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The Government has adopted the proposal for an intervention act on temporary measures regarding judicial, administrative and other public law-related matters and the Ordinance prohibiting air services in the Republic of Slovenia

At its meeting by correspondence today, the Government adopted the Proposal for the Act on temporary measures regarding judicial, administrative and other public law-related matters to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

To limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its impact on the protection of public health and property, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has issued the Ordinance prohibiting the provision of air services in the Republic of Slovenia.

 

The proposal for an intervention act to address the issue of the response of justice and administrative affairs bodies to the spread of the coronavirus

At its meeting by correspondence today, the Government adopted the wording of the Proposal for the Act on temporary measures regarding judicial, administrative and other public law-related matters to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

The main objectives of the act proposal are the following:

– to provide an appropriate legal basis for the adoption of measures in judicial, administrative and other public law-related matters to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, in order to protect the health and lives of people and ensure the operation of individual national authorities, authorities of self-governing local communities and holders of public authority;
– to enable the suspension of procedural time limits in procedures that are not being conducted due to COVID-19 and the suspension of all material preclusive time limits for the exercise of rights of clients, since due to these and other measures adopted by the State (e.g. the closure of shops selling non-essential goods, the service sector, public transport), individuals are prevented from effectively enforcing and exercising their rights. In addition, since in suspended procedures and procedures that are not being conducted due to the aforementioned fact, state authorities are prevented from taking action in a timely manner, material preclusive time limits, which require national authorities to take certain action, are extended under the proposed act;

– to prevent the spread of infection of the new virus in prisons, thereby providing safer conditions and working environment for prisoners.

Measures in judicial matters include the suspension of said time limits and the upgrading of the arrangement laid down in Article 83a of the Courts Act. Under the proposed act, the President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia may, by way of an order, define non-urgent matters (notwithstanding Article 83 of the Courts Act).

Measures in administrative and other public law-related matters will enable the suspension of time limits and provide the legal basis for limiting the operations of national authorities and other administrative authorities. The proposed act provides a legal basis for the Government to adopt additional measures.

In the part relating to actions to be taken by national authorities, authorities of self-governing local communities and holders of public authority in the conduct of administrative procedures, the proposal for an intervention act, among other things, prevents the filing of written and oral applications directly with authorities, with the exception of rights relating to matters that are, as a rule, handled "over the counter" (e.g. personal documents, registration extensions, etc.), and enables applications to be submitted electronically without the use of a secure electronic signature.

The purpose of the measures regarding the enforcement of penal sanctions is to enable prison governors to more efficiently deal with the challenges brought by the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus epidemic through proposed additional legal bases concerning the institutions of summoning convicted persons to serve their prison sentence, the transfer of convicts, the suspension of prison sentences and early release.

The act proposal also brings a measure regarding the operation of notary offices, providing a legal basis for the president of the Chamber of Notaries of Slovenia to adopt temporary measures concerning the operation of notary offices referring in particular to the manner or restriction of carrying out office hours for clients. Following a proposal by the Chamber of Notaries of Slovenia, the minister competent for justice may adopt the measure of the complete closure of a notary office.

Considering the fact that the act proposal brings measures that deviate from the rules defined in the general procedural laws and sector-specific laws, which set the deadlines for timely action or enforcement of rights to avoid adverse consequences for the client, the period of validity of the act proposal is limited. The measures shall thus remain in force until the termination of the reasons for introducing them, which shall be established by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia by a decision published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, however, no longer than until 1 July 2020.

 

Government bans air transport in the Republic of Slovenia

The ordinance shall be valid from 17 March 2020 (at 00:00) until 30 March 2020 (at 24:00) for international air transport carried out in the European Union on the basis of European Union regulations, and from 17 March 2020 (at 00:00) until its revocation for international air transport from or to non-Member States of the European Union.

The prohibition shall not apply to aircraft carrying out scheduled and charter air transport of cargo and/or post and to the aircraft performing international ferry flights.

Individual flights of foreign national aircraft performing flights for humanitarian or medical purposes shall be exempt from the prohibition referred to in Paragraph 1 of the Ordinance.

Any other exceptions shall be granted by the ministry competent for infrastructure and the ministry competent for foreign affairs.

International air transport inside the European Union is governed by the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community.
Article 21 of the Regulation provides that a Member State may refuse, limit or impose conditions on the exercise of traffic rights to deal with sudden problems of short duration resulting from unforeseeable and unavoidable circumstances. Article 21 of the Regulation further provides that such action shall respect the principles of proportionality and transparency and shall be based on objective and non-discriminatory criteria. Article 21 of the Regulation further provides that the Commission and the other Member States shall be informed without delay of such action with its adequate justification.  If the problems necessitating such action continue to exist for more than 14 days, the Member State shall inform the Commission and the other Member States accordingly and may, with the agreement of the Commission, prolong the action for further periods of up to 14 days.

In view of the above, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia notes that the prohibitions adopted on the basis of the  order issued by the Minister of Health fulfil the criterion of proportionality as required by Article 21 of the aforementioned Regulation, as they refer only to the provision of international scheduled and charter passenger transportation and flights of general aviation aircraft; however, they are not applicable to cargo and/or post and national flights, taking into account the measures taken by individual EU Member States to control the epidemiological emergency in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

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