Czech law

Vaclav Klaus loses a trial

The supreme court didn’t support Vaclav Klaus in his opinion about judges.

The whole matter started two years ago – the Czech president nominates judges, and Klaus decided not to nominate about a dozen of new judges, because he “ … feel they are too young”. Meanwhile most of them didn’t comment, and they are judges already, those who dared to oppose and started a lawsuit still can’t work as judges. The only one who continued to resist president’s will is Petr Langer – and the Supreme Court ruled out Klaus cannot base such important matters solely on his feelings.

Czech laws set the minimum age for judges at 25. Even when all the would-be judges were 30+, Klaus simply decided not to nominate them, and repeatedly didn’t want to explain why he doesn’t want to do it in wider context. But according to Supreme Judges, the president is neither above the law, nor outside of its control. Klaus so has to let Petr Langer be a judge, or explain why not properly.

Czech Anti-smoking Law – new chapters

The anti-smoking law is one of the hot topics of this years lawmakers’ season. The laws are debated over and over, as they often return back because of their bad law enforceability and uncertainty. Last time, it was the problem of smoking ban at tram and bus stations, which nobody took seriously. The seriousness of passive smoking is the main topic of the another proposal of this year.

There may be of smoking ban in Restaurants, with one exception – when the owner accommodates smokers in a smoking room, which would be air-conditioned separately, with no service in the room, so the smokers would have to go for their drinks by themselves.

The smoking law varies from liberal to very strict rules. The definite final version may take longer than expected; e.g. last month the team came with a hard version, banning smoking almost everywhere, last week, there were ideas to unban smoking at some public places. We will see, which compromise will win.

Case of Prague Traffic Lights: Art Prize Abroad, Penalty in CR

The the beginning of this bizarre story is almost fifty Prague traffic lights – semaphores for pedestrians. They all have those common figures on, one red, one green. An artist with pseudonym Tyc decided that they are boring and that something must be done. He went to the factory where the semaphores are made, bought the original normalized glasses, and got to work. Suddenly, one day morning the figures were drinking, walking their dogs, peeing or simply sitting.

This wasn’t the first time Tyc changed reality; he is a member of Ztohoven Art Group, who also broadcasted a fictive nuclear bomb explosion on the national television. Not only Prague people liked it – it got the audience at the prestigious Vienna festival sidewalk CINEMA, and they awarded his project by the Audience Award.

Although the public evaluated his acts positively, he wasn’t so excepted by officers. They sued him for compensation of the expenses needed for putting of the traffic lights to the original state, which cost 82t czk, and they won the trial yesterday.

Czech Anti-smoking law too strong, proposals of softening

smokers may hope for re-establishment of smoking trains Economic commission of the Czech House of the Parliament is now solving the proposal of the anti-smoking law. But the proposals, collected nowadays, would paradoxically mean less strict rules, compared to nowadays. “If the proposals, that were heard in the committee, would be voted for, the norm should be rather called the smoking protection law.” Boris Stastny from ODS stated.

One of the points is, at the tram and bus stops, the ban would be lifted for the outside of shelters (now it is forbidden to smoke at stops as a whole). Another ideas bring into consideration obligatory smoking vogons in trains, which would mean they would have their little comeback.

The Parliament returns the anti-smoking law back to discussion because of its bad law enforceability and uncertainty.

Judges against parental physical punishments ban

The union of judges said no to the proposal of Dzamila Stehlikova to ban physical punishment. Such a law would be unnecessary and interfere with privacy.

“Instead of proposals of banning slaps of a child’s hand or other part of body we should focus more on using of present possibilities” the head of Judges Union Jirsa stated.

The Psychologist Petr Smolka points out, the possible ban would take one important eduction means away from the parents. “I have heard there wouldn’t have to be any sanctions in the law though, but then it doesn’t make sense. I can even imagine a situation. When an adolescent would threaten his parents he would inform against them at the social service, if they didn’t let him to a disco.”

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Plan to limit football violence: Judges at stadium

illustration photo The Ministry of Internal Affairs introduced the new project, which should bring fast solution, or at least limit football hooliganism. The first time this method will be tested is this Saturday match of Sparta Prague with Banik Ostrava.

