Impact of covid-19 pandemic on time frames in judicial and administrative matters

  • The act on provisional measures for judicial, administrative and other public law matters to reduce the spread of covid-19 entered into force on 29 March 2020
  • All time periods that expire during the state of emergency will be extended so as to expire on the first day after the state of emergency is lifted
  • From 1 May  2020, courts have been allowed to conduct hearings, decide cases and deliver court documents in non-urgent matters

 

On 12 March 2020 the Slovenian Minister of Health issued an order declaring a state of emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic. Following this declaration, the Slovenian government imposed several measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. This update focuses on the intervention measures relating to time periods in judicial, administrative and other public law matters in Slovenia. 

Time periods in judicial matters

On 20 March 2020 the Slovenian National Assembly passed an “Act on provisional measures for judicial, administrative and other public law matters to reduce the spread of the infectious disease SARS-CoV-2 (covid-19)” (hereinafter the ‘ZZUSUDJZ’), which entered into force on 29 March 2020.

Pursuant to the ZZUSUDJZ, all time periods for exercising one’s rights in judicial proceedings as determined by law, as well as all procedural periods, were suspended, except in urgent matters. This means that all the time periods that expire during the state of emergency will be extended so as to expire on the first day after the state of emergency is lifted.

Further, the ZZUSUDJZ provides that the courts must deal only with urgent matters, while non-urgent matters are put on hold. This measure was later relaxed by the “Act amending the act on provisional measures for judicial, administrative and other public law matters to reduce the spread of the infectious disease SARS-CoV-2 (covid-19)” (hereinafter the ‘ZZUSUDJZ-A’), which entered into force on 1 May  2020. From that date, the courts have been allowed to conduct hearings, decide cases and deliver court documents in non-urgent matters, provided that such actions are performed in a safe manner for the persons involved.

Time periods in administrative and other public law matters

The ZZUSUDJZ also extended the time periods in administrative and other public law matters, except in urgent matters, albeit differently: the time periods for exercising material law rights that expire during the state of emergency have been prolonged so as to expire on the eighth day after the state of emergency is lifted.

On the other hand, the procedural time periods for parties and public authorities have stopped running during the state of emergency, except in urgent administrative matters. These time periods will continue running after the state of emergency is lifted. 

Further, pursuant to the ZZUSUDJZ, the personal delivery of documents in administrative and other public matters was halted, except in urgent matters. This measure was later partially lifted by the ZZUSUDJZ-A - namely, as of 1 May 2020, the administrative bodies have been allowed to deliver documents also in non-urgent matters.

Next steps

The Slovenian government has already adopted an ordinance essentially declaring that the state of emergency relevant for the above-mentioned measures will be valid until 31 May 2020.

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