17. 3. 2020

Impact of the epidemic on court, administrative and other public law matters and procedures

This means that procedural acts are carried out only in urgent cases, as defined in Article 83 of the Courts Act (e.g. investigations and trials in criminal cases in which a defendant is deprived or confined of liberty, insurance proceedings, enforcement cases in relation to the upbringing and care of children and child support obligations arising from the law, etc.). All hearings, tours, mediations, etc. in non-urgent matters, must be cancelled at this time. During the period of validity of the measure, neither procedural deadlines (deadlines for performing procedural actions) run, nor will courts, during that time, send court documents or deal directly with clients (except in urgent cases). Material deadlines e.g. for bringing an action; however, despite the Order (for the time being - see next paragraph), are still pending. The Order is valid until revoked, but not later than May 16th, 2020.

Furthermore, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has also prepared a proposal for a Law on temporary measures in relation to judicial, administrative and other public-law matters for the control of the spread of infectious disease SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), which will be adopted by urgent procedure. 

The main objectives of the Bill are:

i. taking measures to protect workers in these activities; 

ii. allowing the halt of procedural deadlines in (non-virus-driven) procedures, as well as suspending the running of all material deadlines for the enforcement of customer rights, as different measures of the state (e.g. ban on public transport, closure of branches, etc.) prevent individuals from the effective exercise of their rights. Deadlines for actions by state authorities and other holders of public authority are also extended, as their functioning is also hindered and 

iii. taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus in prisons. 

The Bill also envisages the possibility of temporary measures limiting the business of or the closing down of notary offices, which is likely to happen in the coming days. The envisaged measures in the field of administrative and other public-law matters will similarly allow for the suspension of deadlines (procedural and material deadlines), the proposal also introduces a restriction on physical operations in businesses (i.e. direct contacts) and allows the submission of applications electronically, even without a secure electronic signature (if the identity of the investor can be determined in another reliable way). 

The temporary measures envisaged by the draft Law should remain in force until the reasons for them cease to exist, but no later than 1st July 2020.

Law Office Fabiani, Petrovič, Jeraj, Rejc d.o.o.
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