Nova24TV English

Slovenian News In ENGLISH

Constitutional Court Judge Špelca Mežnar Does Not Find Extra Earnings Objectionable

In recent days, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia has further confirmed that they are no longer defenders of the rule of law but are instead left-wing activists. One of the people who contributed to this is the Constitutional Court Judge Špelca Mežnar, who is also a lecturer at the International School for Social and Business Studies (Mednarodna fakulteta za družbene in poslovne študije) in Celje. She stated that the status of a sole proprietorship, which Judge Klemen Jaklič has in order to be able to lecture, is incompatible with the office of a Constitutional Court Judge, while she herself performs the same (lecturing) work, only with a different form of employment. In addition, we have received information that she herself is, in fact, engaged in a gainful activity, namely renting out flats.

According to our information, Constitutional Court Judge Špelca Mežnar buys flats in Celje and rents them out, which is considered to be a gainful activity that does not in any way fall within the scope of teaching work. We asked the Constitutional Court whether the information is true.

The legislator provides that Constitutional Court Judges who have a limited term of office may engage in the activity of a higher education teacher, a scientific worker or a higher education associate. This is what Judge Klemen Jaklič has been doing on the basis of an open sole proprietorship, and which Mežnar recently criticised. However, from publicly available data, it is clear that she is a lecturer and, in addition to her work as a judge, she holds a 20 percent employment at the aforementioned school.

Is Mežnar performing a gainful activity?

But let’s return for a moment to the information about the renting of apartments. While renting out apartments is considered an additional source of income, if the owner of the property is employed full-time, he or she can register a complementary activity (the so-called afternoon sole proprietorship). If the owner rents out the apartment on a long-term or short-term basis (Airbnb and Booking), the activities must be registered accordingly. If the information is correct, Mežnar’s response is all the more bizarre and calls into question the purpose of the pogrom against Klemen Jaklič. Perhaps the real reason is that he often exposes the shortcomings of Constitutional Court rulings.

In fact, Constitutional Court Judge Mežnar pointed out in her “personal opinion” that “the status of a sole proprietorship is in itself, independently of the activity for which it is registered, absolutely incompatible with the office of a Constitutional Court Judge. Incompatibility is primarily regulated by Article 166 of the Constitution, which refers to the law in regard to incompatible activities. However, the Constitutional Court Act is not the only law that deals with the incompatibility of the two; we also have the Companies Act (ZGD-1), which regulates entrepreneurial activity.”

Is her form of employment more transparent?

Mežnar also said that a sole proprietorship makes it impossible to control which activities a judge carries out, with whom and to what extent, and argued that other forms of work allow for verifiability, transparency and traceability in the permitted extra-judicial activities of judges. This is, of course, not true. In any other legal-organisational form of work, a judge can write anything in the copyright contract, and nobody will check it – not the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS) and not the Constitutional Court (why the Constitutional Court would check it is not entirely clear, but it seems that Mežnar feels that the Constitutional Court should become some kind of alternative supervisory body to the Financial Administration), as we have already reported.

Mežnar also said that the standards for Constitutional Court judges should be at least as high as those for regular judges, but she is wrong here, too, as Miro Haček has already told her. “The standard for Constitutional Court Judges is deliberately less strict because they only have a single 9-year term (and then they take up another post, often in research or teaching), whereas ordinary judges have a permanent term and do not have to think about where to go after their term is over.”

She does not find renting controversial

Špelca Mežnar confirmed to Nova24TV that she is the 100-percent owner of a two-bedroom apartment in Celje, which she bought with her own funds and has been renting out (for several years now) to a natural person on the basis of a rental contract, which she registers with the Financial Administration every year and pays property rental tax on. “This is the only flat I rent out. You can check for yourselves whether this way of renting out the flat complies with the law,” she added. She further explained that a natural person who rents out his or her property to another natural person on the basis of a rental contract is not carrying out a gainful (business) activity, but is generating income from his property through rent in accordance with Article 75 of the Income Tax Act (ZDoh-2). This income (rent) is subject to rental tax (currently 25 percent).

S. K.

Share on social media