The procedure seems simple – if policemen seize a hooligan, he will get his judgement summons directly at the stadium with the present state’s attorney, who will decide, whether he will go ahead to a judge. The judge will than pass the sentence.

The project came as a conclusion to the out-of-control situation which took place at the last match of ‘The Two Prague S’. The yet not seen vandalism cost the Letna Stadium 0,5 million czk, ant that nobody was seriously hurt is a miracle.

Czech Republic to ban physical punishment?

If the Government and the House of the Parliament will certify the law proposal for children’s laws, those parents who have heavy hand could get into conflict with the law.

What would become illegal? The bureau uses the definition of OSN of physical punishment; to slap a child’s hand or other part of body, to humiliate the child, to make a child suffer mentally.

What should be fine: to tell a child off (without humiliation), to prohibit activities a child likes (TV, computer … )

To break the law wouldn’t lead to sanction yet. The new formula should only warn the public physical punishment is not ok. But The Czech Bureau for Human rights plans to institute a system of financial fines in the future.

Court decided: Policeman Beaten Jacques according to Law

parliamentarians of the greens - liska, jacques and bursik tomas cermak Prague court of appeal decided; the ex-policeman Tomas Cermak, who attacked Katerina Jacques while she was demonstrating against a march of Neo-nazis and beaten her, did it legally.

The appeal court complied Cermak’s statement, he did nothing a policeman in his position shouldn’t do.

The court stated his act wasn’t tactically flawless, but he did nothing illegal. “Jacques herself is responsible for her acts. If she obeyed the police orders, she wouldn’t get hurt.” The senate chairman Vlasak commented.

It all happened during a demonstration in 2006. Cermak’s task was not to let opposers of neo-nazi nemonstration get to physical contact with the ‘National Resistance’ group. When the opposers were told to clear the way for the neo-nazis, Katerina Jacques didn’t followed. When Cermak wanted to take her into custody, she put up resistance. So he beaten and loaded her anyway.

Cermak had been dismissed from police forces, now when the court decided in favor of him, he stated he wants to come back to police, plus he wants to get finantial compensation.

Pit bulls in Prague, new law proposal

sweet mother stafford Can you buy a pit bull in the Czech Republic? Sure! Can you keep it? Sure! If you know what you are doing, a strong dog can be a really good companion and your security service.

In the Czech Republic, you can buy or get there breeds: Akita, American bulldog, bull-mastiff, Chow, pit bull, Rottweiler, Staffordshire terrier, or even a famous Czech wolf hybrid called the Czechoslovak Shepperd, which is a breed you have seen in the ‘Dancing with Wolves’ movie.

There are almost no regulations or restrictions for these breeds. Of course, there are common-sense laws such as a dog should be on a leash etc. This is what a parliamentarian Jaronym Tejc from CSSD want to change. He proposes something like gun licence for strong dogs. We will see how this will develop, maybe we will get to see less of these really sweet or really deadly breeds on the streets in the future.

Court Disbanded Czech Communist Youth League

Komunisticky Svaz Mladeze (Communist Youth League, KSM)
Was disbanded at the municipal court in Prague yesterday. Two years ago, the Ministry of Internal Affairs chanceled their ‘team’, but the young communists tried to appeal at a court.

Ministry have pointed out the irregularity of the KSM union to the police. The constitution of the KSM contained phrases like: “we struggle for revolutionary overcoming of capitalism” and “abolition of private ownership of manufactures” That is, however, antagony to the Declaration of Basic Rights and Freedoms.

Communist Youth League tried to advocate by “we would expropriation only in return of money and in public interest” the court didn’t accept their argumentation.

New Law Protoposal: Czech Protstitutes to pay Taxes

Liberalization of the Czech Republic continues. This proposal should make prostitution legal under certain conditions, like: prostitutes must be older than 18, are obliged to carry some kind of prostitute ID card, with a monthly stamp from a doctor, and, most importantly, to pay taxes.

Prostitutes would became private entrepreneurs who would do accounting, pay taxes and insurance. And they could run their business only in joy-houses, which would need permission for the business, too.

