IV. REVIEW OF THE CONSTITUTIONALITY AND LEGALITY OF REGULATIONS AND GENERAL ACTS ISSUED FOR THE EXERCISE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY


1. Requests and Petitions to Initiate the Review Procedure

Article 22
 
(1) The procedure for the review of the constitutionality and legality of regulations and general acts issued for the exercise of public authority is initiated by the submission of the written request of an applicant or by a Constitutional Court order on the acceptance of a petition to initiate a review procedure.

(2) The review of the constitutionality and legality of regulations and general acts issued for the exercise of public authority also extends to a review of the conformity of laws and other regulations with ratified treaties and with the general principles of international law.

Article 23
  
(1) When in the process of deciding a court deems a law or part thereof which it should apply to be unconstitutional, it stays the proceedings and by a request initiates proceedings for the review of its constitutionality.

(2) If the Supreme Court deems a law or part thereof which it should apply to be unconstitutional, it stays proceedings in all cases in which it should apply such law or part thereof in deciding on legal remedies and by a request initiates proceedings for the review of its constitutionality.

(3) If by a request the Supreme Court initiates proceedings for the review of the constitutionality of a law or part thereof, a court which should apply such law or part thereof in deciding may stay proceedings until the final decision of the Constitutional Court without having to initiate proceedings for the review of the constitutionality of such law or part thereof by a separate request.

Article 23a
  
(1) The procedure for the review of the constitutionality or legality of regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority can be initiated by a request submitted by:
- the National Assembly;
- one third of the deputies;
- the National Council;
- the Government;
- the ombudsman for human rights if he deems that a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority inadmissibly interferes with human rights or fundamental freedoms;
- the information commissioner, provided that a question of constitutionality or legality arises in connection with a procedure he is conducting;
- the Bank of Slovenia or the Court of Audit, provided that a question of constitutionality or legality arises in connection with a procedure they are conducting;
- the State Prosecutor General, provided that a question of constitutionality arises in connection with a case the State Prosecutor's Office is conducting;
- representative bodies of local communities, provided that the constitutional position or constitutional rights of a local community are interfered with;
- representative associations of local communities, provided that the rights of local communities are threatened;
- national representative trade unions for an individual activity or profession, provided that the rights of workers are threatened.

(2) The applicants referred to in the preceding paragraph may not submit a request to initiate the procedure for the review of the constitutionality or legality of regulations and general acts issued for the exercise of public authority which they themselves adopted.

Article 24
  
(1) Anyone who demonstrates legal interest may lodge a petition that the procedure for the review of the constitutionality or legality of regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority be initiated.

(2) Legal interest is deemed to be demonstrated if a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority whose review has been requested by the petitioner directly interferes with his rights, legal interests, or legal position.

(3) In instances in which regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority have direct effects and interfere with the rights, legal interests, or legal position of the petitioner, a petition may be lodged within one year after such act enters into force or within one year after the day the petitioner learns of the occurrence of harmful consequences.

Article 24a
  
(1) If a participant in proceedings before the Constitutional Court is represented by an authorised representative, he must submit an authorisation which is provided especially for proceedings before the Constitutional Court.

(2) An authorised representative who is not a lawyer must have a special authorisation to transfer the authorisation in proceedings before the Constitutional Court to another person.

Article 24b

(1) A request must contain the following information:
- a list of the articles of the regulation which is challenged by the request;
- the number of the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia or other official publication in which the challenged regulation is published;
- a statement of reasons of the inconsistency with the Constitution or law;
- information on the fulfilment of the conditions determined by law for lodging a request; and
- other information determined by the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court.

(2) In addition to the information referred to in the preceding paragraph, a petition must also contain information from which it is evident that the challenged regulation directly interferes with the petitioner's rights, legal interests, or legal position, and proof of the petitioner's legal status in instances in which the applicant is not a natural person. The petitioner must also submit the relevant documents to which he refers to support his legal interest.

(3) If the circumstances which are significant for the existence of a legal interest change after the petition is lodged, the Constitutional Court summons the petitioner to demonstrate within a determined period of time the circumstances from which it is evident that the regulation continues to directly interfere with his rights, legal interests, or legal position.

