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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

(excerpts)

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Article 17
(1) Personal liberty of every individual shall be guaranteed.
(2) No one shall be prosecuted or deprived of liberty unless for reasons and by methods set
by law. No person shall be deprived of liberty merely for his or her inability to fulfill
contractual obligations.
(3) A person accused or suspected of a criminal act may be detained only in the cases
specified by the law. The detained person must be immediately informed of the reasons for
detention, questioned and either freed or handed over for trial within 48 hours, in cases of
criminal offences of terrorism within 96 hours. The judge must interrogate the detained
person within 48 hours and in cases of particularly serious criminal acts within 72 hours, and
must decide whether to detain or free the person.
(4) A person accused may be arrested only on the basis of a written and substantiated order of
the judge. The arrested person must be brought before the tribunal within 24 hours of being
referred to the tribunal. The judge must question the arrested person within 48 hours and in
cases of particularly serious criminal acts within 72 hours from the time of arrest and must
decide whether to imprison or to free the person.
(5) Pre-trial detention can be imposed only on the grounds and for the period provided by law
and determined by the court.
(6) A person may be committed to or held in a medical institution without his or her consent
only in cases stipulated by law. Such cases shall be reported to the court within twenty-four
hours and the court shall make a decision on such placement within five days.
(7) A psychological examination of the person charged with an offence is permissible only on
a written court order.

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Chapter Seven - RIGHT TO JUDICIAL AND OTHER LEGAL PROTECTION


Article 46
(1) Every person may claim his or her right by procedures established by law at an
independent and impartial court of law or other public authority of the Slovak Republic in
cases specified by law.
(2) Any person who claims to have been denied his or her rights through a decision made by
a public authority may turn to a court of law to have the legality of the decision reviewed,
unless otherwise provided by law. The review of decisions in matters of fundamental rights
and freedoms shall not be excluded from the jurisdiction of courts of law.
(3) Every person shall have the right to recover damages for a loss caused by an unlawful
decision of the court, a governmental or public authority or by improper official procedure.
(4) Details and terms of the judicial and other legal protection shall be regulated by law.


Article 47
(1) Every person shall have the right to refuse to give testimony which might incriminate that
person or another person close to him or her.
(2) Every person shall have the right to counsel from the outset of proceedings before any
court of law, or a governmental or public authority as provided by law.
(3) All parties to any proceedings under section (2) of this Article shall be treated equally
under the law.
(4) A person who claims not to know the language used in the proceedings under section (2)
of this Article shall have the right to an interpreter.


Article 48
(1) No one may be taken out of the competence of his or her judge. The jurisdiction of courts
shall be defined by law.
(2) Every person has the right to have his or her case tried publicly without unreasonable
delay, to be present at the proceedings, and to object to any evidence given therein. The
public can be excluded only in cases specified by law.


Article 49
The law shall define all offenses, the punishment or the measure restricting personal or
property rights to be imposed on the offender in particular cases.


Article 50
(1) The courts of law alone shall decide the guilt of, and punishment for, the offender.
(2) Any person charged with an offense shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty as
finally adjudged by the court.
(3) Any person charged with an offense shall have the possibility to prepare his or her
defense during such time as may be deemed necessary and shall have the right to defend the
case by himself or herself and by a counsel.
4) Any person charged with an offense shall have the right to refuse to give testimony. This
right may not be denied to that person under any circumstances.
(5) When finally convicted or acquitted of an offense, no person may be prosecuted for that
same offense again. This principle does not preclude an exceptional remedy provided by law.
(6) Any criminal conduct shall be determined by, and punished under, the law effective at the
time of the act. The law passed after the commission of the offense shall apply only if the law
is more beneficial to the offender.

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