On 25 June 1991, following its secession from the former Yugoslavia, the Republic of Slovenia adoptedthe Constitutional Decision on Sovereignty and Independence. The Constitution set forth the legalfoundations and structure defining the legal system and the legal entities of the new state. The oldYugoslavian laws remained in effect, as long as these were not in contradiction with the new Slovenianconstitution.
The Slovenian judicial system is organized according to the principle of hierarchy. The uniform judicialsystem of the Republic of Slovenia includes courts of general and specialized jurisdiction; the latterhaving jurisdiction only in the areas of labour, social law and administrative law. Generally, in the firstinstance, the Municipal Courts and District Courts decide multiple types of cases, involving both civil andcriminal matters. Additionally, the four Labour Courts and one Social Court operate as specialized courtsat a level equal to a District Court and hear disputes in the first instance concerning most labour andsocial matters.
Generally, appeals can be made from a court of first instance to the second instance courts which arethe Appellate Courts (i.e. Higher Courts), which have jurisdiction to decide appeals from the lowercourts. In limited situations, an appeal in the third instance can be made to the Supreme Court of theRepublic of Slovenia. However, these are extremely rare.
The Slovenian legal system also has a Constitutional Court which operates as a court of extraordinaryjurisdiction. The Constitutional Court is an autonomous and independent state authority. It is the highestjudicial body responsible for protecting the Slovenian Constitution by exercising its constitutionalauthority to review and protect constitutional rights, and to ensure the legality of state actions.
In 1999, a new Civil Procedure Act (Zakon o pravdnem postopku), governing legal proceedings inSlovenian Courts was enacted. Since its coming into force on 15 July 1999, the Civil Procedure Act hasbeen amended numerous times; the most recent amendments introducing some new proceduralinstruments (e.g. cascade lawsuit) came into force on 14 September 2017.
According to the Slovenian Constitution, court decisions are generally not viewed as precedents andjudges are under no legal obligation to follow the legal interpretation of the higher courts. However, lowercourts generally do tend to follow the opinions of the higher courts and the Supreme Court.
In the first instance, Municipal Courts are competent to decide on cases punishable either by fines or byup to 3 (three) years imprisonment and civil disputes where the amount in dispute is under EUR 20,000.Municipal Courts also monitor, maintain and administer the land registers.
Regardless of the amount in dispute, the Municipal Courts are vested with jurisdiction over the followingmatters:
-minor criminal cases, excluding penal acts of slander or libel, that are committed by the press, radio ortelevision or through any other means of mass media;
-civil cases concerning claims for damages or property rights up to a certain value;
-legal obligations regarding maintenance/alimony, if the matter is not dealt with in conjunction withmarriage disputes or disputes over the establishment or contestation of paternity; and
-probate or other non-litigious matters, land registers, and civil enforcement.
Currently, there are 44 Municipal Courts established in Slovenia.
District Courts are competent to decide on cases punishable by more than 3 (three) years imprisonmentand civil matters where the amount in dispute exceeds EUR 20,000. In addition, District Courts arevested with jurisdiction over the following:
-criminal and civil cases which exceed the jurisdiction of municipal courts;
-juvenile criminal cases;
-execution of criminal sentences;
-family disputes, excluding maintenance/alimony;
-confirmation of rulings of a foreign court;
-bankruptcy, forced settlements and liquidation;
-copyright and intellectual property cases; and
-the District Courts, whose competence includes the sea-territory of the Republic of Slovenia, in casesconcerning ships and navigation on the sea, exploitation of the sea and the sea floor and cases whichdemand the use of maritime law.
The 11 District Courts currently established throughout Slovenia are also responsible for monitoring andadministering the commercial register.
The Labour Court and Social Court have the position of a District Court and have jurisdiction to rule onlyon matters expressly provided by law, since the law determines the presumption of jurisdiction of courtsof ordinary jurisdiction.
The four Slovenian Higher Courts function as courts of appeal over judgments made by the Municipaland District Courts. In addition to the determination of appeals against decisions of the Municipal andDistrict Courts in their territories, they also determine disputes of jurisdiction between Municipal andDistrict Courts. Two further specialized courts, the Administrative Court and the Higher Labour andSocial Court, also have the rank of courts of appeal. The Higher Labour and Social Court serves as anappeals court against first instance judgments in labour and social disputes. The Administrative Court iscompetent to decide matters concerning the judicial protection of the rights and legal interests ofphysical persons and legal entities in connection with decisions and actions of administrative bodies andother public authorities. The authority of the Administrative Court includes the authority to review thelegality of the decisions and actions of the various administrative bodies and public authorities.
