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Process management Slovakia

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published on 4 May 2021 | reading time approx. 4 minutes




International jurisdiction

Regulations, along with the founding treaties, are part of the primary law of the EU and are therefore directly effective and applicable without having to enact further specific legislation in this regard. For this reason, Regulation No. 12015/2012 is directly effective in Slovakia, and Regulation No. 12015/2012 applies to disputes between subjects within the EUR in civil and commercial law matters.


Regulation No. 12015/2012 refers to subjects who are resident in the territory of the EU. The nationality is irrelevant. Furthermore, Regulation No. 12015/2012 distinguishes special jurisdiction, jurisdiction over insurance matters, labor law, consumer matters, exclusive jurisdiction, agreement on jurisdiction, etc.


Since Regulation No. 12015/2012 applies EU-wide and is therefore not specific to Slovakia, we will not discuss Regulation No. 12015/2012 in detail within the scope of this paper. What is important is that Regulation No. 12015/2012 applies and is effective in Slovakia.


Structure jurisdiction and judicial channels

Jurisdiction in Slovakia is exercised by general courts and the Constitutional Court.


General courts are divided as follows

  • District courts - District courts are courts of first instance, in civil and criminal matters.
  • County courts - County courts are courts of second instance in civil and criminal cases in which district courts have ruled. In some civil and criminal cases, county courts are courts of first instance. County courts rule on administrative actions in the first instance.
  • Specialized criminal court, this court decides in some criminal cases.
  • Supreme Court: Supreme Court decides i) in the second instance on decisions of the district courts and the Specialized Criminal Court, ii) on extraordinary appeals against decisions of district courts, county courts and the Specialized Criminal Court, iii) is responsible for the harmonization of case law and legal interpretation.

Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court exercises its jurisdiction in accordance with the Constitution. For the purposes of this essay, the following powers of the Constitutional Court are important:

  • The Constitutional Court decides on the conformity of laws with the Constitution and on the conformity of other legal regulations with the laws and the Constitution,
  • The Constitutional Court decides on constitutional lawsuits by which plaintiffs claim violations of human rights. As a rule, a constitutional action may be brought after other remedies have been exhausted.

Legal costs

Legal costs are understood to be all expenses incurred in court proceedings in connection with the assertion or preservation of rights. Legal costs are understood to include in particular: Court fees, costs of evidence, costs of legal representation – lawyers' fees, etc.


Obligation to bear costs/obligation to reimburse costs

In principle, each party must bear its legal costs.


The court must decide on the reimbursement of legal costs in the course of the proceedings. In principle, the losing party must reimburse the legal costs to the party that was successful in the proceedings. In the case of partial success, the reimbursement of the legal costs of a party is awarded in proportion to the success or the court may decide that no party is entitled to reimbursement of the legal costs.


As mentioned above, legal costs also consist of legal representation costs, i.e. attorney's fees. Attorneys' fees are calculated in accordance with the Ordinance on Attorneys' Fees (hereinafter only “VuAV”). Generally, attorney's fees are calculated according to the value of the subject matter of the court proceedings. The calculation of attorney's fees in accordance with VuVA refers only to the legal costs as extrapolated by the court for the purpose of deciding on legal costs. The actual remuneration of the attorney in the respective court proceedings is subject to an agreement between the attorney and the Client, i.e. the remuneration to which the attorney is entitled on the basis of the individual agreement with the Client may differ from the costs pursuant to VuAV.


Average duration of proceedings

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Justice, the average duration of court proceedings in commercial law cases is about 20 months. The tendency is increasing. That is, in a calendar year, the average duration of court proceedings is only 14 months.


However, various factors have an influence on the actual duration of court proceedings; in particular, the duration of court proceedings can depend significantly on the complexity of the factual and legal situation. The evidence situation, or the need to secure evidence (summoning witnesses, expert opinions, etc.) has a significant impact on the duration of the court proceedings. After the end of the court proceedings in the first instance, one must also reckon with possible appeal and hearing in the second instance. In certain cases, extraordinary appeals are also filed, in which case the case ends at the Supreme Court. Against this background, it can be stated that some proceedings can really take years.


Interim relief

According to the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO), a distinction is made between measures that cannot be postponed and measures that must be secured.


Measures that cannot be postponed

Imprudent measures can only be ordered if the purpose cannot be achieved by safeguarding measures.


A measure that cannot be postponed may be ordered by the court if it is necessary to settle the circumstances without delay or if the execution is threatened.


An action that cannot be postponed may, in particular, impose the following on a party:

  • Payment of part of the salary in case of labor disputes,
  • Prohibition to dispose of property or rights,
  • Order to do or refrain from doing something,
  • Entry ban,
  • Prohibition to communicate with certain person or prohibition to approach certain person,
  • Order to refrain from certain acts in the field of intellectual property.

Safeguarding measures

By protective measures, the court may establish a lien on property or other tangible assets for the purpose of securing the creditor's claim if there is a fear that enforcement may be threatened.


Recognition and enforcement

Enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards is regulated by the Execution Code. Enforcement is carried out by registered bailiffs.


Recognised judgments of foreign courts/bodies – which are defined in the Execution Code as foreign execution titles – are also enforced.


Regulation No. 12015/2012 refers to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments within the EU, i.e. the judgments of EU countries are generally recognised and can be enforced.


General

All of the issues discussed above relate to the problems of civil and commercial law, as well as to the relations between Slovakia and the countries of the EU. An analysis of relations with non-EU countries is beyond the scope of this essay.

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