Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic
|Nejvyšší správní soud
|Formed||by law: 1 January 1993
in practice: 1 January 2003
|Dissolved||The court did not practically exist from the Czech coup of 1948 until 2003|
|Jurisdiction||court of highest appeal on cases of administrative propriety
also adjudicates most purely political issues
|Employees||~100 as of 2005[update]|
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The Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic (Nejvyšší správní soud České republiky) is the court of highest authority on issues of procedural and administrative propriety. It also has jurisdiction over many political matters, such as the formation and closure of political parties, jurisdictional boundaries between government entities, and the eligibility of persons to stand for public office. It also adjudicates in disciplinary proceedings against judges and state prosecutors. It is the court of second instance in actions against the decisions of authorities.
The modern SAC can trace its origins back to Bohemia and Moravia under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From the mid-19th century until the formation of Czechoslovakia, Czech rights with respect to administrative law were safeguarded by the Verwaltungsgerichtshof, or Austrian administrative court, which sat in Vienna. The Administrative Courts of the Czech Republic and Austria thus have a common ancestor.
The Czechoslovak Republic set up its own administrative court which continued to function until the Czech coup of 1948, whereupon it lingered as a theoretical institution for a few years until it was wholly disbanded in 1952. In 1991, the Czechoslovak Federative Republic implied that it would set up a new administrative court in Article 36 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms, but failed to do so in its brief existence. The government of the Czech Republic not only renewed their commitment to this Charter in the constitution, they also specified that the court of highest authority on administrative matters would be called the Supreme Administrative Court, as it had been in the Austro-Hungarian period. However, many of the specifics about the SAC were deferred to "later statutes". The Parliament did not bring such legislation into force until 1 January 2003, when it passed law 150/2002, the Code of Administrative Justice. It is this document, more than perhaps any other, which actually returned a working administrative court to the regions of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia.
Since 2003, the SAC has been characterized by a growing case load amidst understaffing and the search for a permanent location. The latter was finally accomplished in late 2006, when the court moved out of rented office space and into its new, permanent headquarters on Moravian Square (Moravské náměstí) in Brno. Simultaneously, the Parliament has paid more legislative attention to the SAC, giving greater definition to the scope and powers of the court through several statutes.