At the top of the judicial hierarchy is the Slovenian Supreme Court. It functions primarily as a court ofcassation. It acts as a court of appellate jurisdiction in criminal and civil cases, commercial lawsuits,cases of administrative review and labour and social security disputes. It is the court of third instance inalmost all cases within its jurisdiction. The grounds for appeal to the Supreme Court (defined asextraordinary legal remedies), are limited to issues of substantive law and breaches of procedure. Inaddition to administering justice, the Supreme Court also determines most jurisdictional disputesbetween the lower courts, grants the transfer of jurisdiction to another court in cases provided by law,and keeps records of the judicial practice of courts.
Most court decisions issued by the Supreme Court or the Higher Courts are published and madeavailable online.
The main novelties introduced into civil proceedings as of 14 September 2017
One of the real novelties of the amended Civil Procedure Act is the mandatory programme for managingproceedings (program vodenja postopka), which shall be carried out by the judge after consultation withthe parties at the initial preparatory hearing. Furthermore, parties are, in absence of court's expresssummons, limited to two preparatory filings each before the first ("preparatory") hearing takes place. Anew type of lawsuit – the cascade lawsuit (stopničasta tožba) - has been introduced. This has proven tobe a useful instrument in many foreign national legislations. The new type of lawsuit will give a party thepossibility to combine two claims; the second one being subsidiary to the first and undetermined andunreasoned at the beginning of the procedure. The determination and identification of the second claim isdependent on the court's decision on the first claim of the party. The party however has to specify in detailthe second claim and state its reasoning (by providing facts and evidence) only after the decision on thefirst claim becomes final, but within the court's given timeline.
Finally in commercial litigation appellate procedures the courts now have the new possibility to give priornotification to the appellant that its appeal does not have any chance of success. Such notification canbe issued, if the senate of judges unanimously so decides and the appeal is obviously groundless,providing that the decision is not essential for the establishment of legal certainty and/or uniformity ofjurisprudence on the subject. The party is given the possibility to withdraw its appeal and in the event ofthe latter, the court returns a part of the court fees.
While business crimes represent only approximately 15% of all detected crimes, the damage caused bythese crimes amounts to approximately 80% of all damage caused by criminal activity in the country.This development is reflected in the creation of specialized authorities competent for the investigationand prosecution of complex crimes.
Legal entities can be held liable for criminal offences, together with or independently of the responsiblephysical persons (usually management). The penalties for legal entities found guilty of a criminal offencerange from pecuniary penalties to the cessation of the legal entity, if the entity was mainly used for thepurpose of committing criminal offences. Criminal procedure against a legal entity is usually combinedwith the legal procedure against the responsible person of the legal entity.
A complaint that a crime has been committed can be made or transferred to the competent publicprosecutor, either before or after the police have collected the evidence they deem to be relevant for theproceedings. After that the public prosecutor will either:
-dismiss the complaint if it deems the evidence to be insufficient; or
-in case of crimes with a maximum statutory penalty of up to 3 (three) years: bring a charges proposal(obtožni predlog); or
-in case of all other crimes: bring formal charges without an investigation or request that theinvestigative judge conducts an investigation.
After the public prosecutor has brought a charges proposal or formal charges and the indictmentbecomes final, a pre-trial hearing usually takes place in which the accused makes a statement regardinghis or her guilt.
The main trial is public. The criminal procedure is, in principle, inquisitorial, which means that the trial isled by the judge, who is seeking to establish the material truth. After the trial, the verdict and - ifapplicable - the penalty is delivered orally and publicly. The court has 15 (fifteen) days to prepare awritten verdict, which is served to all parties in the proceedings, and, where applicable, the victim andthe injured parties.
Each first instance verdict can be appealed within 15 (fifteen) days after service of the judgment. Thepublic prosecutor can appeal in favour as well as to the detriment of the accused. A non-appealedjudgment becomes final. A second instance judgment becomes final upon its delivery, unless
-the highest penalty has been pronounced (30 (thirty) years or life-long imprisonment);
-the appeals court reached its verdict based on different facts than the first instance court; and
-the appeals court convicted the accused after the first instance court acquitted him/her.
In these three instances, the parties have the right to file an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Extraordinary remedies are also available to a limited scope.
The National Investigation Bureau, a specialized unit of the police, was established in 2009. It isresponsible for the investigation of crimes, which demand the co-operation of various state offices,complex crimes the investigation of which requires specialized knowledge, crimes with an internationalelement, crimes that have gravely harmed state finances or that have led to high illegal monetary gainsand crimes allegedly committed by public officials. Despite the specialization of the NationalInvestigation Bureau, it remains subordinate to the prosecutors and investigative judges in the same wayas other police units in the country.
Several district prosecution divisions (okrožna državna tožilstva) have prosecutors which are solelyresponsible for business crime. In November 2011 a specialized public prosecution division was alsoformed and is responsible for the prosecution of organized crime, terrorism, corruption and othercomplex crimes.
