Status of Judges
Provisions governing the status of judges are set forth in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, under the section titled "Judicial Power", and further elaborated in several laws, notably in the Judiciary Act and the National Judicial Council Act.
Preconditions for nomination of judges for misdemeanour courts, municipal courts, commercial courts, county courts, the High Misdemeanour Court of the Republic of Croatia, the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, the Administration Court of the Republic of Croatia and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia are contained in Article 51 of the National Judicial Council Act (OG no. 116/10, 57/11, 130/11, 13/13 and 28/13).
Judges perform their duties autonomously or take part in the activities of judicial councils.
Rights and obligations of judges are regulated by the law.
Judges are to conduct themselves with dignity without jeopardizing their impartiality and independence in the administration of justice or the autonomy of judicial power.
Judges are not to abuse their judicial activities or court’s reputation for the realization of their private interests. Judges are not allowed to work as lawyers or public notaries, or to be members of management and supervisory boards in companies or other private entities. Judges are also not allowed to get involved with other activities that might interfere with their autonomy, impartiality and independence or otherwise diminish their social status with activities that are incompatible with judicial duties.
Judges are obliged to continuously develop their professional skills and participate in the educational programmes organized by the Judicial Academy. Judges may publish scientific papers, content of legally binding rulings, participate in the programmes organized by the Judicial Academy as lectures or teach and assist in university programmes or programmes for professional development and take part in expert or scientific conferences or drafting legislation.
Judges are entitled to:
- A salary determined for the position he/she holds at the court of his/her nomination;
- Fringe benefits when he/she is posted to work for another court;
- Compensation of salary when he/she is unable to perform judicial duties;
- Pension and health insurance as well as other rights resulting from the general regulations;
- Vacation and other holidays pertaining to court employees as well as an annual leave of 30 working days;
- Family compensation allowance, compensation for traveling expenses during weekends and holidays when they have to travel to the location where their family is located or if they are temporarily posted to another court or the Ministry of Justice or when he/she is nominated for the position at the court of the last instance or a justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia;
- Compensation for business trips and expenses related to the performance of judicial duties;
- Professional development according to the budget allocated for that purpose.
If a judge is appointed the minister of justice, or deputy or assistant of minister of justice, or a judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia, or gets nominated by the Government for a judge of an international court or some other office at an international court, international mission or organization, his/her judicial function shall be suspended during the period he/she needs to perform such duty.
With his/her prior consent, a judge may be posted to other offices at the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Academy or the National Judicial Council for the period of four years. During the period a judge works posted at the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Academy or the National Judicial Council his/her judicial office shall be suspended.
The Republic of Croatia is liable for all damage caused to natural persons or legal entities resulting from judicial malpractice. The Republic of Croatia may claim compensation of damages from a judge only if he/she caused the damage intentionally or as a result of gross negligence. The Republic of Croatia shall demand from a judge to compensate any damage paid resulting from an infringement of the right to a speedy trial, if the infringement in question was intentional or a result of negligence.
More resources at:
- Judiciary Act (OG no. 28/13)
- National Judicial Council Act (OG no. 116/10, 57/11, 130/11, 13/13, 28/13)
- Judges and Other Judicial Officials’ Salary Act (OG no. 10/99, 25/00, 30/01, 59/01, 114/01, 116/01, 64/02, 153/02, 154/02, 17/04, 8/06, 142/06, 34/07, 134/07, 146/08, 155/08, 39/09, 155/09, 14/11, 154/11, 12/12)
- Regulations concerning compensation of temporarily posted judges and special working conditions
- Regulations concerning fringe benefits for temporarily posted judges