Article 25
  
(1) The Constitutional Court rejects a request if the procedural conditions referred to in Articles 21, 23, 23a, 24a, the first paragraph of Article 24b, and Article 47 of this Act have not been fulfilled.

(2) The Constitutional Court discontinues procedure for the review of constitutionality or legality if an applicant withdraws his request before a decision is adopted.

(3) The Constitutional Court rejects a petition if the procedural conditions referred to in Articles 21, 24, 24a, the second paragraph of Article 24b, and Article 47 of this Act have not been fulfilled.

(4) The Constitutional Court discontiues the procedure for the review of a petition or the procedure for the review of constitutionality or legality:
- if a petitioner withdraws his petition before a decision is adopted;
- if a petitioner fails to submit the information needed by the time limit determined for such.

2. Procedure for Examining a Petition

Article 26
  
(1) A petition is first examined by the Constitutional Court judge determined by the work schedule, who collects information and obtains clarifications necessary for the Constitutional Court to decide whether to initiate a procedure.

(2) The Constitutional Court dismisses a petition if it is manifestly unfounded or if it cannot be expected that an important legal question will be resolved.

(3) The Constitutional Court decides by an order on the acceptance or dismissal of a petition by a majority vote of judges present. The order to dismiss a petition must include a statement of reasons.

(4) If the Constitutional Court accepts a petition, it may immediately proceed to decide on the merits of the case if the state of the facts has been clarified and if during the examination of the petition the opposing party was given the opportunity to make statements.

3. Preparatory Procedure

Article 27

Requests for the review of the constitutionality and legality of regulations and general acts issued for the exercise of public authority and petitions on the basis of which the Constitutional Court has initiated a review procedure, are considered by the Constitutional Court in a preparatory procedure.

Article 28

(1) The Constitutional Court sends the request or petition as well as the order on the acceptance of the petition to the authority which issued the regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority (the opposing party), and determines an appropriate period of time for a response or for a supplementary response if a response has already been submitted in the procedure for examining the petition.

(2) The Constitutional Court may obtain necessary clarifications also from other participants in proceedings and from state authorities, local community authorities, and bearers of public authority; it may also obtain opinions from experts, expert and other organisations, examine witnesses and expert witnesses, and examine other evidence, or obtain evidence from other courts or other authorities.

(3) If the applicant of a request or a petitioner fails to submit the information needed for the continuation of the proceedings by the time limit determined for such, the proceedings may be discontinued by a Constitutional Court order.

Article 29
 
When the preparatory procedure is completed, the Constitutional Court decides whether to consider the case at a closed session or a public hearing.

Article 30
  
In deciding on the constitutionality and legality of a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority, the Constitutional Court is not bound by the proposal of a request or petition. The Constitutional Court may also review the constitutionality and legality of other provisions of the same or other regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority for which a review of constitutionality or legality has not been proposed, if such provisions are mutually related or if such is necessary to resolve the case.

Article 31
  
(1) In deciding on an individual case, the Constitutional Court may disqualify a Constitutional Court judge by applying, mutatis mutandis, the reasons for disqualification in court proceedings.

(2) The following are not reasons for disqualification as referred to in the preceding paragraph:
- participation in legislative procedures or in the adoption of other challenged regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority prior to being elected a Constitutional Court judge;
- the expression of an expert opinion on a legal issue which might be significant for the proceedings.

Article 32
 
Immediately upon a Constitutional Court judge learning of any reason for his disqualification as referred to in the preceding article, he must stop working on the case and notify the President of the Constitutional Court of such.

Article 33
 
(1) A motion for disqualification may be submitted by the participants in proceedings until the beginning of the public hearing, if such hearing is scheduled, or respectively until the beginning of the closed session of the Constitutional Court at which the case is to be decided. The motion must include a statement of reasons.

(2) The Constitutional Court judge whose disqualification has been motioned for has the right to state his position regarding the allegations contained in the motion, but may not participate in the decision on his disqualification. The Constitutional Court decides upon the disqualification of a judge at a closed session. In the event of an equal number of votes in favour and against, the presiding judge has the deciding vote.