The fact is, even Good Solider Svejk written almost hundred years ago, describes Prague as the city that offers “hussies and other good society” but Czech laws about prostitution come from 1951 and are not reflecting true nature of nowadays liberal Czech Republic, which is going the same direction as Holland, for better or worse. This new law can be controversial, but if passed, it will be a step forward, not aside.

For more information about the law continue here

British writer Joanne Rowling again intervene in the CR

rowling The first time, four years ago, she fought for ban of cage beds in asylums in person. This time, she sent a deputy of her organization Children’s High Level Group, a Czech psychiatrist Jan Pfeiffer, to help with reform of compensatory child welfare.

His task was to establish cooperation with government officials, reduce numbers of institutions and replace them with other kinds of care of kids in need and their families. The number of kids placed in such institutions is very high in the CR (about 20t kids) and instead of falling, the number is rising every year.

But no meeting with a minister has taken place so far. Pfeiffer have stated: “Discussions take place on low level. I have been trying to make a meeting with the minister of social matters Petr Necas for a month now.”

Rowlings first intervention came through quite successfully – cage beds were forbidden in 2007. However a team of BBC reporters have found 5 from 8 institutions still use them, regardless. Pfeiffer doesn’t give up yet; “It is all about finding a good strategy.”

Czech Republic facing legal proceedings because of scooters

waterscooter The state discriminates us! Complain Czech water scooters operators.

Czech Sport Association of Water Scooters has filed a charge at the European law court, they are suing the Czech Republic. The reason is, according to the association, no interest in managing of water areas intended for public, plus creating barriers for scooter business.

According to the charges, the Czech Republic discriminates keepers and sellers of water scooters and limits free market with these machines, even when they satisfy EU standards. The association also requested the European community for precaution, which would lead to clarifying of money matters; where go the money for development of water ways. The association claims they have to finance everything connected to the sport by themselves.

Czech Republic and Marijuana interview

matej homola on stage Newspaper MfDnes has brought a study, concerning with planned changes in Czech drug politics. Voices for decriminalization are heard much louder now, but what made me interested was the interview with a singer of a Czech rock group and a smoker, Matej Homola. We give you some interesting insights, that should clear up, what is and what isn’t tolerated for marijuana smokers in the Czech Republic.

Did you ever had problems because of marijuana smoking?
No, but my friend, who had a few flowers at home, had to go to give an explanation to the police. Than, it wore away after some time..

How is the Czech Police tolerant to ganja smokers?
It’s quite good here. You sit with a friend in a park, have a joint, and when a police officer passes by, he tells you to butt out, or take it home, that’s all. No aggression like in the US.

What is the limit, of how much you can own?
If you don’t have ten kilos at home, you should be fine. I think about three flowers should be completely o.k.

African Tribal Marriage is Valid in the Czech Republic

tribal girls may posses special beauty The new precedent was established last week. The initiator was a man, who married an African woman from a tribe living in Nigeria. The marriage was contracted in African way, on a gathering in the woman’s village, where was this Czech citizen presented, and where was also settled the matter of marriage portion.

Now, living in the Czech Republic, he found out he doesn’t want to be married anymore and he entered a lawsuit the marriage is nonexistent. He claims, marriages according to African tribal law are not valid in Europe. However The Supreme Court has denied his appeal and supported previous court decisions.


Klaus: Passive smoking doesn't harm

Meanwhile Al Gore got the Nobel Prize for his fight against Global warming, Klaus denies global warming has anything to do with men. When Blob won the competition of the best National library design, Klaus said he would rather drastically protest against, than saw it build (thanks to him the ‘Blob matter’ has been debated about half a year, with the perspective of another half a year of debates). Now, when the world fights smoking, and in the Czech Republic there are activities to limit smoking at public places, Klaus protests, and supports smokers. Vaclav Klaus himself is a non-smoker.

passive smoking In the CR, the specialists speak about twice as much deaths from passive smoking, than from traffic accidents. That means, over 2500 people died last year, because they were staying in heavily smoky places. The illnesses they died from were all smoking-based, or it’s proved smoking demonstrably worsens the development.

