U-I-98/95

Reference no.:
U-I-98/95
Objavljeno:
Official Gazette of the RS, No. 44/96 and OdlUS V, 118 | 11.07.1996
ECLI:
ECLI:SI:USRS:1996:U.I.98.95
Act:
Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 29/95) (ZPDF), single provisions
Local Self-Government Act (Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 72/93, 6/94 - dec. CC, 45/94 - dec. US, 57/94, 14/95, 20/95 - dec. CC, 63/95 - oblig. interpretation, 9/96 - dec. CC) (ZLS), Para. 1 of Article 99 a
Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Housing Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 23/96) (SZ), Article 9
Operative provisions:
1. Article 1 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act is abrogated. 2. Para. 1 of Article 99.a of the Local Self-Government Act is abrogated. 3. In Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act abrogated are: a) Item I/11, b) Item V/13, insofar as relating to the administrative tasks in implementing municipal rules in the sphere of traffic regulation, c) Item VI/1, in so far as relating to the preparation of location documents, č) Item VI/7, insofar as relating to the establishment of public benefit in accord with municipal land use plans and acts for the implementation respectively, d) Item VI/7, insofar as relating to the taking over of administrative tasks from Para. 2 of Article 3, Para. 4 of Article 10, Para. 3 of Article 27, Para. 1 of Article 28, Para. 3 of Article 41 and Para. 2 of Article 50 of the Housing Act, from the competence of urban municipalities, and e) Item VII/2, insofar as relating to local roads. 4. Article 9 of the Act on Amendments and Supplements of the Housing Act insofar as relating to urban municipalities is abrogated. The abrogation takes effect in three months after the publication of this decision in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. 5. The Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act is not consistent with the Constitution insofar as not respecting a special constitutional status of urban municipalities. The National Assembly must remove this inconsistency within nine months after the publication of this decision in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. 6. Items I/1, III/1, III/10, IV/1, V/6, V/19, VI/2, VI/3, VI/8 and VII/3 of Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act are not inconsistent with the Constitution. 7. Item VI/1 of Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act is not inconsistent with the Constitution, except in the part cited in Item 3 c) of this holding. 8. Items V/13, VI/5, VI/7 and VII/2 of Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act are not inconsistent with the Constitution, except in the parts stated in Item 3 of this holding. 9. The abrogation referred to in Items 3 and 4 of this holding takes effect in three months after the publication of this decision in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia.
Abstract:
Statutory provisions which in an unclear and equivocal manner regulate the taking over of state normative competencies from municipalities are inconsistent with the principles of a state governed by the rule of law.

The transfer of administrative tasks, representing the execution of regulations within the competence of state organs, to administrative units is not inconsistent with Para. 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution. However, inconsistent with this constitutional provision is the state's taking over of those administrative tasks which are regulated by municipalities.

The transfer of administrative tasks in the sphere of land use planning (issuing of location permits) to state organs means an interference with the constitutionally protected nucleus of local self-government, yet this interference is not constitutionally inadmissible for it is based on the protection of other constitutional values - principles of a state governed by the rule of law (legal certainty and legality).
Password:
Taking over of municipal functions by the State.
Principle of a state governed by the rule of law.
Local self-government.
Procedure of issuing location permits.
Dissenting opinion of a Constitutional Court judge.
Concurring opinion of a Constitutional Court judge.
Legal basis:
Constitution, Articles 120, 140, 141, 70, 2, 9, 33, 69 Enabling Statute for the Implementation of the Constitution (UZIU), Article 5
Waters Act (ZV), Article 70
Agricultural Lands Act (ZKZ), Articles 4, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 67, 81, 95, 113, 117, 118, 129, 131, 29, 12
Matrimony and Family Relations Act (ZZZDR), Article 10 Urban Planning Act (ZUN), Article 67
Administration Act (ZUpr), Articles 101, 57
Road Traffic Safety Act (ZVCP), Articles 60, 64, 69, 85, 86, 90, 94, 109, 8, 33, 55, 75, 9
Construction of Buildings Act (ZGO), Article 35
Expropriation and Coercive Transformation of Real Estate into Social Property Act (ZRPPN), Article 17
Natural and Cultural Heritage Act (ZNKD), Articles 18, 19, 21, 26, 28, 29, 37, 38, 45, 47, 50
Constitutional Court Act (ZUstS), Article 21, 30, 43 and 48
Note:
In the reasoning of this decision, the Constitutional Court refers to its decision No. U-I-285/94 from 30 March 1995 (OdlUS IV, 30). To the case at hand cases Nos. U-I-120/95 from 14 September 1995, U-I-157/95 from 20 September 1995, U-I-121/95 from 5 and 6 October 1995, U-I-7/96 from 25 January 1996, U-I- 66/96 from 4 April 1996 and U-I-112/96 from 4 July 1996 were attached by the Constitutional Court resolution for joint consideration and decision.
Document in PDF:
The full text:
U-I-98/95
11 July 1996
 
D E C I S I O N
 
At a session held on 11 July 1996 in proceedings to review constitutionality, instituted by the request of the National Council, the Urban Municipality of Ljubljana, the Municipality of Ljutomer, the Municipality of Piran, the Urban Municipality of Ptuj and the Municipality of Zreče, the Constitutional Court
 
d e c i d e d :
 
1. Article 1 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act is abrogated (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 29/95).
 
2. Para. 1 of Article 99.a of the Local Self-Government Act is abrogated (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 72/93, 6/94 - dec.
 
CC, 45/94 - dec. CC, 57/94, 14/95, 20/95 - dec. CC, 63/95 - oblig. interpretation, 9/96 - dec. CC).
 
3. In Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act abrogated are:
 
a) Item I/11,
 
b) Item V/13, insofar as relating to the administrative tasks in implementing municipal rules in the sphere of traffic regulation,
 
c) Item VI/1, insofar as relating to the preparation of location documents,
 
č) Item VI/7, insofar as relating to the establishment of public benefit in accord with municipal land use plans and acts for the implementation respectively,
 
d) Item VI/7, insofar as relating to the taking over of administrative tasks from Para. 2 of Article 3, Para. 4 of Article 10, Para. 3 of Article 27, Para. 1 of Article 28, Para. 3 of Article 41 and Para. 2 of Article 50 of the Housing Act, from the competence of urban municipalities, and
 
e) Item VII/2, insofar as relating to local roads.
 
4. Article 9 of the Act on Amendments and Supplements of the Housing Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 23/96) insofar as relating to urban municipalities is abrogated. The abrogation takes effect in three months after the publication of this decision in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia.
 
5. The Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act is not consistent with the Constitution insofar as not respecting a special constitutional status of urban municipalities. The National Assembly must remove this inconsistency within nine months after the publication of this decision in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia.
 
6. Items I/1, III/1, III/10, IV/1, V/6, V/19, VI/2, VI/3, VI/8 and VII/3 of Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act are not inconsistent with the Constitution.
 
7. Item VI/1 of Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act is not inconsistent with the Constitution, except in the part cited in Item 3 c) of this holding.
 
8. Items V/13, VI/5, VI/7 and VII/2 of Article 3 of the Taking Over of State Functions Until 31 December 1994 Performed by Municipal Organs Act are not inconsistent with the Constitution, except in the parts stated in Item 3 of this holding.
 
9. The abrogation referred to in Items 3 and 4 of this holding takes effect in three months after the publication of this decision in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia.
 
R e a s o n i n g:
 
A.
 
1. Requests for a review of the constitutionality of the Taking Over of State Functions (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 29/95 - hereinafter ZPDF) were lodged by: the National Council, the Urban Municipality of Ljubljana, the Municipality of Ljutomer, the Municipality of Piran, the City of Ptuj and the Municipality of Zreče.
 
2. The National Council claims that with the adoption of the ZPDF the National Assembly did not remove the unconstitutional arrangement of the division of the functions and administrative tasks between the state and local communities as ordered by the Constitutional Court in Decision No. U-I-285/94 (CCRes IV/30).
 