The public prosecutor may authorize the secret observation of a person. When more intrusive methodsare used (video or audio recording) or if they are used against people, who are not suspects, only theinvestigative judge can authorize this. There are statutory maximum time limits for secret observations.
The public prosecutor may authorize the fake giving and receiving of gifts and the fake giving andreceiving of bribes.
The investigative judge may further authorize the monitoring of a suspect's financial data/activity, his/hercommunication data, including monitoring of computer systems, eavesdropping and observations withtechnical devices and entry into foreign premises. These investigative methods are limited to certaincrimes, including certain business crimes.
The police may detain a suspect for up to 48 (forty eight) hours. After that (and sometimes even before)the investigative judge needs to authorize detention.
The public prosecutor may steer the work of, inter alia, the police, as well as bodies dealing with taxes,customs, financial operations, shares, competition, money laundering, corruption, drugs and inspections,with binding instructions, expert opinions and suggestions for collecting data and other measures withintheir competence, in order to find the suspect and to determine whether the suspect shall be prosecuted.
The public prosecutor is authorized to conduct plea-bargaining with the alleged perpetrator, with amandatory legal assistance of attorney.
In case an indictment becomes final, the criminal proceedings continue as outlined above.
During the investigation of crimes, which are prosecuted ex officio, the victim can give suggestionsregarding evidence to be collected in order to identify a crime, its perpetrator and to determine the sumof the victim's (civil) indemnification claim.
During the trial, the victim can suggest evidence and put questions to the accused, witnesses andexperts. The victim is, subject to limitations applicable when he/she is also a witness, allowed to consultthe file and evidence.
If the public prosecutor discontinues the investigation or prosecution of a crime that is prosecuted exofficio, he or she must inform the victim, who can then prosecute in his/her own name. At trial, the victimcan bring an indemnification claim. If the accused is found guilty, the criminal court can recognize theentire claim or recognize the claim in part or refer the victim to the civil court. The civil court is bound bya criminal court's finding of guilt. The victim can also approach the civil court if the accused is found notguilty, since the civil court is not bound by an acquittal in criminal proceedings.
The available statistics combine all criminal proceedings. The majority of cases at the first instance takebetween 1 (one) and 2 (two) years. More than half of the cases at the second instance take less than 3(three) months.
The costs for proceedings include expenses for witnesses, costs of external viewings, fees andexpenses of experts, interpreters and professionals, transportation expenses for the accused, costsincurred in investigating the accused or the arrested person, transportation and travel expenses forofficials, medical expenses for the accused while in detention and expenses for child delivery, court tax,fees and necessary expenses for defence counsel, necessary expenses for the private prosecutor andthe injured party acting as prosecutor and for their representatives, necessary expenses of the injuredparty and his/her legal representatives, and the fees and expenses of those.
The Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act (Zakon o finančnemposlovanju, postopkih zaradi insolventnosti in prisilnem prenehanju, hereinafter the "Insolvency Act")governs insolvency in Slovenia and was enacted in 2007. Since coming into force on 15 January 2008,the Insolvency Act has been amended numerous times, the most recent amendments having enteredinto force on 22 October 2016.
The Insolvency Act governs: (a) the financial operations of companies; (b) pre-insolvency and insolvencyproceedings; (c) cross-border insolvency proceedings; and (d) proceedings of compulsory dissolution(compulsory liquidations and the deletion of a company from the court's registry without liquidation). Themajority of the provisions of the Insolvency Act on insolvency proceedings apply to legal personsalthough the compulsory settlement rules also apply to sole entrepreneurs. In addition, there are alsoprovisions in the Insolvency Act dealing with the insolvency of a natural person and the insolvency of anestate.
Pre-Insolvency and Insolvency Proceedings
In May 2013, amendments to the Insolvency Act introduced a so-called simplified compulsory settlement(postopek poenostavljene prisilne poravnave), which is available only to micro and small companies aswell as small sole entrepreneurs. These proceedings enable companies to negotiate and agree onconditions for repayment of their debt directly with their creditors instead of through formal courtproceedings.
The rules regarding personal bankruptcy proceedings apply in cases of bankruptcy of natural persons,including independent business persons, self-employed persons and consumers. During personalbankruptcy proceedings the debtor may request remission of the claims against the debtor.
In November 2013, the amendments to the Insolvency Act introduced the possibility of preventivefinancial restructuring (postopek preventivnega prestrukturiranja) that can be initiated by a debtor, whichis (a) a middle-sized or large company; and (b) still solvent, but is likely to become insolvent within ayear. Preventive restructuring covers only financial claims. In addition, there are two kinds of insolvencyproceedings for legal persons under the Insolvency Act:
-Compulsory settlement (postopek prisilne poravnave), in which the debtor undergoes financialreorganization and can be released from parts of its debts. To initiate a compulsory settlement, adebtor needs to show that creditors will be repaid under better conditions than they would have been ifbankruptcy proceedings are initiated.
