National Judicial Council (Croatia)

State Judiciary Council
Državno sudbeno vijeće
Judicial body overview
Jurisdiction  Croatia
Headquarters Ulica grada Vukovara 49, Zagreb, Croatia
Annual budget HRK 1,872.000 (2015)[1]
Judicial body executives
  • Željko Šarić, President
  • Mijo Galiot, Deputy President
Coat of arms
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National Judicial Council or DSV is an autonomous and independent body that ensures the autonomy and independence of the judicial branch in the Republic of Croatia by autonomously deciding on the appointment, promotion, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary accountability of judges and presiding judges.[2]

Members and President of the Council

The Council has 11 members; 7 judges, 2 university professors of law and 2 members of the Croatian Parliament.[3]

Council members from the ranks of judges are:

Seven Council members have to be judges, as required by the Croatian Constitution, in order to ensure representation of all Croatian courts with regard to their type and rank. Candidates are being elected by the Parliament based on proposal of the expanded plenary session of the Supreme Court. Presidents of courts cannot be elected as members of the DSV.

Two members of the DSV are university professors of law and two are lawyers. Candidates from the ranks of lawyers are determined on the basis of the proposals by the Croatian Bar Association and candidates from the ranks of university professors of law on the basis of the proposals by the session of deans of four Croatian law schools. Representatives of legislative and executive powers, nor representatives of other state bodies and citizens' associations cannot be elected to the DSV.

Members of the DSV are elected for a term of four years, while no one may serve more than two terms. Before taking office, members must take an oath. President of the DSV is elected internally by secret ballot by the majority of members of the DSV for a period of two years. The president and members of the DSV have immunity. This means that they cannot be held accountable for the expressed opinion or vote in the Council, nor anyone can initiate criminal proceedings against them without the approval of the Council.

Duties of the DSV member ends with the expiry of the mandate, if dismissed unjustifiably, due to the inability to perform the duty, if appointed president of the court, if permanently incapacitated to perform duty, if sentenced to imprisonment, if receives a citizenship of another country and if requested by the member himself.

The scope of work

The scope of the Council includes:

The Council makes decisions in a session convened by the President, or exceptionally, in a session convened at the proposal of at least five members.

The procedure of appointing judges

At first, Ministry of Justice advertises job vacancy in Narodne novine, ex officio or at the proposal of the President of the Court to which the judge is to be appointed, the president of the immediately higher court or the president of the Supreme Court. After collecting opinions, the Ministry submits the list of candidates eligible for judgeship to the Council. Council is obligated to obtain the opinion of the authorized committee of the Croatian Parliament during the appointment process.

Disciplinary proceedings

The judge is accountable for committing disciplinary offenses which are:

Disciplinary proceedings are particularly initiated if the judge fails to develop and deliver judicial decisions within the legal deadline, if the judicial council evaluated his work with a negative grade and if, without reasonable cause, the number of decisions made by the judge in one year is below average.

Penalties for committed disciplinary offenses are:

The disciplinary proceedings in the first instance is decided by the Council by a majority vote of all members. The request to initiate disciplinary proceedings against a judge for which there is a suspicion of having committed a disciplinary offense is initiated by the court president in which judge is employed. A request for proceedings for committing a disciplinary offense may also be submitted directly to the president of the higher court, the President of the Supreme Court, the Council and the Minister of Justice.

The judge against whom disciplinary proceedings was initiated is allowed to defend himself in person or through lawyer. Judge has the right to appeal to the Constitutional Court against the decision of the Council.


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