It states that the municipalities cautioned that the statutes cited in the ZPDF distributed administrative tasks among the municipal representative body, administrative bodies and administrative organizations, which is why the demand for the powers to be taken over by the state to be prescribed should be insisted upon. It states that the municipalities specifically warned that the ZPDF does not take account for the special constitutional status of urban municipalities. The National Council does not agree with the starting point of the ZPDF - the claim that statutes adopted after the enactment of the Constitution are already compatible with the concept of local self-government. The National Council maintains that the statute should have specified the individual matters to be taken over by the state, which in turn would enable a clear division of powers between the state and local self-government. The National Council proposes that the ZPDF be abrogated in its entirety.
 
In a supplement to the application made at the request of the Constitutional Court, the National Council claims that, contrary to Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution, with the ZPDF the state took powers away from the municipalities in the fields covered by the following laws:
 
a) the Waters Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 38/81 and 29/86, Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 15/91-I), the powers under Articles 48, 49, 50, 51, 57, 58 and 60;
 
b) the Roads Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 38/81, 7/86 and 37/87), the powers under Articles 10, 12, 72, 111 and 117;
 
c) the Safety at Public Ski-Grounds Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 16/77 and 42/89), the powers under Articles 4, 6 and 7;
 
d) the Hail Defence System Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, No. 33/79), the powers under Article 16;
 
e) the Graveyards and the Graves of Fighters Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, No. 4/78), the powers under Articles 4, 5 and 6.
 
In the supplement to the application the National Council states that the division of powers between the state and municipality is unclear in the fields covered by the Housing Act (Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 18/91-I, 21/94, 22/94-CCRes and 23/96), the Urban Planning Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 18/84, 37/85 and 29/86, Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 26/90, 3/91 - dec. CC, 18/93, 47/93 and 71/93, and the Construction of Buildings Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, No. 34/84 and 29/86, Official Gazette of the RS, No. 40/94 - dec. CC - and 69/94 - dec. CC).
 
In the supplement to the application the National Council also states that in its opinion, of the powers taken over with the ZPDF, the municipal powers set out in the Urban Planning Act, the powers under Articles 9 and 75 of the Road Traffic Safety Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 5/82, 40/84, 29/86 and Official Gazette of the RS, No. 1/91-I) and the powers under Articles 37, 38, 45, 47, 48 and 50 of the Natural and Cultural Heritage Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 1/81 and 42/86, Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 8/90 and 26/92) belong within the original jurisdiction of urban municipalities.
 
3. The Urban Municipality of Ljubljana claims that with the ZPDF the state assumed, in addition to the state functions that in the communal system were carried out by the "communes" (municipalities) as an extension of state authority, those administrative tasks that are related to the implementation of local self-government or the regulation of local public affairs and conducted by a municipality within the remit of its authority. This, it is claimed, applies especially to the field of urban planning as "by issuing location and construction permits ... the state undoubtedly encroaches upon the original jurisdiction of a local community". The Urban Municipality of Ljubljana thus proposed that Article 3 of the ZPDF be abrogated. In the supplement to the application, made at the invitation of the Constitutional Court, the Urban Municipality of Ljubljana claims that, contrary to Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution, with the ZPDF the state took powers away from the municipalities under the following laws:
 
a) the Road Traffic Safety Act: powers under Articles 9, 55, 74, 75, 76 and 77;
 
b) the Urban Planning Act: powers under Article 55;
 
c) the Construction of Buildings: powers under Articles 18, 36 and 67;
 
d) the Road Transport Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 72/94): powers under Articles 13 and 15;
 
e) the Housing Act: powers under Articles 3, 10, 27, 28, 50 and 66.
 
4. The Municipality of Ljutomer claims that the ZPDF encroaches upon the original jurisdiction of the municipalities by taking over powers under the following laws:
 
a) the Procedure for Dealing with Found Objects Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, No. 31/76);
 
b) the Building Lands Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 18/84, 33/89, Official Gazette of the RS, No. 24/92-CCRes) - the contentious point here is the power to determine and collect fees for the use of building lands;
 
c) the Expropriation and Compulsory Transfer of Socially-Owned Real Estate Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 5/80, 30/87 and 20/89);
 
d) the Urban Planning Act;
 
e) the Construction of Buildings Act.
 
In a supplement to the application, the Municipality of Ljutomer describes the ZPDF as unclear in its division of powers in the fields covered by the Housing Act, the Agricultural Lands Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 1/79, 11/81, 1/86, 17/86-fair copy, Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 9/90, 5/91 and 46/92- CCRes) and the Marriage and Family Relations Act (Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 15/76, 1/89, 14/89-fair copy).
 
5. The Municipality of Piran claims that by giving a blanket list of statutes in Article 3 of the ZPDF the legislator demarcated the jurisdiction of the state and municipalities in a manner that was contrary to Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution, because it brought within the power of the state certain tasks that, pursuant to the Constitution, belong within the original jurisdiction of the municipalities. In the opinion of the Municipality of Piran, the ZPDF is also unconstitutional because of its incomprehensibility. The Municipality of Piran proposes the abrogation of the ZPDF in its entirety. The Municipality of Piran did not reply to an invitation to supplement its application by setting out in greater detail the items of the ZPDF which it contests.
 
6. The City of Ptuj contests the ZPDF because, in its opinion, the ZPDF does not specify the individual tasks to be taken from the municipalities by the state, it does not draw a line between state and municipal jurisdiction in a sufficiently clear manner, and it does not take account of the special constitutional status of urban municipalities.
 
In a supplement to its application, the Urban Municipality of Ptuj states that with the ZPDF the state took powers from the municipalities contrary to Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution as follows:
 
a) in the field of internal affairs: public events of a local character and responsibility for order in a municipality;
 
b) in the field of urban planning: planning settlements and other encroachments on the environment, names of streets, roads and squares; encroachments on the environment;
 
c) in the field of transport: powers relating to stationary and non-stationary transport, including the regulation of traffic signs;
 
d) in the field of culture: powers concerning cultural heritage of importance for city development;
 
e) in the field of agriculture: the use of agricultural land.
 
7. The Municipality of Zreče contests Items VI/1 and VI/2 of Article 3 of the ZPDF because these two items make the state responsible for the issuing of location and construction permits. In the opinion of the Municipality of Zreče, the centralization of these two powers prevents municipal bodies from carrying out basic municipal functions.
 
8. The National Assembly did not reply to requests within the prescribed period nor upon special invitation.
 
B.-I.
 
9. According to the proposer of the statute (proposed ZPDF, National Assembly Reporter, No. 18/95), the ZPDF replaces the abrogated Paragraph 1 of Article 101 of the Administration Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 67/94 - hereinafter: the ZUpr). It became valid on 1 June 1995, in other words the day on which the abrogation of Paragraph 1 of Article 101 of the ZUpr entered into force. The abrogated provision of Article 101 of the ZUpr provided that "as of 1 January 1995 the state shall assume from the municipalities all administrative tasks and powers in the fields for which individual ministries have been formed and all other statutory administrative tasks of a governmental nature within municipal jurisdiction". In the reasons explaining its resolution on the abrogation of Paragraph 1 of Article 101 of the ZUpr (CCDec IV, 30), the Constitutional Court ruled that, contrary to Article 140 of the Constitution, the legislator interfered with the jurisdiction of municipalities, and also that with a general assumption of tasks the division of jurisdiction on the basis of Article 5 of the Enabling Statute for the Implementation of the Constitution (hereinafter: the UZIU) was not sufficiently clearly made as to satisfy the standards of legal certainty. In practice, the provision contained in Paragraph 1 of Article 101 was interpreted in a variety of ways.
 
Pursuant to the Constitutional Court Decision, it is the legislator's duty to make a precise delineation of powers between the state and the municipality by the date on which the postponed enactment comes into effect by specifying the individual powers and tasks that are to be taken over by the state.
 
10. Article 1 of the ZPDF contains a general provision according to which all state functions performed until 31 December 1994 pursuant to Article 5 of the UZIU by municipal bodies on the basis of regulations issued prior to the enactment of the Constitution, are to be performed after 1 January 1995 by the competent state bodies. Judging from this provision, the intent of the statute is mainly to give a more precise description of "the administrative tasks and powers" under the abrogated Paragraph 1 of Article 101 of the ZPDF.
 
