Judge Loses Post After Criticising Janša in Closed Facebook Group

By , 11 Jan 2021, 16:10 PM Politics
Judge Urška Klakočar Zupančič and the post in question Judge Urška Klakočar Zupančič and the post in question Facebook

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STA, 11 January 2020 - The newspaper Dnevnik reported on Monday that judge Urška Klakočar Zupančič had lost her position as the head of the commonhold department of the Ljubljana Local Court due to her posts about Prime Minister Janez Janša in a closed Facebook group.

According to the newspaper, Klakočar Zupančič wrote among other things that "I hope that the age of Janšism will eventually become only a bitter memory, take care of yourselves until then".

She also labelled Janša as a "great dictator" and added that coronavirus in Slovenia had given rise to "frustrated characters with criminal past".

The president of the Ljubljana Local Court has also launched disciplinary proceedings against the judge, Dnevnik added.

The newspaper reported that Klakočar Zupančič had told the Judicial Council that the writing was of private nature, and that her Facebook "friend" had abused her trust.

The writings have found their way to Vinko Gorenak, a state secretary in the prime minister's office, who went public with them and asked the Judicial Council and the president of the Supreme Court to respond.

Supreme Court president Damijan Florjančič labelled them as inappropriate, and the Judicial Council said it "condemned and regretted any action on the part of judges that creates the impression in public of political bias of judges as individuals and the judiciary as a whole".

In a session on 10 December the council also "emphasised that the use of disrespectful language in communication by a judge, be it public or private, disagrees with the integrity of a judge".

The council said that, regardless of the circumstances or conduct on the part of others, a judge has an obligation to maintain a dignitary attitude becoming of the post in expressing their opinions, thus preserving not only their own dignity, but also the authority and reputation of their position.

Noting that full privacy cannot be reckoned with in social networks, the Judicial Council said judges must be reserved and dignified also in their communication on social networks and follow the guidelines on judges' public and private comments as set out in the commentary of the Ethics Code.

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