-Bankruptcy proceeding (stečajni postopek), which aims at the dissolution of the debtor, sale of thedebtor's property and distribution of proceeds among the creditors.
Assumptions of Insolvency
Statutory assumptions of insolvency of a debtor are:
-Insolvency shall be the situation where the debtor:
-within a longer period of time is not able to settle all its liabilities falling due within such a period oftime; or
-Unless it is proven otherwise, a debtor shall be considered continuously insolvent:
-if it is a legal entity, entrepreneur or individual and:
-the debtor is more than 2 (two) months in arrears with the payment of at least 20% of the debtshown in its last published balance sheet; or
-the funds of the debtor's bank account(s) do not suffice for a fulfilment of enforcement orders forat least 60 (sixty) days without interruption or for 60 (sixty) out of 90 (ninety) days; or
-the debtor has no bank account in Slovenia and did not fulfil its obligations under an enforcementorder for more than 60 (sixty) days.
-if it is subject to a confirmed compulsory settlement or simplified confirmed compulsory settlementand is in default with its obligations for more than 2 (two) months:
-by paying its obligations on the grounds of confirmed compulsory settlement or simplifiedcompulsory settlement; or
-by paying its obligations to creditors with the rights to separate settlement, which occurred beforethe beginning of the proceeding of compulsory settlement or simplified compulsory settlement; or
-by carrying out other financial restructuring measures, which are set out in the financialrestructuring plan.
-if he/she is a consumer and:
-Is delayed for more than 2 (two) months in meeting one or more liabilities in the total amountexceeding three times the amount of his/her salary, compensation or other remunerationsreceived in a regular manner in periods not longer than 2 (two) months; or
-Is unemployed and does not receive any other regular remunerations and is delayed in meetinghis/her liabilities for more than 2 (two) months, in an amount exceeding EUR 1,000.
-Unless proven otherwise, a debtor shall be considered insolvent if:
-the value of its assets is smaller than the sum of its liabilities; or
-the debtor's loss for the current financial year, together with the loss brought forward, exceeds halfof the registered capital and this loss cannot be covered from net profit/reserves.
-The debtor is late with the payment of employees' salaries up to the amount of the minimum salary orwith the payment of taxes and deductions from those salaries for more than 2 (two) months.
-The debtor is subject to a confirmed compulsory settlement or simplified compulsory settlement,which was finished with a final confirmation of compulsory settlement or simplified compulsorysettlement, applies, if not proven otherwise.
Commencement of Insolvency Proceedings, Challenge of Debtor's Transactions andLiability of Shareholders
The debtor is required to initiate insolvency proceedings after insolvency occurs. The debtor maypropose compulsory settlement if it provides proof that: (a) the financial restructuring activities willabolish the causes of insolvency; and (b) the creditors will achieve satisfaction of their claims against thedebtor, with equal treatment of all creditors' claims under better conditions than in case of bankruptcyproceedings. After the court renders a decision for the commencement of proceedings, the managementof the company is required to deliver to the court a report regarding the company's financial restructuringplan and payments of the claims to the creditors on a regular basis.
The rights of creditors to initiate insolvency proceedings have been gradually expanded. If the debtor isinsolvent, the creditors are entitled to file for bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, the latest amendmentsto the Insolvency Act introduced specific rules for medium-size and large companies that allow creditorshaving at least 20% of all financial claims against the debtor to initiate a compulsory settlement. ThePublic Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia is also entitled to file a bankruptcypetition on the basis of employees' claims against the insolvent debtor if the debtor is more than 2 (two)months late with its payments. Both bankruptcy and compulsory settlement proceedings can be initiatedalso by a personally liable shareholder of the debtor.
Within 6 (six) months after the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings the bankruptcy administratorand the creditors are entitled to challenge the validity of transactions for remuneration, entered into bythe debtor within the last 12 (twelve) months prior to the filing of a bankruptcy petition and until thecommencement of bankruptcy proceedings. In 2013, the period for the contestation of validity ofgratuitous transactions was extended from 12 (twelve) to 36 (thirty six) months prior to the filing of abankruptcy proposal. A challenge is possible if the consequence of the transaction resulted in adiminishment of the assets available to meet creditors' claims in the bankruptcy and/or if as a result ofthe transaction an individual creditor gained a more favourable position than other creditors.
The Insolvency Act contains also a provision determining that the deletion of a company from the CourtRegister does not affect the right of the creditors of the deleted company to claim repayments from theshareholders of the company on the basis of the rules on the piercing of the corporate veil. A creditormay also claim damages from the management or supervisory board of the company, even after thecompany has been removed from the court register.