In Article 2, the ZPDF specifies that the "administrative tasks defined in regulations issued prior to the enactment of the Constitution as being within the jurisdiction of municipal bodies and performed until 31 May 1996 by administrative units and ministries in compliance with Article 101 of the ZUpr, are performed after 1 June 1996 by these bodies in compliance with the provisions of this statute". Again from these legal provisions it follows that the legislator's intention was to preserve the current situation by giving a more transparent delineation of jurisdiction.
 
Article 3 of the ZPDF provides which of the assumed administrative tasks shall be performed by administrative units. The legislator opted for the method of citing the statutes by individual field. All the administrative tasks specified by the laws contained in the list under Article 3 of the ZPDF are carried out by administrative units. The list cites 66 statutes. The Denationalization Act appears three times (in the fields of agriculture, commercial activities, and the environment and physical planning), and the Protection of the Natural and Cultural Heritage Act appears twice (culture, environment and physical planning).
 
In Article 4 it is provided that administrative tasks in the fields of the geodesy service, administrative and inspection supervision and defence and protection defined by regulations issued prior to the enactment of the Constitution as being within the jurisdiction of municipal bodies, shall be performed directly by the ministries or their constituent bodies. Pursuant to this provision, in these administrative areas a special form of territorial division of state administration was created based on a network of branch offices, or renamed organizations within the Ministry of Defence, the Geodesy Administration and other constituent bodies of the ministries (especially the inspection offices).
 
In Article 5 the ZPDF provides that "it shall be considered that individual administrative acts issued by the administrative units, ministries and their constituent bodies on the basis of Article 101 of the ZUpr prior to the day on which the ZPDF comes into force were issued by the competent bodies".
 
In Article 6 the ZPDF contains a provision that abrogates Paragraph 2 of Article 101 of the ZUpr. Therefore the ZPDF replaces Article 101 of the ZUpr in its entirety.
 
B.-II.
 
11. In compliance with Article 5 of the UZIU, the National Assembly should have regulated by statute the take over of all state functions from municipal bodies. State functions encompass both normative jurisdiction (the power to regulate) as well as administrative tasks (the implementation of statutes and other state regulations). Article 1 of the ZPDF provides that state functions that were performed prior to 31 December 1994 by municipal bodies are to be performed from 1 January 1995 onwards by state bodies. The take over of state functions is regulated in greater detail in Articles 2, 3 and 4 only with regard to the field of administrative tasks. Therefore, the ZPDF does not provide which normative jurisdictions are to be taken over by state bodies; nor is it determined which state bodies should take over these functions.
 
12. It is not only Article 1 of the ZPDF that regulates the take over of normative functions, but also Paragraph 1 of Article 99.a of the Local Self-Government Act (Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 72/93, 57/94 and 14/95) which provides:
 
"The regulations issued by the former municipalities shall, in the parts that regulate affairs within the jurisdiction of the state as listed in Article 101 of the ZUpr, apply from 1 January 1995 onwards as state regulations and shall be implemented by state bodies, and replaced by the regulations of state bodies, within the limits of their jurisdiction."
 
In the take over of normative jurisdiction the legislator referred to Article 101 of the Administration Act. On the day the Paragraph 1 of Article 101 ceased to be valid, the blanket provision contained in Paragraph 1 of Article 99.a of the ZLS lost its meaning. The question that arises is whether it ceased to be valid or whether the reference to Article 101 should be understood as a direction to the new statute (the ZPDF) that replaced Article 101. In any case, it is unclear what parts of the regulations issued by the former municipalities regulate affairs that are within the jurisdiction of the state that have been taken over by the state.
 
13. Both Article 1 of the ZPDF as well as Paragraph 1 of Article 99.a of the ZLS are unclear in their regulation of the centralization of normative jurisdictions, and are thus both contrary to Articles 2 and 120 of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court therefore decided to abrogate them by applying the principle of connexity. The legislator's duty deriving from Article 5 of the UZIU is to delineate clearly the normative jurisdiction between the state and municipality - i.e. to define by statute (if it determines that certain normative tasks have remained within the jurisdiction of the municipalities but should, under the Constitution, be within the jurisdiction of state bodies) which normative powers are to be taken over by the state and what effect will this have on the validity of regulations. The legislator should also resolve the question of who is to have jurisdiction over amending the regulations that have been taken over by the state. The principle of a state governed by the rule of law demands that the powers of state bodies be clearly laid down. In the field of administrative tasks this has been regulated (they were chiefly taken over by the administrative units, and to a lesser degree - in the fields of geodesy, inspection control and defence - directly by ministries). In the area of normative jurisdiction it is unclear which body precisely was supposed to take over the jurisdiction - the National Assembly, the Government or the ministries.
 
The abrogation of Article 1 of the ZPDF and Paragraph 1 of Article 99.a of the ZLS does not mean that the municipalities may adopt or amend and supplement regulations in matters that are not within their original jurisdiction. Such regulations or parts thereof may be abrogated by the Constitutional Court if they do not conform with Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution or the Constitutional Court may dismiss them in a procedure to review constitutionality - and this can be done irrespective of the abrogation of Article 1 of the ZPDF and Paragraph 1 of Article 99.a of the ZLS.
 
B.-III.
 
14. The requests by the National Council, municipalities and urban municipalities refer to the take over of administrative tasks. In the regulation of this take over the legislator did not specify the individual administrative tasks that were to be taken over by the state, and opted instead to cite the statutes nomothetically in combination with the term "administrative tasks". The Constitutional Court first tested whether such nomothetical method is in compliance with the constitutional principle of Slovenia being a state governed by the rule of law and the provision contained in Article 120 of the Constitution according to which the powers of state administrative bodies are specified by statute. With regard to the matter at issue, these constitutional provisions demand a clear delineation of jurisdiction between the state and the municipality. A clear delineation is such where in every matter the citizens and the bodies in charge of public administration (state and municipal) can determine clearly from the statute whether that matter is within the jurisdiction of the state or the municipality. A clear delineation enables the normal functioning of the state and municipal bodies and prevents the emergence of disputes over jurisdiction beyond a reasonable (unavoidable) extent.
 
15. In the take over of state functions the legislator could have chosen a better nomothetical solution (citing individual powers to be taken over by the state), but the ZPDF is not contrary to the Constitution because of the nomothetical solution it is based on. The meaning of the term "administrative tasks" can be clearly defined with a linguistic, teleological and systematic explanation. Administrative tasks in the sense of Articles 2 and 3 of the ZPDF are tasks relating to the implementation of statutes and other regulations with administrative acts and material actions. This notion covers all tasks that municipalities used to perform in the aforementioned forms in the implementation of state regulations.
 
"Administrative tasks" according to the ZPDF are: running the administrative procedure and decision-making on administrative matters, keeping records, issuing certificates and performing other material actions. But the term "administrative tasks" does not cover normative powers (the adoption of general acts), founding acts and administrative entitlements. By applying this interpretation of the term "administrative task", in each of the statutes cited in Article 2 of the ZPDF it can be discerned which tasks are to be taken overby the state.
 
16. The Constitutional Court tested this stance separately on the individual items under Article 3 of the ZPDF that the proposers of the requests claim are contentious from the point of view of the clarity of the delineation of jurisdiction.
 
I) Item VI/7 (Housing Act)
 
The original text of the statute contains three provisions relating to the tasks of administrative decision-making within the jurisdiction of municipal bodies. Article 3 provides that municipal administrative bodies issue declaratory decisions on whether an apartment is subject to the Housing Act. Article 34 provides that a municipal administrative body, upon a proposal by a republic inspection body, gives the order for all works required to put common premises, parts, structures and appliances in working condition to go ahead. Article 103 provides that the municipal administrative body with jurisdiction over housing affairs shall issue a decree on the renting of an apartment. Other administrative tasks that are to be performed under the Housing Act by municipal bodies are: - keeping and updating of a register of apartments (Article 10), - keeping a register of contracts on the management of apartments and keeping a register of administrators (Articles 27 and 28),
 
- verifying the legality of contracts on the leasing of apartments (Article 41),
 
- granting approval to the issuing of a permit to perform legitimate activities in an apartment (Article 50),
 
- verifying rents and declaring whether a rent is excessive (Article 66),
 
- the duties of inspection bodies (Articles 104 to 110).
 
The Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Housing Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 23/96), in Articles 9 and 10, gives special attention to the delineation of jurisdiction between the municipality and the state. It provides that in Paragraph 2 of Article 3, Paragraph 4 of Article 10, Paragraph 3 of Article 27, Paragraph 1 of Article 28, Paragraph 2 of Article 40, Paragraph 3 of Article 41, Paragraph 2 of Article 50 and in the penalty provisions (Article 135, Paragraph 4 of Article 136 and Article 137), the word "municipal" is to be deleted. With this provision the legislator clearly and unambiguously vested the powers under these articles in the state, i.e. the administrative units.
 
In Article 10 of the Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Housing Act it is provided that in Paragraph 5 of Article 10, Paragraph 2 of Article 32, in Article 34, Paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 53, Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 66, Paragraph 2 of Article 103, Paragraph 2 of Article 105, in Article 108 and Paragraph 3 of Article 121, the word "administrative" is to be deleted. With this provision the legislator clearly and unambiguously vested the powers under these articles in the municipalities, (including some powers that are not administrative tasks).
 
The delineation of jurisdiction between the state and municipality in the field of the Housing Act is therefore clear. II) Item III/1 (Agricultural Lands Act)
 
Pursuant to the ZPDF the administrative units took over in particular the administrative tasks under the Agricultural Lands Act (hereinafter: the ZKZ):
 
- determining whether farmland can be cultivated (fair copy, Article 4/5),
 
- establishing the status of a farmer or farming organization (Article 4/8),
 
- setting compensation levels for a change of the use of land (Article 15/7),
 
- setting compensation levels for mined ore (Article 16/1), - setting compensation levels for pollution of farmland or forest land (Article 17/4),
 
- deciding on the allocation of land for temporary use and on the return of land (Articles 19/4 and 21/1),
 
- deciding on the removal of individual structures obstructing agricultural operations (Article 67),
 
- deciding on land consolidation (Article 81/3),
 
- deciding on the redistribution of land in a consolidation procedure (Article 95/1),
 
- issuing measures to landowners in an amelioration area (Article 113),
 
- deciding on the granting of access to landplots (Article 117/3),
 
- deciding on the establishment of servitude (Article 118/2),
 
- deciding on administrative affairs concerning common pastures (Articles 129 and 131).
 
The ZKZ sets out certain other administrative tasks that used to be carried out by municipal bodies - these are tasks related to the issuing of certificates confirming the legality of contracts of trade in agricultural land (Article 29). A special certificate is envisaged in Paragraph 2 of Article 83. Drawing an agricultural land map is also an administrative task (Articles 12/3).
 
For the ZKZ, too, it is true that the extent of tasks that have been taken over can be discerned through an interpretation of the term "administrative task".
 
III) Item I/1 (Marriage and Family Relations Act, hereinafter: the ZZZDR)
 
Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the ZZZDR provides: "Pursuant to this statute, social work centres shall adjudicate in administrative affairs". The only two exceptions here are administrative affairs concerning marriage: decisions on permission to marry outside the officially-appointed premises and on permission to marry by proxy.
 
Participation in the formal procedure of entering into marriage is an administrative task that also came under state jurisdiction in the sense of Article 3 of the ZPDF.
 
IV) Item VI/1 (Urban Planning Act).
 
Administrative tasks in this field that used to be performed by municipal bodies and on the basis of Article 3 of the ZPDF were taken over include decisions relating to location permits and permitting tendered works, as well as on consent to staking out land in cases where an investor realises he is unable to meet the conditions in the location permit.
 
The preparation of the location documentation itself, which specifies in greater detail the requirements for encroachments on the environment prior to the issuing of a location permit in areas regulated by physical planning conditions, is an administrative task. The location documentation is, by its nature, a specification of the physical planning conditions in a given case of a planned encroachment on the environment.
 
Therefore, it is part of the procedure for the implementation of the statute and of the physical planning requirements in an actual case. In compliance with Article 67 of the Urban Planning Act, they are to be carried out by special administrative organizations. Even though the preparation of the location documentation is not part of the administrative procedure, it does belong among the administrative tasks that have been centralized.
 
V) Item VI/2 (Construction of Buildings Act)
 
The administrative tasks that were taken over on the basis of Article 3 of the ZPDF are tasks of administrative decision- making - issuing construction permits and permits for use and decrees banning construction works, if a simple tender does not suffice - and other related tasks (for example, technical inspections). There are no tasks in this field that could have been contentious due to a possible lack of clarity in the ZPDF.
 
VI) Item VI/3 (Building Lands Act)
 
The administrative tasks that were taken over on the basis of Article 3 of the ZPDF and which are set out in that statute include, in particular, the keeping of records on building land (Article 8), the assessment of contributions for the furbishing of building land and compensation for the use of building land.
 
The state did not take over with ZPDF the tasks performed by the building land funds because these funds are not municipal bodies.
 
VII) Transport - Item V/13 (Road Traffic Safety Act) and Item VII/2 (Roads Act)
 
The proposers do not refer to the demands relating to this field as explicitly contestable from the aspect of clear delineation.
 
However, the field does need to be analysed as practice reveals it to be contestable. Furthermore, the proposers describe it as an area in which the state, contrary to Article 140 of the Constitution, interferes with the jurisdiction of municipalities.
 
In addition to the provisions on inspection supervision, the Roads Act contains provisions on administrative tasks that used to be performed by municipal bodies, as follows:
 
- issuing construction permits in protected areas for road construction or repair - Article 60,
 
- issuing permits to construct a regional road with a narrow carriageway - Article 64,
 
- issuing permits for bus stops on a carriageway - Article 69,
 
- decisions on banning traffic on local roads and roads other than major and regional roads in settlements - Article 85/2,
 
- decisions on the temporary use of roadside land - Article 86,
 
- issuing approvals or requests to public service providers to set up and remove traffic signs - Articles 90/3 and 90/4,
 
- decisions on the reduction of the permitted axis load, speed reduction and road closure in special circumstances - Article 94,
 
- banning the use of an access road - Article 109.
 
The administrative tasks under the Road Traffic Safety Act that were performed by municipal bodies refer to:
 
- permits, records and certificates for driving schools, driving licences and the registration of motor vehicles,
 
- checking stationary and parked cars (Paragraph 2 of Article 8),
 
- issuing permits for the use of an articulated bus (Article 33),
 
- deciding on a temporary ban on road traffic due to road works (Article 55),
 
- issuing permits for sporting and other events to take place on roads (Article 75).
 
Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 of the ZVCP set out the jurisdiction of the municipal assembly and of the executive council relating to the traffic regulation system within settlements. These are normative tasks that are not being centralised by the ZPDF. Paragraph 3 of Article 9 sets out the jurisdiction of municipal administrative bodies. These are administrative tasks related to ordering the erection of protection barriers, the setting up or removal of traffic signs, and so on. Of the municipal powers under Article 9 of the Road Traffic Safety Act, on the basis of Article 3 of the ZPDF the state only took over administrative tasks, i.e the tasks that were listed in Paragraph 3 of Article 9 of the Road Traffic Safety Act.
 
B.-IV.
 
17. After testing the compliance of the ZPDF with Articles 2 and 120 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court tested its compliance with Articles 140 and 141 of the Constitution.
 
18. Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution provides: "The range of duties and functions performed by a municipality shall include such local matters affecting only the people of that municipality, as the municipality may independently determine."
 
A definition of the range of duties and functions performed by a municipality, its original jurisdiction, rests on the term "local public matter". The provision contained in Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution is a constitutional defence against state interference in the essence of local self- government. The state may not enact regulations encroaching on the guaranteed area of original jurisdiction of a municipality.
 
The provision contained in Paragraph 1 of Article 140 contains three cumulative elements for a definition of public matters that belong within the jurisdiction of a municipality:
 
- the matter must be of a "local" nature,
 
- the matter must be such as to be suitable for independent regulation by the municipality,
 
- the matter must only affect the inhabitants of the municipality.
 
