Courts of the Republic of Croatia

About courts

The Law on Courts regulates the structure, competence and actual jurisdiction of the courts if not determined by another law, the internal organization of courts, affairs of court administration and powers of the president of the court, affairs of the director of court administration, protection of the right to trial within a reasonable time, supervision over the performance of court administration tasks and the judicial inspection, rights and duties of judges, competences of judicial advisers, insurance of persons, property and facilities of the courts, appointment of jurors, conditions and procedures for the appointment of permanent court interpreters, experts, assessors and court funds.

In the Republic of Croatia, the judiciary (judicial power) is exercised by  courts as separate bodies of state power. They perform it independently within the scope (competence) and jurisdiction determined by law.

Courts judge on the basis of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, the acquis communautaire, international treaties, laws and other applicable sources of law.

Courts decide in disputes on fundamental human rights and obligations, on the rights and obligations of the Republic of Croatia and local and regional self-government units, and on the rights and obligations of other legal persons, pronounce sentences and other measures on perpetrators of criminal offenses and misdemeanors established by law and other regulations , decide on the legality of general and individual acts of public bodies, settle disputes on personal relations of citizens, labor, commercial, property and other civil disputes, and decide in other legal matters when  provided by law.

Courts are divided into:

Court of First Instance

The courts of first instance initiate proceedings to resolve a legal issue.

These are municipal, administrative, commercial and county courts when their jurisdiction is prescribed by law in the first instance.

Court of Second Instance

In the courts of second instance, decisions are made regarding the declared legal remedies against the decisions of the courts of first instance, also other tasks prescribed by the law are performed.

These are county courts (in relation to municipal courts), the High Criminal Court of the Republic of Croatia (in relation to first instance criminal cases of county courts), the High Misdemeanor Court of the Republic of Croatia (in relation to misdemeanor cases of municipal courts, and misdemeanor cases under the jurisdiction of public law bodies that lead first-instance misdemeanor proceedings when required by a separate law), the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia (in relation to commercial courts) and the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia (in relation to administrative courts).