The Main Novelties Introduced Into Insolvency Proceedings
According to Article 221.j the creditors’ can adress a proposal for instituting compulsory settlementproceedings against the debtor which, according to Article 55 of the Slovenian Companies Act (ZGD-1),meets the criteria of a medium or large company. In this context, the issues surrounding the followingtopics are addressed: the formation of a creditors’ committee in the compulsory settlement proceedings,appointment of the debtors’ authorised representative, casting votes in the compulsory settlementproceedings and the delegation of powers to manage the debtors’ business to creditors.
Briefly the main novelties introduced into insolvency proceedings by the amending act to the FinancialOperations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act ZFPPIPP-F, whose primarypurpose was to enable the framework for the restructuring of the Slovene economy. The amending Actraises some questions that might arise in the practice of insolvency proceedings and which will have tobe decided in the courts’ case-law.
In 2008 Slovenia enacted the new Slovenian Arbitration Act (Zakon o arbitraži) which reflects theUNCITRAL Model Law, including the recommendations adopted by UNCITRAL in 2006 concerning thewritten form requirements of arbitration agreements and interim measures of protection.
The Arbitration Act (Act) regulates various types of arbitral proceedings when the seat of arbitration iswithin the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. Specifically, this means that the provisions of the Act areapplicable to commercial as well as to non-commercial disputes which can be resolved througharbitration. The Arbitration Act applies both to domestic disputes and disputes involving internationalelements. The provisions of the Act shall apply to all types of arbitral proceedings, regardless of whetherthe arbitration is conducted under the auspices of an arbitration institution or by an ad hoc tribunal.
In Slovenia, there is one notable permanent arbitral institution attached to the Slovenian Chamber ofCommerce of Slovenia (Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije) – the Ljubljana Arbitration Centre, as well asspecialized arbitration courts attached to certain institutions, notably the largest Slovenian insurer(Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d.), and the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.
The Ljubljana Arbitration Centre is an autonomous and independent institution acting as the centralarbitral institution in the Republic of Slovenia and administers disputes for both the domestic andinternational business communities through arbitration or other forms of ADR. New modern arbitrationrules have entered into force on 1 January 2014, which brought the centre into line with other bigregional and global institutions.
The Act requires that the arbitration agreement entered into by the parties be in writing. It can be aseparate agreement or form part of another agreement. An arbitration agreement is deemed to be inwriting if it is concluded between the parties by way of an exchange of letters, facsimiles or telexes or bysuch other means of telecommunication which produces a permanent record of the agreement. It is alsoconsidered to be in writing if it is sent from one party to the other or by a third person to both parties andif no objection was raised in good time. An arbitration agreement is also valid if a bill of lading containsan express reference to an arbitration clause in a charter party. It will also be deemed to be in writing ifone of the parties states in its statement of claim that an arbitration agreement was entered into betweenthem, and the other party does not deny this in its statement of defence at the latest.
Further, the Act allows the parties to agree that all previous or future disputes arising out of the parties’contractual or non-contractual relationship shall be settled through arbitration. Generally all pecuniaryclaims are arbitrable, as well as any other disputes in respect of which parties are allowed to settle.Disputes regarding personal status, e.g., marital disputes and adoption or parental issues, are notarbitrable. In addition, claims that would normally be decided by regulatory or supervisory authoritiessuch as patent, trademark or antitrust disputes are not arbitrable.
The parties are free to agree on the substantive law, the procedural rules, the seat, language, number ofarbitrators and their method of appointment, and other aspects of arbitration.
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, an arbitral tribunal may, upon request of the other party, ordersuch interim or protective measures against a party as the arbitral tribunal may consider necessary inrespect of the subject matter of the proceedings. The party that has requested such measures may alsoapply to the competent national court for the enforcement of such measures. It is not incompatible withan arbitration agreement for a party to apply to the state courts before or during arbitration proceedingsfor an interim measure of protection or for a court to grant such claim.
Arbitral awards are considered final and binding upon the parties involved in the arbitration, and anarbitral decision possesses the same effect and validity as a judicially imposed judgment. In general, adomestic arbitral award may be challenged (setting-aside proceedings) before the District Court inLjubljana, on the following grounds:
-the party concluding the arbitration agreement had no legal capacity or capacity to act;
-the arbitration agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it, or failingsuch indication, under Slovenian law;
-a party was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator(s), or of the arbitralproceedings or was otherwise unable to present its case;
-the award was made in a dispute not falling within the terms of the statement of claim or containsdecisions beyond the scope of the statement of claim;
-incorrect composition of the arbitral tribunal or the proceedings were not in accordance with theparties’ agreement;
-the subject matter of the dispute is not arbitrable under Slovenian law; or
-the award is in conflict with the rules of Slovenian public order.
The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Slovenia falls within the bounds of EURegulation No. 1215/2012 ("Brussels I Bis Regulation"), EU Regulation No. 2201/2003 ("Brussels II BisRegulation"), and EC Regulation No. 805/2004 ("European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims").
