Following the example of its European neighbours, the Monegasque legislator is completing its legislative arsenal to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and has recently adopted two bills to this effect:
- No 1010, suspending the administrative time limits in order to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- No 1011, pertaining to justice in order to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
These two bills are in line with previous decisions by the Monegasque Government concerning, in particular, the closure of facilities open to the public, including public authorities, and the restriction of movement of individuals outside their homes on the territory of the Principality.
These two measures have had a major effect on the relationship between public authorities and users of public services. Bill No 1010 aims to soften the time limits prescribed by legal or regulatory provisions and thus to suspend for a period of two months, from 18 March, i.e. until 18 May, all administrative time limits applicable in the context of relations between the Monegasque public services and users.
If, however, the travel restrictions were to be extended, then the period of suspension would be extended accordingly. In addition, a further suspension of the time limits of one month would then be provided for in order to ensure that "the activity of the administrative services be resumed under good conditions".
As regards bill No 1011, it deals with the administration of Justice in Monaco. Sovereign Ordinance No 8.019 of 26 March 2020 suspending the time limits for appeals and proceedings before the Monaco Supreme Court to deal with the consequences of the measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic (see our article on this topic), had already paved the way by suspending the procedural deadlines for two months from 16 March. Bill No 1011 thus complements the Ordinance of 26 March by providing for a two-month suspension, also effective 16 March, of:
- all time limits for proceedings in civil, commercial, employment and administrative matters, including, in particular, those inherent to ordinary and extraordinary appeals, in addition to those of foreclosure provided for by codes or special laws ; and
- time limits for hearings, as well as time limits after which a judge must have ruled, provided for by codes or special laws, with the exception of those relating to pre-trial custody.
Finally, Article 2 of the bill provides for the suspension, again for two months from 16 March, of the fifteen-day period provided for in Article 601 of the Commercial Code, which deals with bankruptcy and offences assimilated to bankruptcy.