• Sunday, 14 July 2024

Judicial Council on Mickoski’s statement: Judiciary is autonomous and independent, interference poses serious threat to democracy

Judicial Council on Mickoski’s statement: Judiciary is autonomous and independent, interference poses serious threat to democracy

Skopje, 17 May 2024 (MIA) - The judiciary is autonomous and independent. Any interference in judicial authority poses a serious threat to democracy, legal security, and the rule of law, the Judicial Council said in response to the statement by VMRO-DPMNE leader and future Prime Minister Hristijan Mickoski that their goal is to dissolve the Judicial Council and the judges and prosecutors to elect their representatives to the Council by a secret vote.

“The Judicial Council refrains from commenting on or evaluating pre-election programs and promises of any political party, as it is highly inappropriate. However, the Judicial Council emphasizes that the judiciary, as one of the three branches of power, and not a third power, is autonomous and independent. We do not use this fact as a phrase or a defensive mechanism. It must be clear, and everyone should be aware that any interference in the judiciary and, generally, in the judicial authority by any of the holders of the other two powers poses a serious threat to a democratic society, legal certainty, and the rule of law, as values, standards, and top priorities to which we, as a state, aspire on the path towards the EU,” the Judicial Council said.

The Judicial Council has acknowledged the existing challenges within the judiciary, and everything that is being perceived as shortcomings burdening the judiciary.

"We acknowledge the criticisms, but we are equally confident that the judiciary in the Republic of North Macedonia has the capacity to overcome the challenges without reforms and measures whose effects cannot be foreseen in advance. Reforms for the sake of reforms are unnecessary for anyone, and they will only set back the processes and activities that the Judicial Council is undertaking during this period, funded and supported by the international community through projects aimed at improving the conditions in the judiciary and are in an advanced stage. Only when politicians, who come and go from power, understand that the judicial authority is the pillar that remains steadfast, neither a puppet nor a tool for serving anyone's interests, will citizens receive the judiciary they deserve," the Judicial Council noted.

VMRO-DPMNE leader and future Prime Minister Mickoski, in his address at the Macedonia 2025 Summit on Thursday, stated that the main challenge will be reforms in the Judicial Council and the Council of Public Prosecutors. He expressed their aim to dissolve those who have reduced trust in the legal system to single-digit percentages. Instead, he proposed that judges and prosecutors themselves choose their own representatives by a secret vote.

Mickoski underscored that the VMRO-DPMNE - led government has no intention of appointing or nominating its people through changes in the law, nor does it intend to interfere in these two bodies.

Photo: MIA archive