The Judiciary Act regulates the organization, competence and jurisdiction of courts if not otherwise regulated by law, internal structure and governance, judicial administration and competences of presidents of courts, duties of administrative directors of the courts, protection of the right to trial within a reasonable time, monitoring of the judicial administration and the judicial inspectorate, rights and obligations of judges, tasks of the secretary general, competences of advisers of the court, security of persons, property and court facilities, nomination of lay judges, conditions and procedure for the nomination of permanent court interpreters, experts and estimators as well as funds for the operation of the courts.
The courts are to protect law and order of the Republic of Croatia as regulated by the Constitution, international agreements and laws in order to secure uniform application of law and equal justice under law. The courts rule in cases concerning the basic rights and obligations of citizens, rights and obligations of the Republic of Croatia and units of local and regional self-government as well as rights and obligations of other legal entities. The courts decide on penalties and other legal measures for offenders responsible for criminal offences and misdemeanors pursuant to the law and other regulations. At the same time, the courts determine legality of individual and general acts of the public administration bodies and decide civil law cases resulting from various labour, commercial, property or other disputes as well as other legal matters in conformity with the law (Article 3 of the Judiciary Act).
The following courts are responsible for the administration of justice in the Republic of Croatia:
- Municipal courts,
- Commercial courts,
- Administration courts,
- Misdemeanor courts,
- County courts,
- The High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia,
- The High Administration Court of the Republic of Croatia,
- The High Misdemeanor Court of the Republic of Croatia,
- The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (Article 14 of the Judiciary Act).
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia is the court of last instance.
Jurisdiction and competences of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia include the following:
- To provide uniform application of law and equal justice under law;
- To decide ordinary legal remedies regulated by a separate law;
- To decide extraordinary legal remedies against courts’ final rulings in the Republic of Croatia;
- To decide cases of jurisdictional conflict as regulated by a separate law;
- To evaluate current issues related to court practice;
- To analyze the needs for professional development of judges, advisers of the court and judicial apprentices and perform other tasks as regulated by the law (Article 20 of the Judiciary Act).
The law also regulates the establishment of specialized courts in line with the real competence and jurisdiction or for area of legal practice.
The Juvenile Courts Act (OG no. 84/11 and 143/12), as a separate piece of legislation, contains provisions concerning young offenders (minors and young adults), rules applying to courts, criminal procedure, execution of sanctions and criminal-law protection of children.