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Original scientific paper

The Deconstitutionalisation of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia in Criminal Matters and the Strengthening of Authoritative Mechanisms for the Standardisation of Case Law

Zlata Đurđević ; Pravni fakultet, Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska


Full text: croatian pdf 547 Kb

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Abstract

THE DECONSTITUTIONALISATION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF
CROATIA IN CRIMINAL MATTERS AND THE STRENGTHENING OF AUTHORITATIVE
MECHANISMS FOR THE STANDARDISATION OF CASE LAW: THE MISSED OPPORTUNITY
OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
This paper discusses the mechanisms for the standardisation of the case law of the Supreme
Court of the Republic of Croatia within the framework of its constitutional power referred to in
Article 116 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, which ensures the uniform application
of laws and equality of all before the law. This power and the mechanisms for its implementation
came to the fore of the Croatian criminal legal order after the power of the Supreme Court of the
RC to decide on the correct application of the law in non-fi nal criminal court decisions was abolished
and transferred to the High Criminal Court that was established precisely for this purpose.
This paper shows not only that the Supreme Court was stripped of its constitutional legal status in
criminal matters, but also identifi es various shortcomings in the organisation of criminal courts,
the legal remedy system, as well as the existence of administrative-judicial mechanisms for interpreting
laws and legal issues. These include binding legal interpretations, conclusions of meetings
of representatives of the Supreme Court with presidents of departments and courts, records
departments, and centres for case law. The conclusion is that the withdrawal of criminal jurisdiction
from the Supreme Court would lead to the strengthening of post-socialist and authoritarian
mechanisms for the standardisation of case law, which cannot be found in western democracies,
and which have been reinforced in Croatia since its accession to the European Union. The Constitutional
Court of the RC suspended the start of work of the High Criminal Court, instilling
some hope that it would stop the application of a not only unnecessary but even harmful solution
for the criminal justice system. However, after having received expert opinions from all four
university departments of criminal procedural law in Croatia, which unanimously concluded that
this was an unconstitutional solution, it dismissed them all and decided that the High Criminal
Court would begin to operate on 1 January 2021. By a majority Decision of 3 November 2020,
with two dissenting opinions, the Constitutional Court of the RC missed the opportunity not just
to prevent the deconstitutionalisation of the Supreme Court in criminal matters, but also to help
the Croatian criminal justice system and the Croatian state to correct the current institutional and
functional shortcomings in the organisation of the court system and the judicial remedy system,
as well as to exclude the standardisation of court decisions through administrative channels.

Keywords

uniformisation/standardisation procedure of the case law, constitutional authority of the Supreme Court, internal judical independence, finality of judgements, administrative- judicial mechanisams

Hrčak ID:

252205

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/252205

Article data in other languages: croatian

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