VIA IURIS criticizes the amendment of the Rules of the discussion procedure

The amendment of the Rules of the discussion procedure of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, which will be discussed at October Parliamentary Session does not deal with essential problems of the parliamentary practice. Instead of improving the quality of adopted laws and eliminating procedurals shortcuts or indirect legislative modifications, it regulates only its form, so how the laws are being deliberated.

„Members of the Parliament will for instance discuss, whether during the Parliamentary discussion they can have some biscuits, but they will not discuss at all the essence of their work- how to increase quality of the procedural aspects of the adoption of the legal acts or how to improve laws themselves,“ said Imrich Vozár, lawyer of VIA IURIS.

Proposal of the amendment of the rules of the discussion procedure of the National Council of the Slovak Republic completely abandoned the idea of tightening the rules for shortened legislative procedure which is being in practice often misused for adoption of quick and purposeful amendments of laws.

Amendment neither does not solve out the question of indirect legislative modifications, which are the amendments that modify the laws which are not directly the subject of the amendment’s regulation. „Even though these indirect legislative modifications are currently prohibited, this prohibition is in the practice quite easy to avoid,“ stated Vozár.

According to VIA IURIS the submitted amendment is a loss of the opportunity also because it does not regulate public participation in the legislative procedure of the National Council. Though, it stems from the past practice that public participation in the preparation of legislation is beneficial.   It brings to submitters of legislative proposals a critical feedback and so it contributes to higher quality of proposed laws. Moreover the requirement of public participation in the legislative process in the National Council forms part of a Programme declaration of the Government of the Slovak Republic.

Modifications which may solve out mentioned problems were presented by VIA IURIS in cooperation with Ondrej Dostál already in amendment of the rules of the discussion procedure in 2015.