Center for Legal Analyses-Kalligram`s Update

From: MINELRES moderator <>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 16:06:25 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: Center for Legal Analyses-Kalligram`s Update

From: MINELRES moderator <>

Original sender: Balazs Jarabik <>

Center for Legal Analyses-Kalligram`s Update

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Please find below the update of the Center for Legal
Analyses-Kalligram Foundation from Slovakia. The mission of the Center
for Legal Analyses (CLA) is to create an independent group of experts
to analyze relevant legal questions regarding minorities in Slovakia.
Independent legal analysis provides a basis for a potential and
necessary improvement of the currently valid legal protection of the
minorities and its implementation. Such analysis, together with public
discussion and dissemination of relevant information also strengthens
legal consciousness of minorities and brings attention of the whole
society to the minority issues.

CLA defines legal analysis as:
  a.. Research of legislature needs;
  b.. Compliance of legislature with EU standards;
  c.. Promotion of consistency of legislation in identified specific
  d.. Drafting legislative proposals for amendment of current
  e.. Interpretation of legislature.

Update, January-August 2001

Comparative Analyses on the so-called Hungarian and Slovak status law
The comparative analysis has finished analyses on one of the most
important issue in the relationship between Slovakia and Hungary, the
so-called status laws. In the analyses the CLA-Kalligram compares the
Slovak status law since 1997 and the passed status law of Hungary.

Positive discrimination in Europe and the U.S

The analysis consists of three parts:

I.    Definition/description of affirmative action & positive
discrimination (AA/PD), the concepts, legal structure & legal
justifications, different concrete forms it takes

II.   Legal Problems raised by AA/PD, for example: 
- Whether it should be permanent / temporary / indefinite?
-  What groups it should affect / how to identify them,
- Procedural issues: discussion of how AA/PD cases are dealt with,
problems raised, especially burden of proof, etc
- Difference between US & European concepts (ie, individuals vs. group
approach to rights)
- Difference between justifications of AA/PD in various countries
- Difference in legal framework / regulations in various countries and
at the international level

III.    Slovakia - discussion of background context, current
situation, application of lessons learned from problems discussed
- Political/sociological/ historical context - why discrimination is
at issue now; include reports about Roma, other national minorities.
-  Although the Slovak government's strategy is based on the same
purpose, politicians, government-officers agree in this way, but there
is no word in the worked-out materials about affirmative action. This
is quite clear that the recent political environment is likely not
support of a concept of positive discrimination on Roma. There is no
single political party in the governments to "suffer" the criticism of
recent legal frame of discrimination act. There is no political elite
or civil rights fighters to support Roma on creating stronger
anti-discrimination and law to prohibited AA/PD on Roma despite the
fact, there is the only way of any kind of affirmative action. However
understanding the ironies of affirmative action requires a
fundamentally cultural interpretation of policies, policy and law. The
approach is inspired by a simple notion: the most important thing one
can know about a people is what they take for granted.  

State of Agricultural Legislation and Usage of the Land
The comprehensive analysis is examining the recent level of the
agricultural legislation and the usage of the land and the state of
the legislation preparation of the Slovak agriculture to the European
Union. The work is underway and CLA plans to meet important experts of
the field in the near future.

Financing of the minority culture in Slovakia - legal principles 
CLA has elaborated a material on the financing of minority culture in
Slovakia. The aim of the analysis was to draw up a possible structure
of the financing of minority culture in Slovakia. The main objective
was to find a structure that would guarantee a stable flow of
financing into minority culture as much independent of the political
priorities of the government as possible. This objective is based on
past experiences, when the Ministry of Culture cut funds aimed at
minority culture in its own discretion.
 The analysis prepared by CLA proposed four various scenarios. The
first scenario envisages the creation of the fund administered by the
Ministry of Culture with an annual grant from the state budget defined
by law that could only be used to promote minority culture. According
to the second and third scenario, a central state administration body
would be created, which would either distribute funds itself (second
scenario) or via a fund administered by it (third scenario). Finally,
the fourth scenario is based on the creation of an autonomous body
funded by the state.

After having consulted the material with experts we realized that the
material could form the base of a future reform of the financing of
minority culture in Slovakia. Therefore CLA is going to organize an
international conference on the topic, scheduled preliminarily for
October 9. The conference should provide information about practices
across Europe and also give some more feedback from Slovak experts.
After the conference CLA plans to complete its analysis with the
results of the conference, which should then become a comprehensive
overview of the financing of minority culture in Slovakia and outlooks
into the future.

Comparative analyses on the three existing law regulating the usage of
the minority languages
Analysis to compare the three existing law to use the language of the
minorities in Slovakia: the Act on State Language since 1995, Act on
the Usage of the Minority Languages since 1999, European Charter for
Regional and Minority Languages ratified by the Slovak Parliament in
June 2001.

Amendments of the Slovak Constitution
Comparative analysis on the new amendments of the Slovak Constitution
passed by the Slovak parliament in May 2001 and the old Constitution.
Please note, the website of CLA-Kalligram will be launched soon. All
analyses will be available in English as well.

If you have any questions, comments, don`t hesitate to contact:

Balazs Jarabik 
Senior Consultant

Center for Legal Analyses - Kalligram Foundation
Starmostska 6/b

tel/fax: +421.2.5441 8071

MINELRES - a forum for discussion on minorities in Central&Eastern

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