The beginnings of the library can be traced back to the second half of the nineteenth century, a time when significant changes were taking place in Croatian political life, and the Croatian judiciary was beginning to achieve a high level of independence. A high court was founded in Zagreb in 1850 – the so-called Banski stol – and in 1862 a Royal Chamber of Seven was founded as the supreme tribunal of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia.
The Banski stol had a well organized library, evidence of which is provided by old catalogues with titles such as “Authors“, “Works“ and “Classification according to professional groups“. Preserved in these catalogues is the following note: “Compiled in the month of August 1893 by the librarian of the Royal Chamber of Seven, Franjo Haladi“.
The Banski stol’s library primarily comprised legal works classified by group: legal works of a general nature, compilations of laws and decrees in effect within the boundaries of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, civil law, securities law, commercial and mining law, criminal law, canon law, legal history, Roman law, financial legislation, court practice, and periodicals.
Items belonging to this old collection are kept in a closed compartment and cannot be removed from the premises of the library.
As a successor to the Banski stol and the Chamber of Seven, the library of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia has inherited these treasures and continues to build its collection.
The library of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia is officially listed as a “special library”, meaning that it is of particular importance to the profession it serves. The library encompasses over 25,000 individual books and periodicals – mostly of a legal nature – and is regularly renewed through the purchase of new titles. Thanks to various donors many valuable books are now available to judges and lawyers. This new collection (accessible to the public) consists of collections of books and periodicals, as well as a collection of legal documents.
As a professional reference library it is primarily designed for justices and court advisors of the Supreme Court, while out-of-Court professionals may use it upon notice made to the President's office.