Klaus’ statement for LN surprised the expert community; Eva Kralikova, a practitioner of the centre for smoking quitting, said: “Studies about passive smoking are being carried out in many countries and the outcome is always the same.” To inhale cigarette smoke can lead to lung and heart diseases. Vaclav Klaus doesn’t think so.

One Health Care Reform takes place, Other is on the Way in CR

free health care is not really free, is it After the changes the Czech Minister of Health Julinek brought to the system of charges for health care, there is a very new reform ahead, sometimes called the Hospital revolution.

Czech patients should be able to legally pay for better care. The scheme of need for bribing on a daily basis should became legal. Patients should be able to pay for a better plaster, modern haunches or a better crystalline lens.

Julinek, Minister of Health, said he wants to submit the bills to the government next May and to parliament next June, so that they take effect from January 2009. His speaker Cikrt said the bills will guarantee the availability of health care, while the range of services will not change.

Important thing is patients shouldn’t pay for the whole i.e. operation, but just the difference between the above standard and the price insurance company pays.

The consequent change, the most important, should be health insurance companies having greater freedom of dealing with their money. They should be able to generate profits and offer more advantages.

Reduction of bars with slot machines in Prague

typical picture - slot machines and pub tables After the New Year’s Eve, one of the typical features of non-stop bars in Prague 1, slot machines, will disappear. Completely. In Vinohrady or other city parts of Prague 2, there are supposed to be 40 % less of them.

This is the new method of Prague City hall, how to reduce gamblers’ addiction. According to Prague mayor’s deputy Rudolf Blazek bars with slot machines have infested Prague: “The numbers are growing every year. There are 300 new slot machines every year. As a result, we register 7550 slot machines in Prague. That’s untenable.” The other deputies speak in the same manner. Prague 2 mayor said Vinohrady is not Las Vegas.

Bars in Old Prague district, Prague 1, are going to be by the beginning of 2008 free of slot machines. The new law doesn’t limit casinos, which will stay the way they are.

New Law Proposal on Artificial Insemination of Czech Republic Lesbians

Lesbian laws in the Czech Republic. The new draft law which allows to ask for a test-tube baby for women who have no heterosexual partner. That means either lonely, or lesbian. Such an act is not possible yet. Only heterosexual couples can ask for the so called assisted reproduction so far.

Speaker of the Ministry of Health Tomas Cikrt announced the law was prepared especially for lonely living women, who pine for a baby. “…but if the baby grows up with a lesbian couple, I see no problem in it. There is no proof it would have a negative influence on the child’s development.”

A practitioner from Prague center of artificial insemination Gest said, he can imagine such a practice, but he also stated the law skips one level. Adoption by a couple living in registered partnership should be allowed first. Once it would be legal, he sees no problem in artificial insemination law.

If the bill would be passed, it could be valid since 2009. However there can be one significant obstacle of such a law – the KDU-CSL party (The Christian and Democratic Union) who are long-term supporters of the ‘traditional family model’.

Plans for help non-EU laborers to get to Czech Republic

The Czech government announced last week there are plans for the ‘green card’ system. It came as a response to the Czech economy booming, while there is not enough workers in many companies. Some of the employers are increasingly turning to foreign workers, though the process is often held back by lengthy and complicated bureaucratic procedures.

According to Labor and Social Affairs Minister Petr Necas, about 220,000 foreigners are now working legally in the Czech Republic, with many employers asking for more. The Czech economy is estimated to grow by 5.8 percent next year, which will come with even greater demand.

Petr Necas announced there is a lack of qualified labor, from manual laborers to university graduates, but as a matter of fact, there is also a lack of unqualified workers as well. As the Czech economy needs foreign labor at the current rate of growth, it cannot do without liberalization of the labor market.

The current procedure for getting a job in a Czech company is something quite complicated. First, a company has to offer the job for three months to Czechs and other citizens of the EU. Only after the employer can ask for a special permit for labor-looking abroad the EU. Furthermore, the non-EU job applicants have to get visa and work permits. This can be really lengthy.

The new ‘green card’ system would offer possibility for non-EU applicants to find a vacancy in the central job database. Than they could get the ‘green card’, which would serve as a job and residency permit, in a Czech embassy in their country.

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