Final Word from Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Czech Constitutional Court has 15 judges (14 now, after one retirement), and the Supreme Administrative Court has 32. That makes 47 justices when Respekt inquired about outside pressure. Two of them went public about pressure from Pres. Miloš Zeman or his chief of staff, Vratislav Mynář. They were Josef Baxa and Vojtěch Šimíček. As it happens, these were also the two justices who were part of a plan by Chief Justice Pavel Rychetský of the Constitutional Court to assure a smooth succession upon his retirement. Šimíček would return to the chief administrative court and take over from Baxa, and Baxa would assume Rychetský's position. Such a reshuffling was the front-page story of Respekt's sister publication, HN, on April 18, 2018. However, Zeman nixed the idea. As #JusticniMeToo peters out as a media topic, it's good to keep in mind the sequence of events and to realize that all the actors were playing a sordid game - the Castle, the judges and the media. [ Czech Republic judiciary judicial #MeToo Hospodářské noviny Economia ]

Glossary of difficult words

justice - a judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of a high court;

to go public - to reveal details about a previously private matter;

reshuffling - an interchange of the positions of (members of a team, esp. government ministers);

to nix - to put an end to; to cancel;

to peter (out) - to decrease or fade gradually before coming to an end;

sequence - a particular order in which related things follow each other;

sordid - involving immoral or dishonorable actions and motives.


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