Article 34

(1) In procedures before the Constitutional Court, each participant bears his own costs, unless the Constitutional Court decides otherwise.

(2) If a participant does not provide the information needed for the Court to decide due to his unexcused absence, unwillingness, or some other reasons, and thus the hearing must be adjourned, the Constitutional Court may decide that the participant bears the costs of the adjournment of the hearing.

Article 34a
  
(1) The Constitutional Court may punish a participant in proceedings or his authorised representative by a fine amounting from 100 to 2,000 Euros if they abuse the rights enjoyed in accordance with this Act.

(2) The Constitutional Court may punish the authorised representative of a participant in proceedings who is a lawyer by a fine referred to in the preceding paragraph if an application does not contain the essential components determined by law.

  4. Consideration

Article 35

(1) The Constitutional Court considers a case at a closed session or a public hearing. A majority of all Constitutional Court judges must be present at the closed session or public hearing.

(2) The President of the Constitutional Court may call a public hearing on his own initiative or upon the motion of the participants in proceedings. The President of the Constitutional Court must call a public hearing upon the proposal of three judges.

Article 36
  
(1) The Constitutional Court invites to public hearings the participants in proceedings, representatives, and persons authorised by the participants in proceedings, as well as other persons whose presence at the public hearing is deemed necessary.

(2) The absence of participants and other invited persons does not prevent the Constitutional Court from conducting the proceedings and deciding on the case.

Article 37
  
The Constitutional Court may exclude the public from a hearing or a part thereof when so required in order to protect morals, public order, national security, the right to privacy, or personality rights.

Article 38
 
(1) The Constitutional Court decides on the exclusion of the public by an order which must include a statement of reasons.

(2) No appeal is allowed against an order on the exclusion of the public.

Article 38a
  
(1) Constitutional Court decisions and orders state the full names of participants in proceedings, their legal representatives, and persons authorised by the participants, as well as the names of the participating legal entities and authorities and where they reside or are based.

(2) In order to protect the privacy of participants in proceedings, the Constitutional Court may itself or upon the motion of an applicant or a petitioner decide that the personal data of a participant in proceedings or the personal data of other individuals not be stated in a decision or order. Such motion must be submitted at the same time as the request or petition.

(3) The motion referred to in the preceding paragraph is decided by the Constitutional Court. If the Constitutional Court dismisses the motion, such order must include a statement of reasons.

(4) If the Constitutional Court decides that the personal data of a participant in proceedings or other individual are not to be stated in the decision or order, such data may also not be disclosed to other persons who are allowed to inspect the court file in accordance with this Act, and not communicated to the public. Communicating the aforementioned data to the public is also not allowed before the Constitutional Court decides on the motion referred to in the second paragraph of this article.

Article 39
  
(1) Until a final decision, the Constitutional Court may suspend in whole or in part the implementation of a law, other regulation, or general act issued for the exercise of public authority if difficult to remedy harmful consequences could result from the implementation thereof.

(2) If a participant in proceedings motions for a suspension referred to in the preceding paragraph, and the Constitutional Court deems the conditions for the suspension not to be fulfilled, it dismisses the motion by an order. If the Constitutional Court does not decide otherwise, the statement of reasons of the order by which the motion was dismissed includes only a statement of the legal basis for the adoption of the decision and the composition of the Constitutional Court.

(3) If the Constitutional Court suspends the implementation of a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority, it may at the same time decide in what manner the decision is to be implemented.

(4) An order by which the implementation of a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority is suspended must include a statement of reasons.

(5) The order referred to in the preceding paragraph is published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia as well as in the official publication in which the respective regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority was published. Such suspension takes effect the day following the publication of the order in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, and in case of a public announcement of the order, the day of its announcement.

  5. Deciding

Article 40
 
(1) After the consideration has been concluded, the Constitutional Court decides at a closed session by a decision.

(2) If necessary, the Constitutional Court determines which authority must implement the decision and in what manner. The decision must include a statement of reasons.

(3) A judge who does not agree with a decision or with the reasoning of a decision may declare that he will write a separate opinion, which must be submitted within the period of time determined by the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court.