In the event that the said EC Regulations do not apply (because the parties are not from the EU or thesubject matter is not covered by the scope of application of the Regulations), the procedure forrecognition and enforcement of foreign judgments will be made in accordance with the applicableprovisions of the Slovenian Private International Law and Procedure Act (Zakon o mednarodnemzasebnem pravu in postopku).
According to the Slovenian Private International Law and Procedure Act, a party seeking the recognitionand enforcement of a foreign judgment must submit a request for recognition to the competent court inSlovenia. The request must include the original judgment or a certified copy, a certificate of finality of thejudgment or a certified copy, and a certified translation of the judgment into Slovenian or another officiallanguage recognized by the Slovenian Courts.
Generally, the recognition or enforcement of the foreign judgment will not be granted if, upon objection ofthe party against which the foreign decision was issued, the court finds that:
-the due procedural rights of the individual against whom the enforcement is sought were breached;
-the subject matter of the judgment falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Slovenian courts;
-the jurisdiction of the foreign court was based solely on the nationality of the claimant, or on theassets of the claimant or personal service of the claim or any other document by which the litigationproceedings were commenced;
-the foreign court that granted the judgment did not comply with the bilateral agreement grantingjurisdiction to the Slovenian courts;
-the case involved issues that were barred by res judicata, because the matter had previously beenruled upon by another court, and the issues were prohibited from being adjudicated again in adifferent court, based on issues that were previously judged;
-the effect of recognition and enforcement would be contrary to the public order of the Republic ofSlovenia; or,
-if no reciprocity is established between the Republic of Slovenia and the foreign court which issuedthe award.
The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards are carried out in accordance with theSlovenian Private International Law and Procedure Act. Furthermore, most international arbitral awardsare decided in accordance with the applicable provisions of the 1958 New York Convention on theRecognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Arbitral awards that are enforced under the provisions of the Private International Law and theProcedure Act must fulfil certain criteria. Generally, this requires that the party seeking enforcementsubmit to the competent court:
-the original arbitral award or certified copy thereof;
-the original arbitration agreement or certified copy thereof; and
-a certified translation of the arbitral award into Slovenian, or another official language recognized bythe Slovenian Courts.
The request for the recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award should be filed at theDistrict Court. In the event that the court establishes that no obstacles exist for the recognition andenforcement of the foreign arbitral award, the court may issue an order for enforcement of the foreignaward. Any appeals to an order recognizing a foreign arbitral award must be filed within a period of 15(fifteen) days after the order recognizing the award is issued.
Slovenia is a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of ForeignArbitration, with the reservation that the Convention will only be applied to those arbitral awards whichwere adopted after the entry into effect of the Convention. Slovenia is also a party to the 1961 EuropeanConvention on International Commercial Arbitration, as well as to the 1965 Washington Convention onthe Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States.
Complex cases: First instance: 2 or more years;second instance: 12 months; extraordinaryremedies: 1 year or more.
-The above-mentioned mediation proceedingsare usually for free (paid for out of the state'sbudget).
-Commercial disputes are no longer free. Anaverage commercial mediation costs approx.EUR 94 per party (excluding attorneys' fees).
-Litigation costs include court fees, attorneys'fees and expenses for expert opinions andwitnesses.
-Court fees have to be paid upon filing theclaim.
-Court fees in the first and second instances
are to be paid by the party filing the appeal.
-If a claim is filed by a foreign party andenforcement of a decision on reimbursement oflitigation costs is not safeguarded, the foreignparty can be ordered to pay a security deposit(subject to international conventions and EULaw). Security deposits cannot be ordered forEU citizens.
-Litigation costs are generally awarded againstthe losing party who must reimburse thewinning party.
-If a claimant has been partially successful, thecosts of both sides are divided on a pro-ratabasis. However, reimbursement of attorneyfees only has to be made on the basis of thefees provided for in the Act on Attorneys'Tariffs.
-The actual attorney fees of a party (dependingon the fee agreement between attorney andclient) may be substantially higher, but are ofno relevance to the opposing party.
In a Slovenian civil procedure, at the beginning ofa dispute the court will offer mediation as analternative dispute resolution method. The partiesmay give or refuse to give their consensus toparticipate in such proceeding.
Court fees are based on the Court Fees Act anddepend on the amount in dispute. Examples:
-Amount in dispute EUR 500,000: Court fees:EUR 6,525 in first instance;
-Amount in dispute EUR 1,000,000: Court fees:EUR 9.525 in first instance;
-Amount in dispute EUR 5,000,000: Court fees:EUR 36,225 in first instance.