In the definition of the term "local matter", the criterion of the nature of the matter plays an important role. The logical argument of the nature of a thing originates in healthy reasoning and customs embraced by human consciousness as self- evident.
 
The criterion of suitability for a matter to be independently regulated by a municipality needs to be interpreted from the point of view of the characteristics of an "abstract" municipality, and not of a specific municipality. The original jurisdiction of all municipalities (apart from urban municipalities) must have the same scope. The scope of original jurisdiction may not differ from one municipality to another (with the exception of urban municipalities, which under the Constitution and the statute enjoy special status). Hence the criterion of suitability for a matter to be regulated independently by a municipality under Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution needs to be interpreted with regard to the territorial structure of the existing Slovene municipalities, in view of their size, the number of inhabitants and other capacities. What needs to be taken into account is the actual situation that was created after the adoption of the Founding of Municipalities and the Determination of their Boundaries Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 60/94).
 
In the strictest sense, no matter affects only the inhabitants of a municipality. Even the most uncontroversial local public matters, such as water supply or cleaning of public areas, affect, to some degree, everyone who happens to be in the area of the local community. The provision contained in Paragraph 1 of Article 140 cannot be interpreted in any way other than that it is aimed at matters that mainly affect the people of a local community or that originate in that local community.
 
19. Paragraph 2 of Article 141 of the Constitution provides: "Specific duties and functions relating to urban development may be vested by the state in urban municipalities by statute." Pursuant to the Constitution, urban municipalities enjoy a different position to that of other municipalities. The tasks under Paragraph 2 of Article 141 of the Constitution are original and not transferred (performed by a municipality "as its own"). The range of tasks relating to urban development does not depend on the discretion of the legislator, even though the range must be prescribed by statute. The Constitution binds the legislator to set out in statute provisions on the special original jurisdiction of urban municipalities.
 
20. Unlike the old municipality (the "commune"), which to a large degree functioned as an extension of the state and implemented tasks that by their nature fell within the jurisdiction of state administration, a new municipality is a self-governing local community regulating local matters independently. The function of a municipality is to satisfy public needs at the local level. These needs are mainly related to regulating the use of municipal territory, the provision of commercial public services, the construction and maintenance of local infrastructure, providing health care at the primary level, care and primary education for children, basic social assistance, the provision of non-profit housing as well as regulation of local traffic and other areas of life where local matters are concerned. In carrying out these functions a municipality primarily performs the role of a service provider (providing public goods and services), but is also an authority (regulating legal relations). A municipality may within the remit of its authority issue governmental general legal acts (statutes and decrees) as well as governmental individual legal acts (administrative decrees). Its administration may also perform other administrative tasks. The administrative tasks that fall within the original jurisdiction of a municipality include those that represent the implementation of municipal regulations and other decisions in the areas regulated by a municipality within its original jurisdiction. The division of jurisdiction in the field of administrative tasks therefore depends on the division in the field of normative tasks, which the Constitutional Court (see Item 13) stated was not done at all, or that it was not done in compliance with the Constitution. In a situation like this the division of jurisdiction in the area of administrative tasks (with a critical assessment of each case separately) needs to be based on the assumption that the new municipality retained the jurisdiction over regulations that the old municipality enjoyed. The latter was able, as an extended arm of the state, to operate in the field of administrative tasks but less in the field of normative jurisdiction.
 
Whenever an administrative task involves the implementation of a state regulation it belongs within the jurisdiction of the state, because it represents - even if carried out in a decentralised form - part of the administrative and political process at the state level. With disputed administrative tasks an analysis has to be made as to whether they involve the implementation of decisions that belong within state jurisdiction or decisions that belong within municipal jurisdiction. If they involve the implementation of a state regulation then the administrative matter (a decision in an administrative procedure, keeping records, etc.) is within the jurisdiction of the state and can be taken over by a municipality under conditions specified by the Constitution and statute only as transferred jurisdiction.
 
21. The Constitutional Court tested the compliance of the ZPDF with Articles 140 and 141 of the Constitution in the items cited by the proposers in the first application or in the supplement to the application as disputable. It did not test the other points from the point of view of the constitutionality of the division.
 
From the point of view of the delineation of jurisdiction between the state and municipality (Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution), the proposers of the request cited the following points of the ZPDF as disputable:
 
I) Item VI/8 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Waters Act)
 
The National Council cited as disputable three normative powers that are not administrative tasks and were not assumed by the state with the ZPDF (prescribing the obligations of owners and users of properties bordering on rivers, streams and lakes, determining protection belts and measures for the protection of waters, and the adoption of a hail defence plan).
 
It also mentions as disputable the administrative tasks related to the issuing of water management approvals and permits.
 
Encroachments on the water regime or the commercial exploitation of water as a natural resource of importance for the entire country are not, by their nature, local matters, and thus the take over of these administrative tasks does not represent an unauthorised intrusion on local self-government. In Paragraph 2 of Article 70 the Constitution provides that the conditions governing the use of natural resources are determined by statute. The determination of the conditions is therefore within the jurisdiction of the state: hence the implementation of these regulations is within the jurisdiction of the state.
 
II) Item VII/2 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Roads Act)
 
The National Council cites as disputable some normative powers that were not taken over by the state with the ZPDF at all (determining the regular maintenance of streets, squares and roads as a municipal service and regulating the regime of public paths). It also cites several disputable administrative tasks: the issuing of permits for bus stops on a carriageway, banning the use of an existing access road and the supervision of local roads and public paths.
 
The Local Self-Government Act (hereinafter: the ZLS) in Article 21 provides, among other things, that a municipality builds, maintains and regulates local public roads, public paths, and recreational and other public areas. The regulation of local roads and local public areas is, by its nature, a local matter.
 
It mainly concerns the people of the municipality and it is appropriate that Slovenia's municipalities should regulate it independently. What applies for normative regulations applies also for the administrative tasks in this area. The administrative tasks under Item VII/2 of Article 3 of the ZPDF are, by their nature, local matters inasmuch as they apply to local public areas. By taking them over, the state intruded, contrary to Paragraph 1 of Article 140, on municipal jurisdiction. In order to ensure local self-government, a municipality must be given the opportunity to govern the legal regime relating to public areas as well as to carry out administrative tasks (including decision-making in individual administrative matters) that concern them. Hence the ZPDF in Article 3, Item VII/2, is not in compliance with Article 140 of the Constitution in the part that applies to local roads.
 
III) Item VII/3 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Safety at Public Ski Grounds Act)
 
The National Council cites as disputable the decision-making concerning permits to operate ski-grounds and the duties of inspection control. Decision-making in these administrative matters is not of local significance by its nature as it concerns the implementation of a statute and of executive regulations governing public safety, which are of general importance.
 
IV) Item III/10 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Hail Defence System Act)
 
The disputable tasks here are the determination of the level of contributions for hail defence and the deduction and collection of the contribution. The first task belongs among normative jurisdiction and is not subject to the ZPDF. The second task belongs in the area of the tax service, which was transferred into the jurisdiction of state bodies back in 1992 pursuant to the Tax Service Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 14/92).
 
V) Item I/11 of the ZPDF (Graveyards and the Graves of Fighters Act)
 
The disputable tasks cited by the National Council (preparation and adoption of a programme of conservation, upkeep and maintenance of graveyards and graves of fighters; responsibility for the conservation, upkeep and maintenance of the graveyards and graves of fighters; adopting decisions to reinter remains), with the exception of the keeping of records on graveyards and the graves of fighters, are not administrative tasks. The keeping of records is an administrative task that serves as the basis for the implementation of the tasks of conservation, upkeep and maintenance. In view of this, the centralization of this administrative task is an impermissible interference in local self-government and this item of Article 3 must be abrogated.
 
VI) Item V/6 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Public Meetings and Public Events Act)
 
The tasks described as disputable are those related to public events of a local character under the Public Meetings and Public Events Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 20/73 and 42/86, Official Gazette of the RS, No. 8/90). Administrative tasks in the field of public meetings and public events (accepting applications, decisions on permits) are carried out on the basis of the statute which provides the conditions for the organization of meetings and events. In the case of public meetings this involves the exercise of constitutional freedoms (the right of assembly and association), which means that these conditions must be equal for all people and may not differ from one municipality to another. Since the regulation of the conditions is not a matter of local significance, decision- making in individual cases from this area is not a local public matter that falls within the original jurisdiction of a municipality but a state matter (the implementation of state regulations).
 
