The Czech Republic’s minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, bestowed Medals of Merit for Diplomacy on 12 individuals on Monday. Nine of them, including the late Jiří Dientsbier, the country’s first post-communist foreign minister, received the honour for helping advance diplomacy and foreign policy in the period since the Velvet Revolution.
Czech Radio marked the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on Monday with an international conference on the fall of communism in Central Europe and the transformation processes that followed. Aside from leading experts in the fields of economics, political sciences and journalism, the speakers’ list also featured the names of prominent former dissidents and politicians such as Lech Wałęsa, Magdaléna Vášáryová and Václav Klaus.
Former president Václav Klaus, the last surviving Czech RAF pilot Emil
Boček, Srbian film director Emir Kusturica and the president of the
Supreme Audit Office Miloslav Kala are among the personalities who will
receive a high state distinction from President Miloš Zeman on the
occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day, on October 28th.
Although the list of personalities selected for awards is confidential the president himself revealed some of the laureates ahead of the public holiday this year.
According to Prague Castle the laureates have been informed about the honour and the list of selected personalities has been countersigned by the prime minister.
The Czech Constitutional Court has rejected a German Catholic religious
order’s legal complaint over its failed bid to win control of Bouzov
Castle in Moravia.
The court rejected the German order’s claim to be a legal successor to the Order of Teutonic Knights, which before World War II owned the 14th century castle.
The Czech National Heritage Institute refused to hand the castle over within the church restitution process back in 2014, arguing the law did not apply to that particular property.
The Nazis seized Bouzov Castle during the war and the Czechoslovak state confiscated it under the post-war Beneš Decrees, before the Communist February 1948 coup, the start of the decisive period set under the church property restitution law.
The order had earlier announced it would exhaust all legal possibilities to win control of the castle, including filing a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The Czech Constitution dictates that the president is obliged to satisfy
the prime minister’s request to recall a member of his government, the
President of the Constitutional Court Pavel Rychetský told the daily
Lidové noviny in an interview published on Sunday. The judge went on to
say that while the specific date for the action is not stipulated in law,
the president should act without delay. In such a situation, Dr. Rychetsky
says, the presidential function is not that of an institution cooperating
with the prime minister, but rather one that executes his decision.
President Miloš Zeman has recently come under criticism for his delay in accepting the resignation of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk and his unwillingness to accept the Social Democrat nominee for the position, Michal Šmarda. The Czech Senate voted in favour of a constitutional complaint against the president’s actions earlier this week and the complaint will now be subject to a vote in the lower house of Parliament before it can be reviewed by the Constitutional Court.
The Chief Justice of the Czech Constitutional Court and Charter 77
signatory Pavel Rychetský on Thursday received the highest award of
Comenius University in Bratislava, the Grand Gold Medal, for his
contribution towards the development of democracy, legal science and the
rule of law.
The ceremony took place on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the university. Among those who attended the event was the newly elected Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová and Slovak Prime Minister Petr Pellegrini.
President Miloš Zeman has welcomed this week’s Constitutional Court ruling striking down a March 2018 order to extradite suspected Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin to the United States. In a televised interview on Thursday, Mr Zeman said he warned former justice minister Robert Pelikán that the move was illegal – and accused him of being an American lackey.
Weeks after his expulsion from the Civic Democrats, anti-EU MP Václav Klaus Jr. has revealed plans to launch a new party following May’s Euro elections. His father, the well-known former prime minister and president Václav Klaus, is set to occupy an honorary role in the new grouping. I discussed the politics and prospects of “Young Klaus” – as many call him in Czech – with political scientist Petr Just.
The Senate rejected Charles University vice-rector Aleš Gerloch as a
candidate for Constitutional Court judge in a secret ballot on Wednesday.
The law professor had been put forth as a candidate by President Miloš Zeman, who is now expected to suggest another candidate.
Opposition senators object to Mr Gerloch having been a member of the Communist Party. They also say he neglected to note that before 1995 he worked at universities suspected of having improperly awarded politicians and police officials degrees.