The Senate will deal with Hulmák’s nomination only in January.