Strasbourg, 28 February 2008
Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
Questionnaire for 2008 CCJE Opinion concerning the quality of judicial decisions: Reply submitted by the delegation of Slovenia
Part I: Preparation of the judicial decision
Is there a specific model to be followed in drafting judicial decisions?
Yes but only as regards general structure of the decision. This is an established practice which is followed by judges
Can each individual judge choose his own style of drafting his decision?
Where the court is composed of more than one member, do judicial decisions have to be taken unanimously or a majority decision is equally effective and binding?
Majority decision is equally effective.
In a two or even more member panel, does the president or most senior judge have a second or casting vote?
Do judicial decisions have to deal with all points raised by the parties or their lawyers or is a synthetic or concise approach considered sufficient?
A decision has to address all points, raised by the parties, which are relevant for the factual and legal issues at stake.
In general terms, how is a first instance judicial decision drafted? (For example, does the decision state first the factual background, followed by the evidence, its evaluation and finally the application of the legal principles to the accepted facts?)
Yes, a decision is drafted as it is indicated above.
How in general terms is an appeal /supreme court decision drafted? Is the appeal in your country by way of rehearing the case or not?
The appeal is not considered as a rehearing of the case. The decision of an appellate or Supreme Court addresses the arguments, contained in a written documents of all parties.
Is there a difference in the way a judgment is drafted according to the subject matter (civil, criminal, administrative)?
In principle there is not much difference.
Could you describe precisely how the decision is transmitted to the parties?
In civil and administrative cases the decision is always sent to the parties by mail while in criminal cases first instance court always pronounce a decision after a hearing has been completed in an oral way and then sends a written decision by mail.
Is the judicial decision binding only on the specific litigants or does it affect the public in general?
It is binding only on the litigants. Only the decisions of the constitutional court when it performs abstract review of laws, have erga omnes effect.
Does your country acknowledge a difference in judicial decisions in personam and in rem?
How is a judicial decision enforced in your country? Does your country allow for contempt proceedings against a litigant who does not comply with a decision/order of the court ?
In civil cases, a winning party may initiate a separate enforcement procedure against the party which does not comply with a court decision. The law doesn’t allow for contempt proceeding.
Are judicial decisions handed down/announced in open court? Always or can the public/journalists be excluded - If so on what grounds?
Constitution provides that court hearings are public and judicial decisions have to be announced in open court. The law however envisages some exceptions, for example in family matters or in criminal cases against minors or when a judge considers it appropriate in order to protect public morals or privacy of victims, for example in sexual abuse cases..
To what extent do judicial decisions in your country take into account personal data protection legislation (i.e. publication of litigants’ names, other personal details etc)?
Names of the parties are accessible to everyone since courts publish in advance the schedule of hearings or sessions, together with the names of the parties. Other personal data is protected only in so far as a judge may decide that certain data should not be released to the public.
Are judicial decisions available to persons or authorities other than the litigants themselves? If so on what terms and prerequisites?
Yes, they are under the terms of Freedom of information Act.
Are judicial decisions published/available on the internet? If so, are all decisions available or only appeal or supreme court cases?
Only some selected decisions of the Supreme court and of courts of appeal are available on the internet.
Part II: Evaluation of the judicial decision
Is a system of evaluation of quality of justice in force in your country?
Does this evaluation include/envisage the evaluation of the quality of judicial decisions?
If your country does evaluate the quality of judicial decisions by means of a specific system, could you specify the latter:
· legal basis:
· identification of the agencies that are responsible for the process:
· parameters that are evaluated:
· methods by which each parameter is evaluated:
The Law on courts and the Law on Judicial service provide a legal ground for evaluation of quality of judicial decisions.
The Personal Council at courts of appeal and at Supreme Court is in charge for making such assessments. The judicial Council has the same authority.
The prevailing criteria used is the statistics on number of cases confirmed, changed or reversed by a higher court, reasons for reversals , like major disregard of procedural provisions.
Evaluating bodies use regularly collected statistic data but they also rely on written opinion of meetings of judges of higher instance which often gives an appearance of subjective criteria being decisive over objective ones.
What are the advantages and disadvantages discussed in your country as far as the evaluation of quality of justice is concerned?
The advantage is that quantitative criteria like productivity of judges are not e only ground for assessments which seriously affect judge’s career.
Nevertheless, lack of clearly defined criteria and methodology of assessments may be an incentive for judges to simply please their superior colleagues.
In the opinion of the judiciary in your State, which factor could help to improve the quality of decisions?
Defined criteria for assessments and their impartial use in day to day practice.
Is a system of evaluation of quality of each of the following in force in your State:
· professional performance of police? yes □ no □
· professional performance of public prosecution services? yes □ no □
· professional performance of lawyers? yes □ no □
· enforcement of judgements? yes □ no □
· efficiency of ministry of justice services in general? yes □ no □
· quality of legislation? yes □ no □
The answer to all questions above is negative.