Final Word from Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Conflicts of interest are banned in the judiciary. The law on the Constitutional Court states that a justice is excluded if there is reason to doubt his or her impartiality. The law allows a justice to announce his or her conflict but doesn't specifically require it. Chief Justice Pavel Rychetský has been an outspoken critic of ČEZ, saying in 2010 that one reason for the degeneration of Czech politics could be that many people have to ask whether ČEZ, or the cabinet, is running the country. Comments like this aren't grounds for recusal and give Rychetský moral authority. However, Rychetský was recently the rapporteur for a freedom-of-information ruling that went in ČEZ's favor. Representing ČEZ was lawyer Radek Pokorný, who trained under Rychetský. In denying any conflict, Rychetský said that Pokorný was at his old firm only briefly 14 years ago. Yet Pokorný wrote on Facebook on Sept. 6, "As my mentor Pavel Rychetský said...." Mentor? Someone isn't telling the truth. [Czech Republic Wagner]

Glossary of difficult words

impartiality - equal treatment of all rivals or disputants; fairness;

outspoken - frank in stating one's opinions, esp. if they are shocking or controversial;

recusal - the act of excusing oneself from a case because of a potential conflict of interest or lack of impartiality;

rapporteur - a person who is appointed by an organization to report on the proceedings of its meetings;

mentor - an experienced and trusted adviser.

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