Constitutional Law Experts Opposed to Milanović's Idea to Abolish Court

By 17 May 2022
Constitutional Law Experts Opposed to Milanović's Idea to Abolish Court

ZAGREB, 17 May 2022 - Constitutional law experts have said that they consider President Zoran Milanović's idea to abolish the Constitutional Court to be bad and absurd.

The Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that the questions in two referendum petitions launched by the opposition Bridge party - on abolishing mandatory COVID passes and transferring the powers of the national COVID response team to Parliament - were not in line with the Constitution.

The decision elicited a strong reaction from the Bridge party, which said that the court was the "HDZ's puppet," while President Milanović went a step further, saying that Constitutional Court judges had carried out "a coup d'etat" and that the court's decision showed the court should be abolished.

"What those ten judges did is a coup d'etat. That court needs to be abolished by a referendum so they can see what the will of the people means and what it means when 400,000 people consciously sign a petition. They dared check the mental state and sobriety of 400,000 Croatians who clearly called for amendment of the Constitution," Milanović said on Monday.

A constitutional law professor at the Osijek Faculty of Law, Mato Palić, told Hina that Milanović's idea about abolishing the Constitutional Court "is a bad idea with a bad motive."

"If state institutions were to be abolished because someone wasn't satisfied with their decisions, not one of them would remain," Palić said.

A retired law professor from the University of Zagreb and a former member of the task force that created the Constitution, Branko Smerdel, considers Milanović's idea to be absurd and contrary to the essence of democracy.

Another constitutional law expert from Zagreb's Faculty of Law, Đorđe Gardašević, told Hina that "in its practice until now, the Constitutional Court has made some very good and some not so good decisions, or rather the reasoning of its decisions. Nevertheless, I believe that the Constitutional Court, just like any other institution, should continue to be built and improved."

"A good way for that is critical, primarily scholarly questioning its decisions. I would never abolish the Constitutional Court as an institution because it can and has to be one of the important brakes and a balance between the three main branches of government in the country," Gardašević concluded.