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  JUDICIAL SYSTEMS
Evaluation scheme

Effect of the economic crisis on the functioning of the judicial system in the Czech Republic

The economic crisis expresses itself first of all by cutting down the judicial budget and savings in the judicial sphere.

In the budget for 2010 the expenses of 22,067,742,000 CZK1 for the whole justice system were approved (of which 13,882,239,000 CZK for justice and 8,185,503,000 CZK for prison service). It is about 185,069,000 CZK less than in 2009.

During this year under the government decrees the amount of 1,023,264,000 CZK (4,67% of the approved expenses) from the approved budget were tied. At the end of the year the government – depending on the economic situation – will decide whether at least part of these tied resources will be released. The Ministry of Justice searches in reserves but these measures have an unfavourable impact on the management of the whole budget chapter.

The Ministry of Finance has determined expenses in the amount of 18,536,000,000 CZK for 2011. After negotiation between the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance the amount was gradually increased up to 20,058,532,000 CZK. Compared to the approved 2010 budget the total expenses of the sector are reduced by 9.10% (2,009,210,000 CZK). The government approved the 2011 budget on 22nd September 2010.

The comparison of the proposed budget for 2011, the approved budget for 2010 and real expenses in 2009 is shown in the following table:

indicator

year

chapter in total in thousands CZK

total expenses – budget proposal

2011

20,058,532

total expense – budget proposal

2010

22,067,742

total expenses – reality

2009

22,252,811

Management in terms of savings is quite difficult. It is necessary to maintain the operation of 115 structural units of the state and continuous operation of 35 state prisons. In 2011, insufficient allowance for expenses will mean to stop any bigger investments and to postpone some important projects, for example the implementation of the monitoring system of persons convicted to house arrest.

Another governmental saving provision is for a decrease in salaries of the civil servants by 10%. This provision will touch also the judicial personnel.

Due to the economic crisis an increasing workload of courts should be expected, especially in the field of enforcement and personal bankruptcy. People solve their personal situation by taking loans but afterwards they are not able to pay the money back.

The following tables show the increasing numbers of enforcement of judgments proceedings (execution) and personal bankruptcies from 2008 to the first half of 2010 (to 30th June 2010):

Execution number of orders of the enforcement of the judgments by courts (bailiffs):

2008

2009

1st half 2010

312,638

300,241

151,398

Execution number of orders of the execution by private executors:

2008

2009

1st half 2010

617,963

718,801

363,073

Insolvency number of personal bankruptcies:

2008

2009

1st half 2010

649

2,155

2,481


The Ministry of Justice has prepared several bills with the aim to save and bring more finances to this sector.

After almost 10 years the Ministry of Justice prepares the significant amendment of the Court Fees Act. The minimum fee will increase (from 600 CZK to 1,000 CZK) and also other fees for non monetary performance (including for example divorce) will increase (from 1,000 CZK to 2,000 CZK). On the other hand the number of cases exempt from court fees will decrease. In general, court fees will increase by 30-50%. The Ministry of Justice expects a reduction of so called vexatious applications and increase of responsibility of claimants for the initiation of a dispute. But the possibility to be released from court fees will be preserved for socially weaker classes.

Another provision concerns the reduction of lawyer┤s fees. On the basis of the amendment of the law the payment for ex-offo lawyers in criminal and civil proceedings will decrease by 30%. Although it is only a temporary provision till the end of 2011, it may save more than 180 million CZK.

Ivana BORZOV┴
Ministry of Justice
Czech Republic
CEPEJ Member


1 the exchange rate on 1. 1. 2010: 1 EUR = 26,300 CZK