Assumptions based on an amount in disputeof EUR 500,000:First instance: Preparation ofbriefs, attendance on hearings, correspondencewith client, in total: EUR 4,937.50; secondinstance: preparation of briefs, attendance athearings, correspondence with client, in total:EUR 5,530; extraordinary remedies: preparationof briefs, attendance at hearings, correspondencewith client, in total: EUR 6,320
Assumptions based on an amount in disputeof EUR 5,000,000:First instance: preparation ofbriefs, attendance at hearings, correspondencewith client, in total: EUR 27,435.50; secondinstance: Preparation of briefs, attendance onhearings, correspondence with client, in total:EUR 30,730; extraordinary remedies: Preparationof briefs, attendance at hearings, correspondencewith client, in total: EUR 35,120.
Document production occurs within the standardcivil procedure.
-Mandatory presentation by Counsel is requiredonly in proceedings concerning extraordinaryremedies (izredna pravna sredstva).
-Should a party decide to be represented, it mayempower:
-anyone with full contractual capacity (poslovnasposobnost) in front of a Municipal Court; and
-a Counsel (Attorney-at-Law) or a person with thebar exam in front of a District, High or SupremeCourt.
Yes. There is legal aid for people who cannot afford the costs of legal proceedings.
STANDARD CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
-There is no formal investigation in Slovenia.
-Documents are subject to disclosure if theparty itself referred to the document in thecourse of the proceedings, the party is obligedto hand the document over by substantive law,or the document is qualified as a "joint deed"between the parties.
-A court order to produce such documents is notenforceable. Failure to comply with the ordercan only be considered by the court in itsevaluation of the case.
Depending on the mental and physical state of theaccused and the maximum statutory penaltyimposed for a crime, representation by counselbecomes mandatory either from the very firsthearing or later on during the proceedings.
-Slovenian criminal trials are mixed; combiningboth inquisitorial and inquisitorial elements ofcriminal trial. Which means that while both partiescan make suggestions as to what evidence touse (e.g., whom to call as witness), the judge
is free to accept or deny suggestions by bothparties. He/she can also gather evidence
-When deciding, the judge is not bound by any ev-identiary rules and can decide at his/her own dis-cretion how much weight to attach to individualpieces of evidence.
First instance fees which apply in case of finalconvictions to prison sentences: EUR 70 to EUR1,400; unsuccessful appellate proceedings:
EUR 35 – EUR 2,800.
Attorneys' Fees for the representation of anindividual in a criminal case with the maximumstatutory penalty of 3 years (studying file, presenceat investigate steps), representation in pre-indictment proceedings, defence in first instance,representation at main trial in first instance (one dayin court), representation in second instance (nodays in court): EUR 575 to EUR 695 (everyadditional day in court costs from EUR 120 to EUR240).
Attorneys' Fees for representation of an individualin a criminal case with the maximum statutorypenalty of 15 years: EUR 600 to EUR 740 (everyadditional day in court costs from EUR 140 to EUR280).
There are no criminal jury trials in Slovenia.
Pro Bono System
-Litigation costs include the costs of an attorneyand court fees. Both are borne by the state
(as far as acknowledged by the judge and up
to the statutory amounts) if a not-guilty verdict
-In case of a conviction, the accused has to paythe court fee upon the finality of the verdict.
-It is not uncommon for the attorney and the clientto agree on different remuneration, however, thishas no bearing on what is being reimbursed.
First instance: Most criminal proceedings take 1year or between 1 and 2 years; Second instance:Approx. 3 months.
Representation by a Counsel is not mandatory,except in the following cases:
-from the first hearing if the suspect/accused isdeaf, mute, or otherwise incapable of defendinghim or herself;
-from the first hearing if the maximum statutorypenalty is 30 years or life imprisonment;
-from the first hearing if prolonged arrest could beimposed;
-if, at the first hearing before the investigatingjudge, the public prosecutor announces thathe/she will prosecute the suspect and ask forarrest or another measure the purpose of whichis to ensure the suspect's/accused's presenceduring trial, prevent repetition of the crime and toensure successful conduct of the proceedings,until the judge has decided upon the request forsuch a measure;
-during the entire time that measures for thedeprivation of liberty are implied;
-when being served the indictment for a crime thestatutory maximum penalty for which is 8 yearsor more;
-while engaging in plea bargaining.
Both parties can present and suggest evidence.The court might produce evidence proprio motu.
Yes. There is legal aid for people who cannot afford the costs of legal proceedings.
-After the investigation has produced enoughevidence for an indictment, an indictmenthearing will take place.
-There is the possibility of conducting a pleabargaining agreement.
-After the indictment hearing, a trial date is set.It is encouraged for trials to not take more thanone day; however, in complicated cases trialscan last for months (usually because of variousforms of more or less successful delayingtechniques).
-The trials are public and their course isdictated by an inquisitorial judge who isrequired to find the material truth, although thecriminal procedure, especially the main hearingconsist of many elements of criminaladversarial procedure.
There are no class actions in Slovenia.
Generally, a decision on a request for a preliminary injunction is rendered within 1 week.
Court fees for a preliminary injunction amount to EUR 16, regardless of the disputed amount.
