Slovakia State Overview

Law

In addition to civil and criminal matters, the ordinary jurisdiction is also responsible for comprehensive judicial administrative legal protection. It has a three-tier structure and is exercised by 54 district courts (the government is aiming for a lower number), eight district courts, a special criminal court (since 2004) and the Supreme Court. The latter acts as a court of cassation and, in cases where the regional courts have jurisdiction, as a court of appeal. There is also a two-tier military criminal jurisdiction. In 2001 a constitutional amendment created a Council of Judges, whose members are appointed by various highest state organs and which performs important functions with regard to the appointment, removal and transfer of judges. In 2002, their secondary employment was largely restricted.

In recent years, great efforts have been made to adapt the legal system to the requirements of a market economy in all areas, which has led to extremely lively legislative activity in some areas of law. The essential guideline was European law. The Civil Code (ZGB) dates from 1964, the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) from 1967 and the Commercial Code (HGB) from 1991. Extensive changes have been made to them. Among other things, the amended ZGB contains a new law of obligations and a substantially redesigned property law. Company law was revised in the HGB. In 2002 a new labor code was introduced.

Education

Three to five year olds are prepared for school attendance in the optional pre-school (materská škola). From 6 to 16 years of age there is a general nine-year school attendance. Attending state schools is free of charge. Private and denominational schools have been approved since 1990.

According to educationvv, primary education (grades 1–4) takes place exclusively in the elementary school (základná škola). After grade 4, secondary level I can be attended in the same school type up to grade 9. However, it is also possible to switch to other educational institutions that combine both secondary levels I and II and lead to the final examination. These schools include the grammar school (gymnázium) and the technical middle school (stredná odborná škola) as well as the vocational middle school (stredné odborné učilište) with or without a high school diploma.

For members of national and ethnic minorities, among others Schools with native language instruction and combined bilingual schools are available. In the tertiary sector, there are public, state and private higher education institutions such as the universities in Bratislava, Košice and Banská Bystrica or technical universities (e.g. in Bratislava, Košice and Zvolen). The oldest university is the Comenius University (founded in 1919) in Bratislava, whose predecessor was the Universitas Istropolitana, which was founded by Corvinus in 1465. There has been a Catholic university in Ružomberok since 2000 and a Hungarian university in Komárno since 2004.

Media

The media landscape is diverse and pluralistic. The private sector share is high, especially in the press and television sector.

Press: The most widely read daily newspapers are, along with the tabloid »Nový čas« (»New Time«; founded in 1991), the daily »Pravda« (»Truth«; founded in 1920), »SME« (»We are«; founded in 1993), die Hungarian-language »Új Szó« (»New Word«, founded in 1948) and the business newspaper »Hospodárske noviny« (founded in 1957). The most widely read weekly newspaper is called »Plus 7 Dní« (»Plus 7 Days«).

News agencies: “Tlačová agentúra Slovenskej republiky” (TASR; founded in 1992, under public law), SITA (founded in 1997, independent).

Radio: The public radio and television company “Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska” (RTVS; founded in 2011) includes the “Slovenská televízia” (STV; Slovak television), which has existed since 1956, with two channels and the radio station “Slovenský rozhlas”, which has existed since 1923 «(SRo; Slovak Radio) with nine channels. The most popular TV channels are “TV Markiza” from Central European Media (CME), the private TV channel “TV Joj” and the news channel “TA3”. Private radio stations include »Rádio Expres« and »Fun Rádio«.

Tourism

Tourist attractions are seven world heritage sites, nine national parks, including in particular the alpine landscape and the winter sports areas of the High and Low Tatras, the caves in the Slovak Karst (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the national park “Slovenský raj” (“Slovak Paradise”, 198 km 2), a karst landscape in the northern Slovak Ore Mountains with one of the largest ice caves in the world.

The Western Carpathians are rich in mineral springs used in medicinal baths (Piešt’any, Trenčianske Teplice, Bardejov). Hiking, mountaineering and city tourism in Bratislava and many lovely small towns are popular tourist activities. Tourism is proving to be an industry with great growth dynamics. The number of foreign visitors was 2.2 million (2017), mainly from the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Austria; the income was around € 2.9 billion.

Transportation

The Slovak Republic has a dense rail network. The Prague – Brno – Bratislava – Budapest motorway is part of the important main traffic corridor from Central to Southeastern Europe. Shipping on the Danube (ports in Komárno and Bratislava) is of great economic importance. There are four international airports with runways over 3,000 m in length, the largest of which is Bratislava.

Slovakia State Overview

About the author