Article 41

(1) A majority of all Constitutional Court judges must be present at closed sessions.

(2) The Constitutional Court decides on the merits regarding the matters referred to in Article 21 of this Act by a majority vote of all judges, provided that this Act does not determine otherwise. The Constitutional Court decides on other issues by an order adopted by a majority vote of the judges present. The Constitutional Court judge determined by the work schedule decides on the discontinuation of the procedure due to the withdrawal of a request or petition.

(3) The President and judges of the Constitutional Court may not abstain from voting.

(4) No appeal is allowed against decisions and orders issued in cases within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

Article 42
 
Constitutional Court decisions are published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia as well as in the official publication in which the respective regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority was published. Constitutional Court orders are also published when the Constitutional Court so decides.

6. Legal Consequences of Decisions

Article 43
   
The Constitutional Court may in whole or in part abrogate a law which is not in conformity with the Constitution. Such abrogation takes effect the day following the publication of the decision on the abrogation, or upon the expiry of a period of time determined by the Constitutional Court.

Article 44

The abrogation of a law or a part thereof by the Constitutional Court applies to relations that had been established before the day such abrogation took effect, if by that day such relations had not been finally decided.

Article 45
   
(1) The Constitutional Court annuls or abrogates regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority that are unconstitutional or unlawful.

(2) The Constitutional Court annuls regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority that are unconstitutional or unlawful when it determines that it is necessary to remedy harmful consequences arising from such unconstitutionality or unlawfulness. Annulment has retroactive effect.

(3) In other instances, the Constitutional Court abrogates regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority that are unconstitutional or unlawful. Abrogation takes effect the day following the publication of the Constitutional Court decision on the abrogation, or upon the expiry of a period of time determined by the Constitutional Court. In instances of abrogation, Article 44 of this Act is applied mutatis mutandis.

Article 46
   
(1) Any person who suffers harmful consequences due to a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority which has been annulled, is entitled to request that such consequences be remedied. If such consequences occurred as a result of an individual act adopted on the basis of the annulled regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority, entitled persons have the right to request that the authority which decided in the first instance change or annul such individual act.

(2) Entitled persons may request a change or annulment of the individual act referred to in the preceding paragraph within three months of the day of the publication of the Constitutional Court decision, provided no more than one year elapsed from the service of the individual act to the lodging of the petition or request.

(3) If the consequences occurred directly on the basis of a regulation or other general act issued for the exercise of public authority which was annulled by the Constitutional Court, the authority which issued such regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority is required to remedy such consequences. The entitled person lodges a request within the periods of time referred to in the preceding paragraph of this article.

(4) If such consequences cannot be remedied in accordance with the preceding paragraphs, the entitled person may claim compensation in a court of law.

Article 47
   
(1)If a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority which ceased to be in force when a request or petition is lodged is challenged by the request or petition, and the consequences of its unconstitutionality or unlawfulness were not remedied, the Constitutional Court decides on its constitutionality or legality. In instances of regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority, the Constitutional Court decides whether its decision has the effect of annulment or abrogation.

(2) If during proceedings before the Constitutional Court, a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority ceased to be in force in the challenged part or was amended, the Constitutional Court decides on its constitutionality or legality if an applicant or petitioner demonstrates that the conditions referred to in the preceding paragraph are fulfilled.

Article 48
   
(1) If the Constitutional Court deems a law, other regulation, or general act issued for the exercise of public authority unconstitutional or unlawful as it does not regulate a certain issue which it should regulate or it regulates such in a manner which does not enable annulment or abrogation, a declaratory decision is adopted on such.

(2) The legislature or authority which issued such unconstitutional or unlawful regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority must remedy the established unconstitutionality or unlawfulness within a period of time determined by the Constitutional Court.

7. Mutatis Mutandis Application of the Provisions of this Chapter in Other Procedures

Article 49
  
(1) The provisions of Chapter IV of this Act are applied mutatis mutandis for procedures and deciding on other matters in the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, unless otherwise provided by this Act.

(2) The Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court determine which information must be contained in applications in other matters within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court if such is not already determined by law.