Provisions governing the position of judges are contained in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, in section titled "The Judicial Power", and further elaborated in several laws, notably in the Law on Courts and the Law on the State Judicial Council.
A citizen of the Republic of Croatia who has completed studies at a faculty of law, has passed the bar exam, has experience in specific legal jobs, professional qualifications and proven work capacities may be appointed to a judicial position.
Requirements for judicial appointments to misdemeanor, municipal, commercial, and county courts, as well as to the High Misdemeanor Court of the Republic of Croatia, the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, the Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia are set forth in Article 50. of the Law on Courts, NN no. 3/94, 100/96, 115/97, 131/97, 129/00, 67/01.
A judge performs judicial duties as a single judge or as a member of a judicial panel.
Rights and obligations of judges are regulated by law
A judge's behavior must not be detrimental to his/her dignity or to the dignity of the judiciary, and must not put in question his/her professional impartiality and independence in adjudication, or the independence of the judicial power.
A judge must not disclose information on parties and their rights, obligations or legal interests obtained in the course of the performance of his/her judicial duties. A judge shall keep confidential all information which was not a subject of the public hearing.
Judges are prohibited from membership in political parties and from taking part in political activities.
A judge must not use his/her judicial position or dignity of the court in pursuing his/her rights. Judges are prohibited from acting as attorneys at law or public notaries, or as members of executive or supervising boards of corporations or other legal entities. A judge must not perform any other services or jobs that may impair his/her independence, impartiality or autonomy, or would diminish his/her social standing, or are otherwise incompatible with a judicial function.
A judge must constantly develop him/herself professionally and participate in the programs of professional education and development. A judge may publish expert and scientific work, may publish the contents of the delivered judicial decisions, take part in the work of expert or scientific conferences and participate in drafting legislation.
Judges are entitled to:
- a salary established for such a position;
- compensation of salary when he/she is unable to perform the judicial function;
- a pension, disability and health insurance, with all rights pertaining thereto in accordance with general regulation;
- vacations and holidays pertaining to court employees and an annual vacation of 30 working days:
- reimbursement of material costs, under the conditions regulated by law and other regulation;
- compensation for living expenses when separated from his/her family, as well as for costs of travel to and from the place of his/her family's abode on weekends and national holidays;
- compensation for business travel and expenses related to the performance of judicial duties;
- continuing judicial education and specialization, within the resources allocated for that purpose.
Judges of municipal, commercial and county courts may, with their consent, be temporarily (not longer than three months) transferred to other courts of the same or lower level. Conditioned on their consent, judges may be transferred to other courts of the same level for a longer period of time or permanently.
If a judge is appointed Minister of Justice, or Deputy Minister of Justice, or any other official of the Ministry of Justice, his/her judicial function shall be suspended for as long as he/she performs such executive duty. Conditioned on his/her consent, a judge may be transferred to other positions within the Ministry of Justice, but for a period not longer than two years, during which time his/her judicial function shall be suspended.
The Republic of Croatia shall be liable for damages caused in the performance of judicial duties to natural persons or legal entities by judicial malpractice. The Republic of Croatia may claim recovery of the amount paid for damages from a judge only if the latter has caused the damage intentionally or as a result of gross negligence.
Since late 2000 judicial self-government within Croatian courts has been strengthened through regulation that governs the foundation and operation of judge's councils. According to this regulation judges' councils have a significant role in the process of judicial appointments through rendering opinions on judicial performance of candidates from within the jurisdiction of their courts, as well as through proposing the candidates for the position of the president of the court.
Find more in:
||The Law on Courts - Zakon o sudovima (NN no. 3/94, 100/96, 115/97, 131/97, 129/00, 67/01)|
||The Law on the State Judicial Council - Zakonu o državnom sudbenom vijeću (NN no. 58/93, 49/99, 31/00, 107/00, 129/00)|
||The Law on Salaries of Judges and Other Officals - Zakonu o plaćama sudaca i drugih dužnosnika (NN no. 10/99, 25/00, 30/01, 59/01, 114/01, 116/01, 64/02)|