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Slovenia’s President nominates Dr France Grad as the candidate for Constitutional Court Judge

Ljubljana, 01/12/2007  |  press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, today sent a proposal to the Slovenian National Assembly that Dr France Grad be appointed to the post of Judge of the Constitutional Court.

In the letter sent by Slovenia’s President Drnovšek to the National Assembly, the data on the candidate and explanation of the nomination are indicated as follows:

At the beginning of September 2006, the President of the Constitutional Court informed me that the nine-year mandate of the Constitutional Court Judge, Dr Dragica Wedam Lukič, would terminate as per 31 March 2007. I published a call to invite proposals for candidates for the vacant post of Constitutional Court Judge in the Uradni list RS No. 100/06 of 29 September 2006.

Article 9 of the Constitutional Court Act provides that the post of Judge of the Constitutional Court be filled by a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia who is an expert in law and at least 40 years of age.

In compliance with the first paragraph of Article 13 of the Constitutional Court Act, the President of the Republic of Slovenia shall nominate a candidate for the post of Constitutional Court Judge from among applications received or possibly propose other candidates.

I decided to propose to the National Assembly my nomination of Dr France Grad, Ljubljana, to the post of Judge of the Constitutional Court, who fully meets all statutory eligibility requirements for the post of Constitutional Court Judge.

Work experience
Dr Franc Grad was born in 1948 in Ljubljana, where he completed gymnasium and graduated from the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana in 1970. In the same year he took employment with the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia and later with the District Court of Ljubljana. After passing the bar exam in 1973, he worked for the Secretariat for Legislation of the Executive Council of the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. In 1982 through 1983, he worked again for the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. Since 1984, he has worked at the Ljubljana Faculty of Law where he has been Full Professor in constitutional law since 1996. In years 1991-2006 he was Head of the Constitutional Law Department. Currently, he is Head of the Centre for Constitutional Law at the Comparative Law Institute of the Ljubljana Faculty of Law. At the Faculty of Law he has been teaching, in addition to the constitutional law, also comparative constitutional law, electoral and parliamentary law, European constitutional law, and local self-government.

Education and expert work
He took his master's degree at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana in 1984 with a thesis on Elections in the Delegation System Conditions, and his doctor's degree in 1987 with a thesis on Legislative Function of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. He has also had advanced professional training abroad (in Italy, US, Great Britain, France and Germany). Throughout his employment with the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, he engaged in research in different areas of constitutional law. He collaborated as expert in all major legislative projects dealing with the state organisation, in particular with the election system and local self-government. He was also a member of a seven-member expert group that in 1990 drafted a new Slovenian constitution (i.e. Podvin Constitution), and a member of the National Assembly expert group that over recent years has been dealing with amendments to the Constitution. Further, he elaborated alone or with the help of his colleagues a number of expert legal opinions on constitutional law matters for the National Assembly, Constitutional Court and other national bodies.

He has written a number of articles on constitutional law topics and several monographs (Elections and Electoral System, The Parliament and the Government, Local Democracy, etc.), and participated as co-author in several text books on constitutional law and many other technical and scientific books published at home and abroad. He has contributed to many scientific and expert meetings taking place in Slovenia and elsewhere.

The candidate, Dr Franc Grad, is a member of the Council of Europe Committee of European Experts in local self-government and a member of the European Local Government Association “ARCOLE” and he participates also in the activities carried out by the international summer school on comparative aspects of the constitutional judicial control in Europe at the Law Faculty in Trento in Italy.

Dr Franc Grad is not only a top legal expert in constitutional law, but he is also an expert for other legal issues, which is demonstrated by his work. The work of a constitutional judge requires a thorough knowledge of the legal system operation, organisation of the judiciary, and particularly the mastery of the constitutional structure of the Republic of Slovenia and the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia.

The knowledge and experience obtained by Dr Grad through his work in different fields, his depth of perspective and feeling for justice are in my opinion the characteristics qualifying him as a legal expert and a man suitable for such a demanding and responsible function as embodied in a constitutional judge. In addition to his superior professional competence, the candidate is acknowledged for his commitment to legal culture and the rule of law, his impartiality, commitment to principles and personal integrity in everyday life.

I believe that the appointment of Dr Grad, and particularly his comprehensive knowledge of the existing legal order, would be a quality contribution to the present structure of the Constitutional Court in terms of work and decision-making at the highest court responsible for the protection of constitutionality.

Based on the above, I am convinced that Dr Franc Grad is an appropriate candidate for Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia. He possesses all the necessary professional knowledge, skills, experience and personal characteristics, and will thus be able to make an important contribution to the further reputation of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia and make decisions in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia.

Dr Franc Grad agrees with his candidacy.
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