For public events (sporting events, exhibitions, presentations, festivals, etc.) mere registration will suffice, whilst public events where special measures need to be taken in order to ensure the safety of the participants (firework displays, Ferris wheel, etc.) require a special permit. The conditions for public events are also prescribed by statute, and hence the administrative tasks in this field are not local by nature.
 
What is of local nature is the special permit for public events on local roads under the Road Traffic Safety Act because it does not directly affect only public safety but also the management of local public areas (see Item VII below).
 
The Municipality of Piran cites as disputable the
 
"responsibility for order within a municipality". It is unclear which legal provision the proposer has in mind. The Internal Affairs Act (Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 28/80, 38/88 and 27/89, Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 8/90, 19/91, 4/92 and 58/93) provides that a municipality may have a body supervising the implementation of regulations concerning public order and peace, the parking of motor vehicles and the regulation of municipal services. However, there is no mention in Article 3 of the ZPDF of the Internal Affairs Act, so these powers were not taken away from the municipalities by the state.
 
VII) Item V/13 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Road Traffic Safety Act)
 
In this field the Municipality of Piran cited as disputable the "powers relating to stationary and non-stationary traffic, including the regulation of traffic signs".
 
The Road Traffic Safety Act (see Item 16/VII above) sets out normative and administrative tasks. The administrative tasks performed until 31 December 1994 by the municipal bodies in the aforementioned area and which, by their nature, are local public matters insofar as they apply to local public areas and involve the implementation of municipal regulations, are the following:
 
- control of stationary and parked vehicles (Paragraph 2 of Article 8),
 
- determination of parking areas, the manner of parking and parking bans (Article 9),
 
- ordering the erection of protective barriers (Article 9),
 
- ordering special protective measures for children's road safety (Article 8),
 
- ordering the removal or setting up of traffic signs (Article 9),
 
- issuing of permits to use articulated buses for local public transport (Article 33),
 
- ban on traffic due to road works (Article 55),
 
- issuing of permits for sporting and other events taking place on roads (Article 75).
 
Traffic regulation on local roads and in public areas of local character (streets, squares) belongs in the original jurisdiction of a municipality. Administrative tasks in these fields involve the implementation of normative acts and therefore they also belong in the original jurisdiction of a municipality. The legislator transferred these tasks to administrative units without valid reason and contrary to Article 140 of the Constitution.
 
Therefore, in the part that applies to administrative tasks that involve the implementation of the municipal regulation of traffic in local public areas, Article 3, Item V/13, of the ZPDF is contrary to Article 140 of the Constitution.
 
VIII) Item V/19 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Procedure for Dealing with Found Objects Act)
 
The administrative tasks in this field relate to accepting found objects, the issuing of certificates for found objects, announcing that objects have been found, accepting objects for storage, handing over for storage, and selling found objects.
 
These tasks do not involve the implementation of decisions regulating local public matters but the operational implementation of statutory provisions on the procedure for dealing with found objects, which is regulated by the state.
 
Thus the ZPDF is not contrary to the Constitution in this item.
 
IX) Item VI/3 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Building Lands Act)
 
The Municipality of Ljutomer highlights the administrative task of setting compensation for the use of building land. Pursuant to the statute, this compensation is set by "the administrative body with jurisdiction over social income". The state took over the tasks of the tax service with the Tax Service Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 14/92), and therefore the ZPDF does not govern the take over of this administrative role.
 
X) Items VI/1 and VI/2 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (the area of physical planning and the building of structures - Urban Planning Act, Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 18/84 and 37/85, Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 29/86, 26/90, 18/93, 47/94 and 71/93 - hereinafter the LUP; Construction of Buildings Act, Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 34/84, 29/86, Official Gazette of the RS, No. 71/93).
 
The Urban Municipality of Ptuj cites as disputable the decision- making on the use of urban areas (planning settlements and other encroachments on the environment), the naming of streets, roads and squares and administrative tasks in the area of encroachments on the environment. With the exception of these matters, the tasks cited are of a normative nature and were not centralized with the ZPDF.
 
The Municipality of Ljutomer also cites the administrative tasks concerning physical planning (decisions to issue location permits and to allow tendered works) as disputable. The National Council maintains that these tasks should be performed by urban municipalities as part of their original jurisdiction. At the same time the Municipality of Ljutomer cited as disputable the process of issuing construction permits under the Construction of Buildings Act. The Municipality of Zreče also contests the ZPDF in respect of the taking over of tasks which encroach on the environment and the building of structures.
 
According to the statute, construction as an encroachment on the environment requires two permits as a rule, issued in two different procedures - a location permit and a construction permit. This does not apply for certain encroachments (set out in Article 51 of the ZUN) where a mere application will suffice, while the decision on issuing a works permit is issued with a special administrative decree. Until the enactment of the ZUpr, location permits were issued by municipal administrative bodies. Now they are issued by administrative units on the basis of the ZPDF. The only exceptions involve encroachments on the environment that are important for physical planning in the Republic of Slovenia and for structures and facilities and other encroachments on the environment extending across several municipalities, or for structures and facilities and other encroachments on the environment that may affect the health and safety of a large number of people or seriously undermine the natural ecological equilibrium. Decisions on location permits for such purposes are made by the ministry. In such cases the ministry also decides on the construction permit. The encroachments on the environment for which permits are issued by the ministry are listed in detail in a special government decree (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 18/84).
 
Prior to the enactment of the ZUpr, construction permits were issued by municipal administrative bodies. Now they are issued by administrative units on the basis of the ZPDF. Exceptions apply in the cases cited when the decision on a location permit is made by the ministry and in certain other cases cited in the Construction of Buildings Act (Article 35).
 
Location and construction permits differ in terms of the reasons why they are prescribed. A location permit is a permit for encroachment on the environment, i.e. an act with which (if the encroachment is of a local character), in actual cases, municipal physical planning acts are implemented. A construction permit is only a permit certifying that the investor's project satisfies the technical requirements prescribed by statute and other state regulations. Therefore it cannot be claimed that decision-making on construction permits is a local matter by its nature. In a number of countries the two procedures are unified. In Slovenia, a unified procedure is used only for the construction of motorways pursuant to the amended ZUN.
 
The issuing of construction permits is not a local matter since it involves the implementation of the state regulations setting out the technical construction requirements. The issuing of local permits for encroachments on the environment of a local nature is a local public matter which mainly concerns the people of a municipality. It involves the implementation of municipal physical planning acts in individual cases. The centralization of this task is therefore an interference in the sphere of municipal self-government. Such interference is constitutionally permitted only when the legislator's intent is to protect some other constitutional value, when intervention is unavoidable in order to achieve this aim and when the importance of the protected constitutional value outweighs the importance of the other constitutionally-protected value, i.e. local self- government.
 
The constitutionally-protected value that the legislator wanted to protect with the interference in local self-government described is that of legal certainty. A decision on the permissibility of an encroachment on the environment made by a municipality within the remit of its authority is an encroachment on the rights and obligations of individuals and legal entities. This decision-making concerns the implementation of the right to property, which is laid down in the constitution. The principles of a state governed by the rule of law demand that legality, equality before the law, effective legal redress and judicial control in such procedures be guaranteed. When such important and sensitive interferences in the rights of individuals and legal entities are at issue, the demands are set that much higher. The state must ensure a high level of legal certainty in such important administrative procedures.
 
