Judicial systems in Member States - Croatia
Judicial system in the Republic of Croatia
The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia stipulates that authority in Croatia is organised according to the principle of separation of powers, so that legislative authority is exercised by the Croatian Parliament, executive authority by the Government of the Republic of Croatia and judicial authority by the courts of Croatia. As holders of judicial authority, the courts administer justice according to the Constitution, laws and regulations and international treaties which Croatia has signed and ratified. The judicial function is vested in judges appointed by the State Judicial Council. In exercising their judicial duties, judges must be independent and autonomous and enjoy immunity in accordance with the law. Judicial office is permanent and a judge may not perform any other duty.
Organisation of the judicial system in Croatia
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia carries out:
- legal and other duties relating to:
civil, criminal and trade laws and the administration of administrative justice, the structure, functioning and professional training of judges, prosecutors and staff in the courts, public prosecution bodies in charge of misdemeanour proceedings and authorities in charge of the enforcement of criminal sanctions, administrative and other tasks relating to the work of notaries and prosecutors, court and notary fees, international legal assistance and other forms of legal assistance, enforcement of criminal sanctions, pardons and parole, computerisation, institutionalisation and coordination of the system of support for victims and witnesses within the judiciary, activities relating to the provision of information and support to victims and witnesses, matters relating to the payment of compensation to persons unjustifiably arrested and unjustly convicted and administrative tasks relating to financial compensation for the victims of crime,
- supervision of the performance of the administration within the judicial system, the public prosecutor’s office and the bodies conducting misdemeanour proceedings,
- administrative and other tasks related to:
right of ownership, property matters relating to expropriation and other restrictions on ownership, property matters concerning construction, agricultural and forest land, land consolidation, the sale and purchase of land and buildings and those agricultural operations that do not fall under the jurisdiction of other government bodies, the property of foreign nationals, compensation for property confiscated during the Yugoslav communist rule that do not fall under the jurisdiction of other government bodies and the succession of property, rights and liabilities of the former SFRY,
- administrative and professional tasks related to the cooperation of the Government of the Republic of Croatia with international criminal courts, representation of the Republic of Croatia before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the International Court of Justice and other international courts, unless otherwise provided for by a specific decision of the Croatian Government, and tasks related to the protection of human rights and the rights of national minorities,
- tasks related to the participation of Croatia in the work of the bodies of the European Union in the areas under the Ministry's jurisdiction,
- other tasks within the Ministry's competence under a specific law.
The Judicial Academy is an independent public institution that provides quality initial professional training for trainees in the judicial bodies and for students at the State School for Judicial Officials, and organises and continuously improves the lifelong learning of judicial officials and advisors in the judicial bodies.
- State School for Judicial Officials
- Directorate for professional training of trainees, advisors in the judicial bodies and judicial officials
- Regional centres in the county courts in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek and Varaždin
- the Judicial Academy is governed by judges, prosecutors, university professors and other experts
The Judicial Academy is actively involved in international cooperation and participates in European Union projects as both a beneficiary and a participant. These projects are aimed at institutional strengthening of the Academy and the professional development of its target groups.
Courts in the Republic of Croatia
The Courts Act regulates the organisation, competence and jurisdiction of the courts.
In the Republic of Croatia, judicial authority is exercised by the courts as separate bodies of state authority. They exercise their authority autonomously and independently within the scope and competence prescribed by law.
The courts protect the legal order of Croatia as established by the Constitution, laws and international treaties and ensure the uniform application of the law and the equality of all before the law.
The courts decide on cases concerning fundamental human rights and obligations, the rights and duties of the Republic of Croatia and of local and regional self-government units and the rights and obligations of other legal persons, pronounce sanctions and other measures against the perpetrators of crimes, misdemeanours and offences specified by law and other regulations, review the legality of general and individual acts of the public administration authorities, decide on disputes concerning the personal relations of citizens, labour, commercial, property and other civil cases, and deliberate on other legal cases as provided for by law.
The courts administer justice in conformity with the Constitution, laws, international treaties, and other valid legal sources.
Judicial authority in the Republic of Croatia is exercised by ordinary and specialised courts and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia.
The ordinary courts are municipal courts and county courts.
The specialised courts are commercial courts, administrative courts, misdemeanour courts, the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia and the High Misdemeanour Court of the Republic of Croatia.
Municipal and misdemeanour courts are established for the territory of one or more municipalities, one or more towns or parts of an urban area, and the county, commercial and administrative courts are established for the territory of one or more counties.
The High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia, the High Misdemeanour Court of the Republic of Croatia and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia are established for the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia is the highest court in Croatia.
The law may establish other ordinary and specialised courts with jurisdiction in a particular technical or legal area.
Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia
County courts (15)
High Commercial Court (1)
High Administrative Court (1)
High Misdemeanour Court (1)
Municipal courts (67)
Commercial Courts (7)
Administrative courts (4)
Misdemeanour courts (61)
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia has its seat in Zagreb.
- It ensures the uniform application of law and the equality of everyone in its application,
- It decides on ordinary legal remedies when prescribed by a specific law,
- It decides on extraordinary legal remedies against final decisions of the courts in Croatia,
- It decides on conflicts of jurisdiction when prescribed by a specific law,
- It discusses current legal issues concerning judicial practice, analyses the need for professional development of judges, advisers and court trainees and engages in other activities provided for by law.
Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime
The Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime is a special public prosecutor’s office established for the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia, which performs public prosecution tasks in cases involving corruption and criminal acts by organised crime.
Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime
10 000 Zagreb
tel: +385 4591 874
fax: + 385 1 4591 878
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Last update: 20/07/2016