The Constitutional Court decided on the constitutionality and legality of the procedure for renaming Titova cesta (Tito Street) as Cesta osamosvojitve Slovenije (Independence of Slovenia Street) in the Municipality of Radenci. The petition for the review of the procedure for adopting an Ordinance Amending the Ordinance on the Naming of Streets, Squares, and Settlements in the Spa Resort Town of Radenci, by which the street was renamed, was filed by the residents of the street and a group of members of the municipal council.
The petitioners alleged, inter alia, that the challenged ordinance was adopted contrary to the third paragraph of Article 46 of the Local Self-Government Act. This provision determines that a request to call a referendum on a municipal regulation must be filed or the written notification of an initiative for voters to file a request to call a referendum must be submitted to the municipal council within fifteen days of the adoption of the regulation. In such instances, the mayor suspends the publication of the regulation until the request or initiative is decided on or until a decision is reached in a referendum. The Constitutional Court explained that the mentioned time limit of fifteen days is an independent phase of the procedure for adopting a municipal regulation in the broader sense, which lasts from the adoption of the municipal regulation by the municipal council until its promulgation and publication in the official gazette of the municipality. This time limit enables the proposers or initiators of a referendum to learn of the content of the adopted regulation and to decide whether they will propose the calling of a referendum or petition with voters for the calling of a referendum. The time limit is also intended for the collection of the necessary number of signatures in support of an initiative for calling a referendum if the statute of the municipality so requires. The mayor would act arbitrarily if he or she promulgated and published the regulation adopted in the municipal council before the mentioned time limit expired, as in such manner the mayor would prevent the residents of the municipality from directly participating in the management of local public affairs.
The Constitutional Court established that the mayor of the Municipality of Radenci promulgated and published the challenged ordinance before the fifteen-day time limit expired and thereby prevented the residents of the municipality and the members of the municipal council from initiating a referendum procedure. Therefore, it decided that the challenged ordinance was adopted in a procedure inconsistent with the third paragraph of Article 46 of the Local Self-Government Act and, consequently, with the third paragraph of Article 153 of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court annulled the ordinance and enabled the harmful consequences caused by its unconstitutionality and illegality to be remedied. To prevent the street at issue from remaining nameless, the Constitutional Court also determined the manner of implementation of its Decision. It decided that until a new regulation is adopted, the street in question shall be named in accordance with the Ordinance on the Naming of Streets, Squares, and Settlements in the Spa Resort Town of Radenci, which was in force prior to the entry into force of the change made by the challenged Ordinance.