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Start of procedural deadlines and work of courts

The President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia issued a Decree on special measures in mid-November last year due to the declared epidemic and measures adopted to contain it. The Decree temporarily suspended procedural deadlines in non-urgent matters and limited the work of courts. As of 1 February 2021, the deadlines, which were suspended under the aforementioned Decree, start running again and the courts began working (normally).

A while ago, we wrote that as of 16 November 2020, a Decree on special measures entered into force, which limited the work of courts solely to urgent matters and suspended the procedural deadlines in non-urgent matters. Article 83 of the Courts Act defines urgent and non-urgent matters. In urgent matters, procedural deadlines thus continuously ran. However, the deadlines for non-urgent matters were suspended as of 16 November 2020. The aforementioned limitation has now been amended by the new Decree of the President of the Supreme Court, which stipulates that the procedural deadlines start running again as of 1 February 2021.

In mid-November, in addition to the suspension of deadlines, the Decree on special measures restricted the operation of courts, which were only allowed to hold hearings and conduct other procedural acts that inevitably require the physical presence of the parties or other participants only in urgent matters. This has been amended by the newest Decree of the President of the Supreme Court in such a way that courts may again hold hearings and conduct other procedural acts in all matters as of 1 February 2021. To do so, the courts must abide by the recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health and prepare relevant protocols for the functioning of individual courts to facilitate all necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections. However, the restriction on the lodging of applications in non-urgent matters remains in force; they can only be lodged via mail or the eSodstvo portal (in proceeding where this is possible) until further notice.

All of the above applies only to court proceedings and not to administrative proceedings. For the administrative proceedings there are currently general rules applied in connection with the Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Mitigate the Consequences of the Second Wave of COVID-19 Epidemic. Also, the Decree of the President of the Supreme Court does not relate to material deadlines, which were suspended by the Government resolution of 20 November 2020. That suspension was later extended until 31 January 2021.