Adopted new provisional measures with respect to judicial affairs
Authors: Helena Butolen, Lenart Kmetič
Pursuant to Article 4 of the Act on Provisional Measures with Respect to Judicial, Administrative and Other Public-Law Affairs for the Control of the Spread of the Contagious Disease SARS-CoV-2 (COVID 19) (ZZUSUDJZ), the adoption of which was covered in our publication posted on 20 March 2020, the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia on 30 March 2020 adopted a new Order on special measures (the “Order”). Several additional measures in relation judicial matters were adopted by the Order.
1. Reduction of the scope of matters considered urgent
The main novelty implemented by the new Order is that the Supreme Court defined several matters, otherwise classified as urgent, as non-urgent. This means that during the validity of the Order Slovenian courts will neither hold any hearings nor decide in these matters.
These, now non-urgent matters, include among others, compulsory settlement and bankruptcy proceedings, meaning that until revocation or amendment of implemented provisional measures, the Courts will no longer decide on petitions for initiation of bankruptcy- or compulsory settlement proceedings. Furthermore, the deadlines for filing or examining claims, filing lawsuits for rebuttal, submitting opening reports etc., do not run in insolvency proceedings that have already been initiated.
The Order excludes from the scope of urgent matters also individual acts in proceedings relating to securing of claims (i.e. actions that require personal contact and are not necessary to prevent threats to life and health of people or property of greater value), bill of exchange and check protests and bill of exchange lawsuits, inventories of the decedent’s assets, disputes concerning the withdrawal of a driver’s license or seizure of a motor vehicle, as well as some other matters, including certain administrative disputes governed by sectoral laws (e.g. disputes under the Information Commissioner Act, the Health Care and Health Insurance Act and other).
2. Other measures relating to judicial matters
Similarly as did the previous Order of the President of the Supreme Court on special measures as of 13 March 2020, also the new Order introduces certain other measures relating to the contact of Courts with parties and the general public. Thus, physical access to courts is, save as in urgent matters, not possible and the parties may file applications only by post or, when possible, through the electronic portal eSodstvo. Communication with Courts is assured during office hours via published telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Hearings, sessions and examinations in urgent matters shall, if possible, be conducted via videoconferences. The judge or president of the panel may also temporarily exclude the public from the main hearing or its part, as well as impose other appropriate safety measures.
Provisional measures introduced by the Order shall be valid until their revocation, however, not any longer than by 1 July 2020. With the adoption of the new Order, the previous Order of the president of the Supreme Court on special measures as of 13 March 2020 ceased to apply.