Skip to main content

Photo: “Flags of Slovakia,” by Jorge Andrade licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic. Hue modified from the original.

Čuroš, Peter. “Panopticon of the Slovak Judiciary–Continuity of Power Centers and Mental Dependence.” German Law Journal 22, no. 7 (2021): 1247-1281.


This Article explores the similarities between the principles which guide the judiciary nowadays and those typical for the functioning of the Communist justice system, particularly the susceptibility to obedience to the requests, orders, or meeting anticipations. The habitus of the judges typical for the authoritarian regime has persisted until these days and was the main reason for the judicial corruption revealed in the “Threema scandal.” This Article’s argument does not connect the judiciary’s dependency to the Communist legacy embodied in members of the judiciary who served before 1989 and are active today. Still, the argument presumes that the Communist heritage is a key to understanding the current situation. The past heritage is hidden in the habitus of the agents or members of the judiciary. This habitus may be unconscious yet defining for the behavior of the agents. The Article aims to identify which continuities of the judicial habitus are apparent in the current judiciary. To demonstrate changes in the position of the judiciary, it presents a thesis of the development of the judiciary from an instrument of the governing party in maintaining a homogenous and subordinated society to the current situation of the Slovak judiciary, defined as a crisis of mental independence resulting in inappropriate behavior and corruption.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.