Follow-Up: Kodym’s Legal Battles and Their Impact on Czech Railway Regulation

Overview of Legal Battles: Pavel Kodym, the former head of the Transport Infrastructure Access Authority (ÚPDI), has brought three notable legal cases against the Czech government, winning all of them. These cases highlight systemic issues in railway regulation and whistleblower protections.

Case 1: Reporting Illegal State Aid

Kodym reported potential illegal state aid to České dráhy (Czech Railways) to the European Commission. His subsequent dismissal was deemed retaliatory by the court, marking the first legal victory. This case emphasized the need for strong whistleblower protections.

Case 2: Abolition of ÚPDI

In response to Kodym’s actions, the government attempted to abolish ÚPDI, merging its functions with the Antimonopoly Office. The court ruled this move unlawful, seeing it as a retaliatory act against Kodym’s whistleblowing activities. This decision highlighted the importance of maintaining independent regulatory bodies.

Case 3: Unlawful Dismissal and Office Abolition

The third case reinforced the previous rulings, with the court again siding with Kodym. The abolition of ÚPDI and Kodym’s dismissal were both found to be unjust retaliation. This ruling required the government to re-evaluate its approach to regulation and oversight.

The government tasked Transport Minister Martin Kupka to settle the court battle with the whistleblower. Kupka lost. Again.

Government’s Legislative Response: In an attempt to legitimize the abolition of ÚPDI, Parliament quickly passed legislation merging its functions with the Antimonopoly Office. This action was criticised by industry stakeholders who feared it would compromise the independence and effectiveness of railway regulation.

Industry Concerns: The consolidation of regulatory functions has raised alarms about market fairness and the impartiality of oversight. Stakeholders argue that the absorption of ÚPDI’s responsibilities into the Antimonopoly Office could lead to biased regulation, negatively impacting the railway sector.

Impact on High-Speed Rail (HSR) Projects: The turmoil surrounding these cases has cast uncertainty over the Czech Republic’s high-speed rail ambitions. Effective and impartial regulation is crucial for the successful development of HSR infrastructure. The government’s actions and the legal rulings have highlighted the need for transparent and independent regulatory practices to support these goals.

Future of Regulatory Oversight: The outcomes of Kodym’s cases underscore the necessity for robust whistleblower protections and independent regulatory bodies. Legislative reforms are essential to ensure that regulatory authorities operate autonomously and that whistleblowers are safeguarded against retaliation. The industry calls for clear and consistent regulatory policies to foster a fair and competitive market.


Pavel Kodym’s legal victories against the Czech government have exposed significant flaws in the country’s approach to railway regulation and whistleblower protections. The government’s legislative responses and the subsequent industry concerns emphasize the need for independent oversight to maintain market fairness and support the advancement of the Czech Republic’s high-speed rail projects. As these developments continue to unfold, the focus must remain on ensuring transparent, effective, and impartial regulatory practices.For more detailed information, visit our original article and the Seznam Zprávy article.

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.