For 52 years the current Civil Procedure Order has dominated the Slovak court system.
It was adopted during the communist era with different aims. Since its adoption it has required almost 80 amendments and still results in years-long litigations. Now, after years of preparation, the Ministry of Justice has prepared three new codices that replace the old Civil Procedure Order: the Civil Dispute Procedure, the Civil Non-Dispute Procedure and the Judicial Review of Administrative Procedure Code. All together have over 1 500 articles. The Civil Dispute Procedure regulates the judicial dispute resolution. The Civil Non-Dispute Procedure applies to status matters, e.g. paternity, divorce, child matters, ward of state, etc. The Administrative court procedure regulates administrative litigation.
From all of the changes, the following are the most praised:
- The court will be able to assign time limits for presenting evidence; later presented evidence will not be taken into account.
- The party presenting a witness will be responsible for the witness’s appearance at the court.
- All judicial writings delivered to the natural person’s registered address will be – after a certain time period – regarded as delivered even if the person does not take them over. There are some exceptions, of course.
- Introduction of court specialization.
- Introduction of pretrial discovery procedure.
- Reinforcement of the judge’s obligation to promote settlement (consent decree).