Amendment to the Slovene Civil Procedure Act: Big Changes or False Alarm?
The Slovenian Civil Procedure Act was last amended 8 years ago. Since then the Ministry of Justice received several petitions from the courts and lawyers to amend the Civil Procedure Act. A positive change in the process of adopting the amendments has been the opportunity to participate in the public debate where lawyers, judges, notaries and businessmen gave their comments, which were predominantly taken into account in the later forming of the amendment. The final draft of the amendment is now in the second hearing by the government. This latest amendment proposal was inspired by the Austrian and German civil litigation proceedings systems. According to the introductory notes of the amendment, its main purpose is to speed up and modernise the civil procedure, meet the requirements set by the Constitutional Court and follow the developments in the Slovenian legal system.
The main changes that the amendment brings are the electronic service of documents, the cascade lawsuit, the limitation of the number of preparatory statements, the inclusion of the preliminary hearing, proactive case management led by the judge, sanctioning the absence of parties from the preliminary court hearing, the final statements of the parties (as known in the criminal procedure), new possibilities for issuing of interim judgments, an immediate delivery of the judgment, amendments to the appeal proceeding and amendments regarding the revision procedure.
Hopefully this amendment will make civil court proceedings more effective, accelerate judicial proceedings and reduce the existing court backlogs. Time will tell if this amendment will achieve its goal or if it is perhaps just another dead letter on the paper.