Reflections on Constitutional Unamendability: View from 2019 Constitutional Court Judges’ Selection Hearings in Slovakia

This paper examines judicial conceptions of the doctrine of constitutional unamendability, articulated by candidates for appointment to the Slovak Constitutional Court in the 2019 selection hearings. These hearings took place at the heels of a historic decision of the Court on the implicit “material core” of the Constitution, which invalidated parts of a constitutional amendment. Every candidate received a question on the subject at least once during the five rounds of hearings took place between January 23 and September 10. They struggled, in front of live cameras, to answer whether constitutional unamendability is a tool that has an appropriate place in the toolbox of the Constitutional Court. this paper uses the collected replies from the selection hearing as a probe into thinking of legal professionals vying for a position on the most powerful court of the land. The result is a contextualised understanding of a material core and constitutional unamendability.