The foundation of legal certainty in an administrative procedure is the principle of legality. In addition to the material (substantive) dimension, legality also has a formal (procedural) dimension: in decision-making on an administrative matter a municipal body must act in compliance with the regulations on administrative procedures. The officials conducting the procedure and adjudicating in administrative matters must have appropriate education and professional qualifications. By respecting substantive and procedural legality in all procedures the principle of equality before the law is satisfied. The standards of legal certainty must be the same throughout the country. The ZPDF followed this criterion to the greatest possible extent. By transferring the administrative tasks to administrative units it made sure that these tasks are carried out by qualified personnel within these bodies who were previously in charge of their implementation. If these powers were yet again transferred back to the municipalities, only those municipalities located at the headquarters of the old municipalities or new administrative units would have sufficient staff. Other municipalities (49 new municipalities with less than 5,000 people were formed in Slovenia, and 18 of them have less than 3,000 people - source: Janez Šmidovnik, Lokalna Samouprava, p. 238) would have to take on new staff to cover this area, which would result in temporary instability and an increase in administration. A solution could be to introduce joint administration as envisaged for small municipalities (as an optional form of association) by the ZLS in Paragraph 4 of Article 49. However, this provision is unfeasible in practice since it does not regulate status nor other issues concerning joint administration.
 
The ensuring of suitable legal redress demands the regulation of effective control of the legality of individual enactments issued by a municipality within its original jurisdiction. Under Slovenia's regulation of administrative procedures, such control may not be carried out by state bodies. Even though the ZUpr provides in Article 57 that the ministries supervise the legality of individual legal enactments issued by the bodies of local communities in matters within their original jurisdiction, the General Administrative Procedure Act (Official Gazette of the SFRY, No. 47/86 - fair copy - hereinafter: the ZUP) does not facilitate the implementation of such supervision. Regular legal redress in an administrative procedure (appeal) is used at the municipal level (Paragraph 2 of Article 67 of the Local Self- Government Act). Decisions to repeat a procedure are made by the body which passed the decision that concluded the procedure. A request for the protection of legality is not a viable option since the statute only envisages this for matters in which a constitutional dispute is not permissible. The body that is competent to remove and abrogate a decision on the right to supervise is a second-instance body. If there is no such body (the mayor in the case of matters within the original jurisdiction of the municipality), legal redress is decided upon by a body authorized by statute to supervise the body that passed the decision. Furthermore, an abrogation by right of supervision cannot be requested by a party in the procedure. The ZUP does not provide a legal basis for the implementation of supervision of the legality of administrative enactments passed by municipalities within their original jurisdiction. The supervision of final individual enactments passed in matters within the original jurisdiction of a municipality is only guaranteed in an administrative dispute. The state administration does not have a direct supervisory right over individual enactments that are within the original jurisdiction of municipalities. A party in the procedure does not have the option of requesting from a state administration body that it review the legality of a decision.
 
A constitutionally-permissible objective (ensuring legal certainty) and the necessity of intervention therefore exist. A ruling on the constitutionality of this intervention therefore depends on an assessment of the two constitutional values - legal certainty deriving from the principle of Slovenia being a state governed by the rule of law (Article 2 of the Constitution) and local self-government (Article 9 of the Constitution). But this assessment first has to examine the level of interference in local self-government in the case in question.
 
In the contested tasks of administrative decision-making in the field of physical planning there is no discretionary right; it is decision-making that is tied to the provisions of the regulations (in particular, the statute and physical planning implementational enactments). In other words, it is merely a matter of implementing municipal decisions adopted within the original jurisdiction of the municipality. This statutory arrangement does not interfere essentially with the sphere of municipal self-government. Even though administrative units issue location and construction permits, the municipality still has jurisdiction over the use of space (physical planning and the issuing of physical planning implementational enactments).
 
In an administrative procedure in the field of physical planning a municipality may participate as a party in the procedure since the procedure affects its rights. In compliance with Article 93 of the Local Self-Government Act, it may lodge an appeal against a decision by an administrative unit.
 
State interference with municipal jurisdiction in the field of physical planning is not extreme, since the municipalities retain jurisdiction over decision-making on the use of space.
 
Since there are, on the other hand, important constitutional reasons for taking over the tasks of administrative decision- making in this area (ensuring equal standards of legal certainty for the entire national territory) this takeover is not constitutionally impermissible. An additional (lesser) justification for the permissibility of such takeover is that decision-making on the issuing of a construction permit, which is a state matter, is practically inseparable for reasons of rationality from decision-making on a location permit; in other words, the organizational separation of these two procedures would have a strongly negative effect on the economicalness, rationality and speed of the administrative procedure and, indirectly, on the rights of the parties in the procedure.
 
The elaboration of such location documentation, which sets out in detail the encroachment on the environment in the areas regulated by physical planning requirements, is not part of the administrative procedure, and hence the arguments cited do not apply to it. The taking over of tasks by the state (which in practice was not carried out consistently) is categorically not in compliance with Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution, and thus Item VI/1 of Article 3 of the ZPDF has to be abrogated in the part that refers to the assumption of these administrative tasks.
 
XI) Item VI/5 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Expropriation and Compulsory Transfer of Socially-Owned Property Act - hereinafter: the ZRPPN).
 
The expropriation procedure under the ZRPPN is based on establishing the common good. This can be seen from the physical planning implementational enactments. If the common good cannot be established in this way, the common good is determined pursuant to the ZRPPN by the municipal assembly in an administrative procedure. After the common good has been established the expropriation itself is decided on in an administrative procedure.
 
Since this is an interference with the right to own property guaranteed by the Constitution, the state must ensure equal standards of legal certainty for everyone in the expropriation procedure. By the nature of things, an expropriation carried out with the intention of satisfying the common good in a local community means that the municipality is carrying out a decision in the field of physical planning. However, this is an area that is especially sensitive from the point of view of the protection of human rights (right to property). There is a need to balance, on the one hand, the local nature of the matter, and on the other the principle of legal certainty deriving from Article 2 of the Constitution. The decision to grant or reject a request for expropriation is based on the statute and the physical planning enactment, or on an enactment establishing the common good. The administrative body does not have the authority to make a discretionary decision. Thus the centralization of this administrative task is not a significant interference in the constitutionally-protected core of local self-government.
 
Nevertheless, as far as the procedures in expropriation matters are concerned, the demand for parties in the procedure to be guaranteed legal certainty in the procedure is of paramount importance. In view of this, the transfer of jurisdiction over decisions on expropriation to the state does not represent a constitutionally-impermissible interference in local self- government, for basically the same reasons that apply to the decision on location permits. In the expropriation procedure a municipality may be an appellant if its rights are affected in the procedure. It may also lodge an appeal against the decision. Item VI/5 of Article 3 of the ZPDF is not in compliance with the Constitution in the part that applies to the procedure for establishing the common good. This procedure involves a municipal decision on the use of space, which falls within its original jurisdiction. Legal certainty is guaranteed to parties in the procedure with the provisions providing that the decision may only be pronounced after the decision on the establishing of the common good has become legally binding (Paragraph 4 of Article 17 of the ZRPPN). The centralization of this jurisdiction is not only contrary to Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution, it is also impermissible from the point of view of the rule of law (particularly the principle of the legality of the work of public administration under Article 120 of the Constitution), as these principles do not allow a decentralized state administration body (or an official thereof) to make an original decision on the existence of the common good with regard to the expropriation. This item of the ZPDF must be abrogated in the part where it refers to the administrative tasks of establishing the common good (Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the ZRPPN).
 
Since this matter only concerns a ruling on the constitutionality of the state taking over administrative tasks under the ZRPPN, the Constitutional Court did not assess the compliance of the provisions of this statute with the Constitution (specifically with the provisions of Articles 33 and 69). In the text of the holding and the reasons explaining the decision, the term "general interest" that is used in the ZRPPN is replaced by the term "common good", which is used in the Constitution as a condition for the permissibility of expropriation. This does not mean that a position on the compliance of the provisions of the ZRPPN itself with the Constitution has been taken.
 
XII) Item VI/7 of Article 3 of the ZPDF and the Housing Law According to the statement made by the Urban Municipality of Ljubljana, the following areas of jurisdiction should be exempt from the assumption of functions:
 
- deciding, in cases of doubt, whether an apartment falls within the jurisdiction of the Housing Law (Article 3),
 
- keeping a register of apartments for the area of the municipality (Article 10),
 
- keeping a register of contracts on apartment management and keeping a register of managers (Articles 27 and 28),
 
- verifying the legality of lease contracts (Article 41),
 
- granting approval to the issuing of a permit to perform legitimate activities in an apartment (Article 50),
 
- verifying rents and declaring whether a rent is excessive (Article 66).
 
