Memorandum to:


Published in: Sproscena Slovenija [Slovenia Liberated], pp 395-396, Nova Revija, Ljubljana, 1999.

The undersigned participants in the Slovenian public and cultural life wish to bring to the attention of the Members of Parliament [of Slovenia] designated to review the informal process of evaluation of prospective candidates for the position of the Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, and members of various European political bodies, to the peculiarities of the nature and outcome of the Slovenian process for designating the three nominees of the Republic of Slovenia as the Slovenian Judge to be elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. At the outset we state our firm conviction, that the list of Slovenian nominees which has now been submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe -- inasmuch as it does not include the incumbent Slovenian judge of the European Court of Human Rights -- is a product of a political and arbitrary decision. Furthermore, we are convinced, that this arbitrary decision reflects the dominance of the kind of political arbitrariness in Slovenian public life which is a holdover of the unfortunate times of the not-so-distant communist rule. The elimination of the incumbent Slovenian judge from the national list of the candidates is contrary to the well-known professional standards for the selection of the best qualified nominees to the demanding position of the judge of the new European Court. In this respect the decision blocks the appropriate freedom of choice of the [European] Parliament.

The same majority of the Slovenian Parliament which has only recently voted down the adoption of Resolution on the Unlawful Activities of the Slovenian Communist Totalitarian Regime has now voted against including Justice Jambrek on the list of three nominees for the position of the Slovenian judge of the new European Court.

Justice Jambrek has distinguished himself by an impeccable professional career of a university professor of European law on human rights, Justice of the Constitutional Court (1900 -- date), President of the Constitutional Court (1991--1994) and, in our opinion, Justice of the European Court of Human Rights (1993--date ).

Justice Jambrek is well-known in Slovenia as the author of the first draft of the constitution of the Republic of Slovenia written in the late eighties as the antithesis of the "socialist constitution" that was then in force. He was publishing studies on the internationally protected human rights at the time when such academic activities were proscribed as "bourgeois pseudo-scholarship." In the late eighties he was prominent among the founders and intellectual leaders of the emerging democratic organizations which are now a minority of 44 out of 90 in the Parliament. He formulated, articulated and expostulated the need for a national referendum on independence in 1990. The referendum was successfully carried on in December of 1990 and six months later, in June 1991, he was instrumental in declaring the independence of the Republic of Slovenia. In 1990 Justice Jambrek was elected as judge of the Slovenian Constitutional Court and shortly after that he became the Court's presiding judge in an independent and democratic Slovenia. He is known by his decisive contributions to the evolution and support of an active role of the Constitutional Court in defending the rule of law in Slovenia.

It is with dismay that we observe that the same forces against which Justice Jambrek was defending the newly established principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law have taken the opportunity to strike back and "purged" in the time-honored communist fashion the prospective candidate for the European Court of Human Rights who is, because of his moral character, judicial qualifications and recognized legal expertise, best qualified and most suitable person to be the Slovenian member of that court In support of the above points we are appending to this memorandum the Clarification of the Slovenian Nomination Process pertaining to the candidacy of Justice Jambrek.

Ljubljana, January 20, 1998.