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The system of independent courts

photo:  (sxc.hu)

As in other democratic and legal countries, the Judiciary of the Czech Republic is defined by the Constitution of the Czech Republic in such a manner that courts fulfill their mission as independent institutions.

Under the Constitution of the Czech Republic, the system of courts consists of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and high, regional and county courts. Their jurisdiction and organization is set forth in the Constitution and in the law. The organization and jurisdiction of public prosecutor offices is defined similarly.

The Constitutional Court

Ústavní soud (The Constitutional Court) is the judicial organ of constitutionality protection.  It has 15 judges appointed by the president with the approval of the Senate for 10 years. The judges of the Constitutional Court cannot be prosecuted without the approval of the Senate, which guarantees protection against blocking the performance of their function. A Constitutional Court judge can only be arrested when caught commiting a crime or immediately afterward, and the Chairman of the Senate will turn such a judge over to the court within 24 hours.   

Among other things, the Constitutional Court performs the following activities:
  • The cancellation of laws and their individual provisions when they contradict the Constitution 
  • Decisions on constitutional appeals against legitimate rulings affecting the basic gauranteed rights and freedoms
  • The review of constitutional actions made by the Senate against the president.
  • Decisions on measures necessary for the performance of a binding decision made by an international court
  • The arbitration of disputes regarding the extent of the competencies of state organs and state self-administration organs
  • The review of international contracts before their ratification with respect to their compliance with constitutional order.

The Supreme Court

Nejvyšší soud (The Supreme Court) is the highest judicial authority in the matters of the court´s  competence  (with the exception of matters concerning the powers of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Administration Court).

The Supreme Administration Court

Nejvyšší správní soud (The Supreme Administration Court) overlooks the legitimacy and unity of decisions made by regional courts and administration organs. This protection against the unlawful decisions of administrative organs has been newly extended by protection against their inactivity and unlawful actions on the part of such organs.

On joining the European Union, the Czech Republic committed itself to respect the principle of the supremacy of European law over Czech law in defined areas. 



Added: 01.01.2010

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