Every third verdict reached by commercial courts abolished

Every third verdict reached by commercial courts abolishedPresident of the Supreme Court, Branko Hrvatin, is especially worried about the inefficient work of commercial courts, due to which many verdicts reached by High Commercial Court are useless.

High Commercial Court abolishes up to 32 percent of decisions reached by lower courts appeals process, therefore every third decision reached by lower court is practically illegal, claims Branko Hrvatin. That makes commercial courts a record-holder in an ineffective work, because higher courts abolish only 20 percent, i.e. every fifth verdict reached by regular courts. Abolishing commercial court first instance decisions by High Commercial Courts proved to be a justified decision in 99 percent of cases, claims Hrvatin. While some judges claim that commercial courts should be abolished, the Europena Commission considers that such a problem should be resolved instantly.

European Commission Delegation considers that High Commercial Court can abolish a verdict reached by the Court of First Instance once, but if the case should end up on High Commercial Court again, then the Court should resolve it and another decision-making should be avoided. That is over radical solution for a Supreme Court president that, especially after the bad experiences that Crna Gora had. 

"Colleagues from Crna Gora, afraid of being buried with work, which they would have if the appeals were repeated, rather confirmed first instance verdicts that they would abolish if it were not for the pressure. Imitating such a solution would result in a similar legal chaos that would happen in Croatia if 28 High Commercial Court judges had to change over thousand inefficient decisions reached by lower courts", claims Hrvatin.

He criticized publicly commercial courts' work on Tuesday while presenting judicial project named "Decisions of High Commercial Court". After three years of work and by making public major amount of court-archive on www.sudacka-mreza.hr , Hrvatin will test to which amount the court work will become more effective, i.e. balanced, in specified first instance verdicts. On the other hand, the Minister of Justice, Ivan Simonovic, hopes that the corruption in commercial courts will be stopped.

The minister especially emphasized the importance of insight to a unique verdicts' base, which surpasses the number of 21.000 valid verdicts including client's and judge's full names from May 2005 until August 2008, to those who are interested.

There are more than 25.000 cases annually on commercial courts, but its actual value is not known, nor is the number of disputes of foreign investors. Some assessments show that over 20 billion kuna are captured in long-term court procedures.

High Commercial Court that registers high number of unresolved cases, more than 11.000 cases annually, has new worries since last year.

The number of new cases has started to increase and many judges do not work there. Currently it is impossible to discover the level to which the increasing number of court cases is connected to growing insolvency and to which it is a result of legal novelties.

Whether the commercial courts' presidents will keep the position or not depends on a solution to that problem.

Poslovni dnevnik, 18.03.2009.

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