By applying the connexity principle the Constitutional Court expanded the procedure for a review of constitutionality to Article 9 of the Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Housing Act, as this provision re-defines the scope of powers taken over by the state (administrative units). In accordance with the principles of lex posterior derogat legi priori and lex specialis derogat legi generali, this statute abrogated the ZPDF provisions in the area regulated by the statute. The Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Housing Act sets out all the tasks that the Urban Municipality of Ljubljana contested, with the exception of the task under Article 66 of the Housing Act, which is provided as being within the jurisdiction of the state. The contested administrative tasks are intended for the implementation of the Housing Act (and not of municipal regulations), and by their nature they are not local matters that would belong in the original jurisdiction of municipalities, which is why the state taking over these tasks is not contrary to Article 140 of the Constitution.
 
The area of housing relations is certainly of special importance for urban development. And the capacities of urban municipalities allow them to perform these tasks. Pursuant to the provision contained in Article 141 of the Constitution, these matters should belong in the original jurisdiction of urban municipalities. It needs to be stressed that, apart from the tasks under Article 3, this does not concern tasks of administrative decision-making but specific actions that allow an urban municipality to carry out the tasks in the area of housing management.
 
Therefore, Article 9 of the Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Housing Act as well as Item VI/7 of the ZPDF insofar as it applies to urban municipalities and (cumulatively) insofar as it regulates the taking over of administrative tasks under Paragraph 2 of Article 3, Paragraph 4 of Article 10, Paragraph 3 of Article 27, Paragraph 1 of Article 28, Paragraph 3 of Article 41 and Paragraph 2 of Article 50 had to be abrogated.
 
XIII) Item IV/1 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Natural and Cultural Heritage Act, Official Gazette of the SRS, Nos. 1/81, 42/86, Official Gazette of the RS, Nos. 8/90 and 26/92 - hereinafter: the ZNKD.)
 
The administrative tasks associated with the proclamation of historic monuments (Articles 18, 26 and 29 of the ZNKD) remain within the jurisdiction of the municipalities (Article 3 of the ZPDF, Item IV/1). The Urban Municipality of Ljubljana contests the following tasks, which it claims belong in the original jurisdiction of urban municipalities:
 
- ensuring the maintenance of a monument or sight if not taken care of by the owner (Article 37),
 
- ban on a certain manner or purpose of use of a monument or sight (Article 38),
 
- establishing a common interest in expropriation (Article 45), - deciding on expropriation (Article 47),
 
- deciding on transferring the right to manage a moveable monument or sight (Article 48),
 
- appointing a professional organization to look after a moveable monument or sight that is temporally without an owner (Article 50).
 
The ZNKD does not distinguish between cultural and historic monuments on the one hand (hereinafter: monuments) and natural sights (hereinafter: sights) of local and general significance.
 
In compliance with this statute, real estate is proclaimed a monument or sight by a municipal assembly with acts which also set out their protection regime (Articles 18 and 19 of the ZNKD). The proclamation of monuments and sights was within the jurisdiction of the state only in cases involving a national or regional park, endangered animal and plant species or any other monuments and sights of great or exceptional importance for Slovenia (Article 21 of the ZNKD). Moveable monuments were proclaimed with acts containing corresponding content by municipal administrative bodies (Article 26). They also passed acts on the temporary proclamation of a monument or sight (Articles 28).
 
In Item IV/1 of Article 3 the ZPDF excluded the tasks under Articles 18, 26 and 29 of the ZNKD, i.e. the proclamation of monuments and sights, from the administrative tasks to be performed by municipal bodies.
 
The disputed administrative tasks cited by the Urban Municipality of Ljubljana are intended for the implementation of the protection regime for monuments and sights - both those of local significance as well as those of general significance.
 
Since the ZNKD cannot be used as the basis for a delineation between the former and the latter, with the abrogation of Item IV/1 of Article 3 of the ZPDF the Constitutional Court would not be able to establish a situation that would be in compliance with the Constitution, because administrative tasks concerning monuments and sights of general significance would also be returned to the jurisdiction of municipalities. The delineation of jurisdiction in this area that is not in compliance with the Constitution can only be corrected by a new statute governing this area. In the adoption of the new statute the legislator will have to take account of the constitutional provision on the jurisdiction of municipalities and on that basis differentiate between monuments and sights of local significance and those of general significance.
 
XIV) Item III/1 of Article 3 of the ZPDF (Agricultural Lands Act)
 
The Urban Municipality of Ptuj cited as disputable the tasks relating to the use of agricultural land. The Constitution, in Paragraph 2 of Article 71, provides that the statute shall prescribe special protection of agricultural land. The administrative tasks and other measures involving special protection of farmland are for the implementation of the statute and are not local matters in the sense of Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution.
 
XV) Road Transport Act
 
The ZPDF does not mention this statute and therefore the request by the Urban Municipality of Ljubljana is unsubstantiated in this part.
 
22. The Constitutional Court ruled that the abrogation of individual provisions of the ZPDF and the Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Housing Act shall come into effect three months after the publication of this Resolution in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. This deferment will enable a gradual handing over of administrative tasks to municipal bodies, as well as the handover of files and the introduction of personnel changes where required.
 
B.-V.
 
23. In Paragraph 2 of Article 141 the Constitution provides that an urban municipality may perform as its own those tasks determined by statute as being within state jurisdiction relating to urban development. This constitutional provision binds the legislator to lay down the special powers of a municipality that lie outside the definition "local matters affecting the people of that municipality, as the municipality may independently determine" (Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution). Pursuant to the current statute, urban municipalities have, with rare exceptions in individual areas (for example, the Environmental Protection Act, Official Gazette of the RS, No. 32/93), the same original areas of work as other municipalities. More than a year and a half after the founding of the new municipalities, the constitutional provision on the special powers of urban municipalities has still not been enacted. The laying down of the special powers of urban municipalities does not apply merely to administrative tasks, although even they may be part of the tasks within the jurisdiction of the state that relate to urban development.
 
The determination of the scope of tasks within the jurisdiction of the state and relating to urban development is the job of the legislator. By abrogating individual items of the ZPDF the Constitutional Court would not contribute towards the enactment of the provision contained in Paragraph 2 of Article 141 of the Constitution. Hence the Constitutional Court decided to establish that the ZPDF is not in compliance with the Constitution because it does not take account of the special status of urban municipalities, and instructed the National Assembly to remove this unconstitutionality. In only one case (in the area of the Housing Act) did it decide to abrogate an item of the ZPDF insofar as it applies to urban municipalities, as it judged this to clearly involve tasks relating to urban development.
 
At the same time, the Constitutional Court warns that the provision contained in Paragraph 2 of Article 141 of the Constitution cannot be implemented merely by returning certain administrative tasks that were taken over with the ZPDF to urban municipalities. In order to ensure the constitutionally- prescribed special status of urban municipalities, a detailed analysis of normative, administrative and other jurisdictions in all areas is required.
 
C.
 
24. The Constitutional Court made this decision on the basis of Articles 21, 30, 43 and 48 of the Constitutional Court Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No. 15/94), composed of: dr. Tone Jerovšek, President, dr. Peter Jambrek, mag. Matevž Krivic, mag. Janez Snoj, dr. Janez Šinkovec, dr. Lovro Šturm, Franc Testen, dr. Lojze Ude and dr. Boštjan M. Zupančič, the Judges. Items 1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9 of the holding were adopted unanimously. Item 2 of the holding was adopted by seven votes against 2. Judges Jerovšek and Ude voted against. Item 4 was adopted by eight votes against one. Judge Šturm voted against. Item 7 was adopted by seven votes against two. Judges Jambrek and Jerovšek voted against. The dissenting opinions were announced by Judges Jambrek, Jerovšek and Ude. A concurring opinion was announced by Judge Šturm.
 
 
President of the Constitutional Court:
dr. Tone Jerovšek
Type of procedure:
review of constitutionality and legality of regulations and other general acts
Type of act:
statute
Applicant:
National Council
Date of application:
06.06.1995
Date of decision:
11.07.1996
Type of decision adopted:
decision
Outcome of proceedings:
annulment or annulment ab initio
Document:
AN01166