About commerce adjudication process



( The Author: Mario Vukelić, LLB, BA in Economics President of the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia


Commercial judicature

Judicial power in the Republic of Croatia is exercised by the courts. The judiciary is autonomous and independent. The courts administer justice according to the Constitution and law, as well as according to international agreements and treaties in force.

Any form of influence on judicial decision-making is forbidden and especially: any form of use of public authority, means of public information, and, in general, public appearances to influence the course and outcome of court proceedings. Court decisions may be amended and quashed only by the court with jurisdiction for the case as prescribed by law.

Court decisions are rendered in the form of a judgment or a ruling. The work is assigned to judges and chambers according to the annual schedule set in advance.

In the Republic of Croatia, 13 commercial courts have been established as specialized courts of first instance and the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia as the court of second instance for the whole territory of the Republic of Croatia.

The seat and territorial jurisdiction of commercial courts are regulated by the Law on Territorial Jurisdiction and Seats of the Courts (Official Gazette, no. 3/94, 104/97 and 50/01).

There is a total of 131 judges and 36 judicial advisors at commercial courts of first instance and 24 judges and 11 judicial advisors at the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia. The jurisdiction of commercial courts and the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia in civil proceedings is regulated by the Civil Procedure Act (Official Gazette, no. 53/91, 91/92, 112/99, 88/01 and 117/03) and other laws.

In general, in civil procedures of the first instance, commercial courts administer justice in: commercial disputes, disputes related to foundation and operation of trading companies, cessation of trading companies operations and membership in trading companies, so-called maritime disputes, aviation disputes, copyright disputes, disputes relating to protection and use of patents and other disputes. (Article 34.b of the Civil Procedure Act.)

In addition, courts of first instance carry out bankruptcy proceedings and economic transgression proceedings, keep Company Registers, carry out extrajudicial and execution proceedings and perform other tasks regulated by the law. (Article 20. of the Courts Law, Official Gazette, no.150/05)


Jurisdiction and decision making of High Court of Republic of Croatia

The High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia has been established for the territory of the Republic of Croatia with the seat in Zagreb.

The High Commercial Court decides on appeals against the decisions made by commercial courts of the first instance, on conflicts of territorial jurisdiction and performs other tasks regulated by the law.

In sessions of the judicial departments of the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, issues of common interest for commercial courts of the first instance are considered, as well as issues important for application of regulations from particular legal areas under the jurisdiction of the High Commercial Court of Republic of Croatia.

Legal interpretation accepted in sessions of the judicial departments of the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia is binding for all the chambers of the second instance in that department.

Decisions upon legal remedies are rendered at High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, in principle, in sessions of chambers consisting of three judges: three judges of the High Commercial Court of Republic of Croatia or two judges of the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia and a lay judge.

The decisions are also rendered by individual judges, when it is prescribed by the law. The sessions of chambers are not open to the public.

In appeals against second-instance judgments rendered by High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, it is possible, in cases regulated by the Law, to lodge an extraordinary legal remedy - review, decision on which is rendered by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia. Review is not allowed if the value of the litigation of the contested final judgment does not exceed 500.000 kuna.


Mario Vukelić, LLB, BA in Economics
President of the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia


E-mail addresses of Commercial courts.doc
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