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Deskoska: We must introduce accountability and responsibility

We have to introduce accountability and responsibility into our judiciary. A corrupt judge does more harm than good for everyone involved, Justice Minister Renata Deskoska told Kanal 5 TV's "Only Interview" on Friday evening.

Skopje, 22 November 2019 (MIA) – We have to introduce accountability and responsibility into our judiciary. A corrupt judge does more harm than good for everyone involved, Justice Minister Renata Deskoska told Kanal 5 TV’s “Only Interview” on Friday evening.

Vetting is not an easy process, and it should be done transparently and professionally, according to Minister Deskoska.

“Unless they change on their own,” she said, “and unless they start working correctly—the Judicial Council, the Council of Judges and Prosecutors—we’ll have to find ways to introduce accountability and responsibility into the judiciary. 

“We gave them all the mechanisms that exist in the EU for them to implement. If they don’t respond, then we’ll have to take extraordinary measures,” Deskoska said.

Vetting is one of these extraordinary measures, and it would put judges through a thorough check (of their connections, influences, property, etc.), which “isn’t an easy procedure,” she said.

In Albania, she added, some judges resigned when they were faced with the challenge of vetting.

“A corrupt judge harms everyone involved,” Deskoska said. “We’re better off with 100 or 200 decent ones than 300 judges who do more harm than good.

“We need a process everyone believes is done transparently, professionally.

“I propose that the vetting committee include European representatives, so people keep trusting the process.”

The legal system and the rule of law are being tested through each trial in the country’s courts, which, together with the prosecution, hold in their hands the country’s European fate. 

“Without meddling into their business,” she added, “the courts and the prosecution should be interested only in the law and the facts.” 

Deskoska also pointed out that the Ministry of Justice has developed an excellent legal framework for an independent judiciary and prosecution, and now it was the court system’s turn to implement these laws. 

“The responsibility for our future progress toward the EU is now in the hands of courts and public prosecutors, and they need to be aware of this.

“It’s a historic responsibility they hold in their hands, and they will either decide for us to continue forward into the EU, or they’ll gamble away this chance.” mr/

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