Assumptions based on an amount in dispute of EUR 1,000,000: Only the request for a preliminaryinjunction is filed, the court renders its decision without hearing the opponent: first instance: EUR892.50; second instance: EUR 1,785.
Assumptions based on an amount in dispute of EUR 1,000,000: Only the request for a preliminaryinjunction is filed, with a hearing: first instance: EUR 1,785; second instance: EUR 3,570.
Preliminary Injunction Proceedings
Very limited. Document production is only allowed according to the applicable arbitration rules.
-The costs of arbitration depend on thearbitration agreement and the amount indispute, the amount of documents, number ofwitnesses and whether expert opinions arerequired.
-The costs of arbitration also include the fees ofarbitrators and administrative charges.
-In the case there is an arbitral tribunal with threearbitrators, the fees double.
-The arbitrators usually have large discretionregarding the award of costs. However, inpractice the award on costs often depends onthe outcome of the case.
-The award of legal fees is usually notdetermined by reference to a statutory tariff.
The usual duration of arbitration proceedings isup to 2 or even 3 years. According to informationreceived from the Ljubljana Arbitration Centre, theproceedings became shorter in the last few yearsand it is not uncommon for proceedings to becompleted within 9-12 months
The Permanent Court of Arbitration Attached tothe Chamber of Commerce and Industry ofSlovenia is the only general and permanentarbitral institution in Slovenia with a noticeablecaseload of commercial matters.
The procedural costs depend on whether a solearbitrator or an arbitral tribunal of three members isappointed, the complexity of the case, and theadministrative charges.
The following estimates are based on theprocedural costs of the Rules of Arbitration of thePermanent Court of Arbitration Attached to theChamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia:
Assumption: international dispute, solearbitrator appointed and an amount in disputeof EUR 1,000,000: Procedural costs: registrationfee of EUR 1,000; administrative fees of EUR9,500 and fees for a sole arbitrator between EUR20,400 and EUR 30,600.
Assumption: international dispute, solearbitrator appointed and an amount in disputeof EUR 10,000,000: Procedural costs: registrationfee of EUR 1,000; administrative fees of EUR18,000 and fees for a sole arbitrator of betweenEUR 63,600 and EUR 95,400.
Assumptions based on an amount in disputeof EUR 1,000,000: preparation of 2 filings,attendance at 1 hearing, correspondence withclient: around EUR 4,200.
Assumptions based on an amount in disputeof EUR 10,000,000: preparation of 4 filings,attendance at 3 hearings, correspondence withclient, in total: EUR 8,000
The fee for recognition decisions is EUR 16 – EUR 35, regardless of the disputed amount.
The fee for enforcement proceedings is EUR 44 and above, depending on the manner of filing andnumber of additional means of enforcement.
Simple case (assumption based on an award of EUR 1,000,000): Approx. EUR 780.
Complex case (assumption based on an award of EUR 5,000,000): Approx. EUR 780.
Enforcement of Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards
-Under EC Regulation 44/2001, the partyseeking recognition/enforcement must submit acopy of the judgment which should beaccompanied by a Certificate of Authenticityissued either by the court that rendered thejudgment or by another competent institution ofthe state of origin.
-To avoid any delays, attaching a certifiedtranslation of the judgment is highlyrecommended.
-Judgments that fall outside the scope ofapplication of the EC Regulation must besubmitted in the original or in a copy issued bythe court that rendered the judgment. Acertified translation of the judgment must besubmitted.
-For enforcement of awards under the New YorkConvention, the creditor must provide the courtwith the authenticated original award or a dulycertified copy thereof and the original of thearbitration agreement or a duly certified copythereof.
Depends mainly on the type and basis of theproceeding. Under EC Regulation 44/2001,proceedings are shorter than under usualproceedings under the Private International Lawand Procedure Act or under the Arbitration Act(New York Convention).
It takes approximately 1 to 3 months until adecision on recognition and enforcement isrendered in first instance.
The duration of execution proceedings dependsmainly on whether the debtor has executableassets and whether execution measures areopposed by the debtor.
Claim filed by a creditor in the amount of EUR 500,000: court fees amount to EUR 2,000.
Claimed amount is EUR 500,000, representation of creditor in preliminary proceeding and mainproceeding: Approx. EUR 2,970.
Claimed amount is EUR 500,000, representation of debtor in preliminary proceeding and mainproceeding: Approx. EUR 7,900.
Claimed amount is EUR 500,000, representation of creditor in preliminary proceeding and mainproceeding: Approx. EUR 2,970.
Claimed amount is EUR 500,000, representation of debtor in preliminary proceeding and mainproceeding: Approx. EUR 3,950.
Creditors should generally file their claims withinthree months after the insolvency proceedingbegins.
1 year to several years; in very complex cases, duration of more than 10 years is possible.