Ordinary courts – introduction
Judicial power in the Slovak Republic is exercised by independent and impartial courts. At all levels, judicial matters are separated from those of other national authorities.
Slovak Ministry of Justice database Slov-Lex
The Slovak Ministry of Justice's ‘Electronic Collection of Legislative Acts (Slov-Lex)’ project is based on two interconnected information systems:
- eZbierka (eCollection) — an information system providing binding consolidated electronic texts of legislation and other standards to those addressed by the law
- eLegislatíva (eLegislation) — a process management information system for all stages of the legislative process, equipped with advanced editing tools for legislators
Benefits for target groups:
The fundamental legal principle that all people are familiar with the law as valid and in force and are aware of their rights and obligations is increasingly difficult to apply in practice in view of the increasing volume and complexity of laws. The Slov-Lex project will help to improve implementation of this principle by ensuring effective access for all to the legislation in force:
- citizens – the eZbierka section of the project in particular will bring benefits in the form of formally and substantively improved access to the legislation in force, free of charge, and increased awareness of new legislation
- legal practitioners — will obtain continuous access to the legislation in force and the possibility of being made aware of new Slovak or European Union legislation, both generally and specifically in terms of the regulations governing the fields in which they specialise
- entrepreneurs — will also obtain continuous access free of charge to the legislation in force and the possibility of being made aware of new Slovak or European Union legislation, both generally and specifically in terms of the regulations governing the fields in which they operate; a better regulatory environment will create more favourable conditions for entrepreneurship and reduce the administrative burden associated with doing business
- local and regional authorities — will obtain continuous access free of charge to sources of the legislation in force, while at the same time their administrative burden (the administratively demanding and costly obligation to provide access on working days to the Collection of Legislative Acts, linked to a subscription to and the archiving of a paper copy of the Collection) will be reduced, replacing the burdensome obligation to ensure assisted access to the Collection on working days
- public administrations — the project will on the one hand provide continuous access free of charge to sources of the legislation in force and, on the other, reduce the administrative burden and, therefore, the financial cost of the legislative process, as well as the possibility of improving the performance of tasks in the field of lawmaking and the implementation of European Union law
- judicial authorities — will obtain continuous and rapid access to the legislation in force on any chosen day in history, and the possibility of references from judicial decisions to the legislation in force at a given time, resulting in the possibility of at least partially eliminating routine activities and increasing the efficiency of the work of judges and court officials
- legislative bodies — will be able to use an efficient tool to draft legislation and administer the legislative process, which will release them from some burdensome red tape and enable them to better focus on the content of pending proposals.
The organisation of ordinary courts
Slovakia’s system of courts
The Slovak judiciary comprises:
- district courts (54)
- regional courts (8)
- the Specialised Criminal Court
- the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic
Jurisdiction of courts
District courts act as courts of first instance in civil and criminal cases, save where the rules governing court proceedings provide otherwise.
They also deal with electoral cases, where stipulated by the relevant legislation.
Regional courts act as courts of second instance in civil and criminal cases heard at first instance by district courts.
The rules of procedure specify the civil and criminal cases in which regional courts act as courts of first instance.
Regional courts act as courts of first instance in administrative cases, save where otherwise stipulated by special legislation.
They also deal with other cases where stipulated by special legislation (Act No 166/2003 on the protection of privacy against unauthorised use of information technology and amending certain other acts).
The Specialised Criminal Court
The Specialised Criminal Court rules on criminal matters and other matters as laid down by the rules governing court proceedings.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction in:
- ordinary appeals against decisions by regional courts and the Specialised Criminal Court, where provided by the rules governing court proceedings;
- extraordinary appeals against decisions by district courts, regional courts, the Specialised Criminal Court and the Supreme Court, where provided by the rules governing court proceedings;
- conflicts of jurisdiction between courts and bodies of central government administration;
- reassignment of a case to a court other than the competent court, where provided by the rules governing court proceedings;
- other cases, where provided by an Act or international treaty.
The Supreme Court reviews decisions taken by courts in cases where final judgment has been given.
The Supreme Court oversees the uniform interpretation and consistent application of laws and other acts of general application:
- through its own decision-making;
- by issuing opinions aimed at unifying the interpretation of laws and other acts of general application;
- by publishing final court decisions of key significance in the Reports of Opinions of the Supreme Court and Decisions of the Courts of the Slovak Republic.
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