Final Word from Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Newly appointed Chief Justice Josef Baxa of the Constitutional Court said yesterday in a press briefing with his predecessor, Pavel Rychetský, and Pres. Petr Pavel that he might have handled a case under the old regime of an emigrant who was convicted for abandoning the country but that he can't remember all the thousands of cases he tried. Even this brief acknowledgment represents a significant shift in Baxa's recollection of the past. He said flatly on Page 63 of the recent book of interviews that he gave to Tomáš Němeček that such political cases were handled by the chairman of his court. On Pages 65-66 he added that he has no regrets about any concrete judgment that he made as a judge under the former regime but that it bothers him that he and his colleagues handed down rulings without thinking much about it. "Everything was too much oriented towards quick resolution of cases," he said. "No one was very interested in the fate of the people involved." As politicians and journalists now delve into his thousands of cases, his lack of remorse will presumably transform quickly into outward displays of deep contrition. [ Czech Republic criminal court president Communist past ]

Glossary of difficult words

to delve - to research or make painstaking enquiries into something;

remorse - deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed;

contrition - the state of feeling remorseful and penitent.


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