Court of Justice to rule on compatibility of registration powers in civil proceedings with Articles 19 TEU and 47 of the Charter
In PET-PROM (C-361/21), the Court of Justice will hear a case concerning the powers of ‘registration judges’ under Croatian rules governing civil proceedings and their compatibility with Articles 19(1) TEU and 47 of the Charter.
The referring court, the Croatian High Commercial Court (Visoki trgovački sud Republike Hrvatske), notes that under Croatia’s civil procedure rules, a second instance court’s task is only deemed to be completed when the case is ‘registered’ or returned to it by the Judicial Decisions Registration Service. Therefore, a decision delivered in the proceedings on appeal cannot be notified to the parties where it has not been authorised by a registrations judge, and thus a different decision that will be approved by the registrations judge must be delivered.
It also notes that second instance judges ruling in a particular case are strictly bound, from a procedural viewpoint, by the legal position adopted in the section meeting or meeting of all the judges. However, such legal position is not binding on the higher courts, who often depart from such decisions.
The referring court’s questions for a preliminary ruling relate to whether such rules are compatible with Article 19(1) TEU and 47 of the Charter in light of the Court of Justice’s case law on the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary of the Member States, and effective judicial protection.
Read the officially published questions here.