The Constitutional Court rejected a complaint of a Roma woman who had lost her case on discrimination in access to employment before regular courts. One of the points of law contained in the Constitutional Court´s decision was interpretation of the concept of burden of proof to be used in judicial anti-discrimination proceedings that presumably contradicts the concept of burden of proof as contained in the EU equal treatment directives
On 30 October 2012, the Regional Court in Prešov upheld a first instance court decision from 5 December 2011 which stated that the Elementary School in Šarišské Micha?any violated the principle of equal treatment by putting Romani children into separate classrooms and thus committed discrimination of Romani children on the ground of their ethnicity. The courts also ordered the school to rectify the illegal situation by placing Romani children into classrooms together with children who are not of Romani origin.
The government of the Slovak Republic that came into power on 4 April 2012 carried out serious institutional changes that limit the scope of coverage of human rights and discrimination-related issues on national level
The last amendment of the Civil Procedure Act brought two changes connected to judicial proceedings concerning the principle of equal treatment. The first change concerns extending the list of possible claims in case of actio popularis, which makes the use of actio popularis more likely and more efficient. The second change concerns an improvement of the possibilities of judicial costs invocation by NGOs and the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, although it does not resolve the problem of impossibility of invoking the costs by NGOs when unpaid work has been carried out.
The case concerns a Roma woman from Slovakia who was coercively sterilised in 2000 in the hospital in Prešov (eastern Slovakia). After unsuccessfully claiming her rights on national level, she recoursed to ECtHR. The ECtHR held that the sterilisation carried out without her informed consent violated her right not to be subject to inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3 of the European Convention) and her right to respect for private and family life (Article 8).
The Government of the Slovak Republic approved the Analytical Report on the Functioning and Status of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights in the Context of Institutional Protection of Human Rights in the Slovak Republic.
An amendment to the Labour Code, effective as of 1 April 2011, extended the scope of the protected grounds to include sexual orientation and thus to get the list of protected grounds into compliance with the Anti-Discrimination Act. The amendment also included “genetic features” as a new protected ground, not covered by any piece of the Slovak legislation yet.
The Regional Court in Prešov, as an appellate court, dismissed the claims of the plaintiffs and overruled the District Court decision from 15 June 2009 which declared that the Town of Sabinov and the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development breached the principle of equal treatment in relation to housing of 8 Roma plaintiffs and which awarded to each of the plaintiffs 1,000 € as non-pecuniary damage.
On 30 April 2010, the Slovak National Centre published the Report on the Observance of Human Rights Including the Principle of Equal Treatment in Slovak Republic in 2010. The Centre is statutorily obliged to publish such a report annually.
European Anti-Discrimination Law Review Issue No. 4 | November 2006
Detailed information on non-discrimination law in Slovakia can be found in the most recent country report and summary.
Legal expert on non-discrimination law: Janka Debreceniova