Constitutional Court of Croatia
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Ustavni sud Republike Hrvatske) is the interpreter and guardian of the Croatian Constitution and considered the highest judicial authority de facto, because it can overturn Supreme Court decisions on the basis of constitutional breaches. It is not considered as part of the judicial branch but a court sui generis.
Powers and responsibilities
Its main task is to decide on the conformity of laws with the Constitution and other regulations with the Constitution and laws as defined in Article 130 of the Croatian Constitution:
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia shall repeal a law if it finds it to be unconstitutional.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia shall repeal or annul any other regulation if it finds it to be unconstitutional or illegal.
It decides on constitutional complaints against the individual decisions of governmental bodies, bodies of local and regional self-government and legal entities with public authority, when these decisions violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the right to local and regional self-government.
It also observes the constitutionality and legality and notify the Croatian Parliament on instances of unconstitutionality and illegality observed It also decides on jurisdictional disputes between the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
It decides on the impeachment of the President of the Republic, supervises the constitutionality of the programs and activities of political parties and may ban their work, supervises the constitutionality and legality of elections and national referendum, and decides on the electoral disputes not within the jurisdiction of courts.
A recent ruling by the Constitutional Court was on the legitimacy of the Act of Supplements and Alterations to the Law on Public Gathering (Zakon o izmjenama i dopunama zakona o javnom okupljanju) which added an order that no public gatherings could be held within 100 meters of buildings in which the Sabor, President, the Government or the Constitutional Court are located or are in session (the Parliament, Government and Const. Court are all located at Zagreb's St. Mark's square)
The Constitutional Court ruled that this law, which restricts a Constitutional liberty - the right to free gathering, was not passed by the majority necessary to override the Constitution on that matter. The Court's decision was that the law be put out of effect at a date specified by the Court.
The Court also provided Parliament with the necessary number of representatives which must confirm the Act to make it legitimate.
The Constitutional Court consists of thirteen judges elected by the Croatian Parliament for a term of eight years from among notable jurists, especially judges, public prosecutors, lawyers and university professors of law and elects its President for a term of four years. Before they take the office, judges must take an oath in front of the President of the Republic.
Composition as of 2009[update]:
- Jasna Omejec - President
- Aldo Radolović - Deputy president
- Mato Arlović
- Marko Babić
- Snježana Bagić
- Slavica Banić
- Mario Jelušić
- Davor Krapac
- Ivan Matija
- Antun Palarić
- Duška Šarin
- Miroslav Šeparović
- Nevenka Šernhorst
- (1991–1999) Jadranko Crnić
- (1999–2003) Smiljko Sokol
- (2003–2007) Petar Klarić
- (2007–2008) Željko Potočnjak
- Constitutional economics
- Rule of law
- Rule of law
- Rule According to Higher Law
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