27 April 2021

COVID-19 and the Rule of Law in Croatia: Majoritarian or Constitutional Democracy?

The Croatian government has, much like any other, struggled to find an adequate response to the pandemic of COVID-19. “Dancing with the virus” for the last year entailed introducing, relaxing and re-introducing more or less stringent measures limiting constitutional rights and individual liberties based on epidemiologic developments and political priorities of the day, or season. The measures have ranged from almost a full lockdown in early 2020 when our numbers of infections were amongst the lowest ones in Europe, to a (far too) lenient regime during the tourist season in summer and fall 2020, when the budgetary, economic and political concerns prevailed over the need to address the serious worsening of our epidemiologic parameters. Even today, in the midst of the ‘third wave’, Croatia has quite a moderate set of measures. Continue reading >>
29 März 2021

Schiffeversenken in Zagreb

Das kroatische Verfassungsgericht hat den Dauerstreit zwischen Premierminister Andrej Plenković (HDZ) und Präsident Zoran Milanović (SDP) um die Besetzung des Präsidenten des höchsten Gerichtshofes nicht klären können. Es geht dabei um die Frage, ob die einfachgesetzlichen Regelungen zur Wahl des Präsidenten des höchsten Gerichts im Einklang mit der Verfassung stehen. Letzte Woche entschied sich das kroatische Verfassungsgericht mit klarer Mehrheit dagegen, das Gesetz weiter zu prüfen. Mittlerweile sind fast alle zentralen Staatsorgane und Institutionen in den Streit verwickelt, der vor allem über die Verfahrensregeln ausgetragen wird. Der Konflikt droht die Verfassungsordnung Kroatiens ernsthaft zu beschädigen. Continue reading >>
08 Juli 2020

Voting in Times of a Pandemic

Last Sunday, the Croatian parliamentary elections took place. Holding the elections in the middle of a pandemic triggered a broad debate on the restrictions of the right to vote proposed by the State Electoral Commission of the Republic of Croatia (DIP) in order to protect public health. The initial voting instructions of the Commission were substantially changed a few days before the elections after the country’s Constitutional Court got involved. Before the court’s decision people who had COVID-19 were forbidden to vote. Continue reading >>
09 Mai 2020

Croatia’s Response to COVID-19: On Legal Form and Constitutional Safeguards in Times of Pandemic

Analysing national responses to the coronavirus, the University of Oxford study found that Croatia was the most rigorous of all the examined countries considering the actual number of infections. Overall, the Croatian response to Covid-19 might not pose an autocratic threat to the rule of law as in certain European countries. This is far, however, from suggesting there have not been significant constitutional challenges, or that we should not require an enhanced constitutional oversight over apparently quite restrictive governmental action. Continue reading >>
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