The Supreme Court in a senate composed of the Supreme Judges Rudi Štravs M.Sc. as the president, and Mateja Končina Peternel, Ph.D., Ana Božič Penko, Ph.D., Karmen Iglič Stroligo, and Tomaž Pavčnik as members, has approved the revision in the case of the SDS party v. The Republic of Slovenia for the payment of compensation in the amount of 886,257.37 euros, due to the damages caused to the party by the judicial bodies in the Patria process. The judgement of the court of the second instance is therefore annulled, and the case is returned to this court, that is, to the High court in Maribor. The decision was unanimous. “Now, they will have to consider our arguments!” the lawyer of the SDS party, Franci Matoz, commented on the decision of the Supreme Court for our media outlet.
The SDS party decided to file a lawsuit against the state, after the party president Janez Janša’s unconstitutional imprisonment in 2014, which happened just before the parliamentary elections, causing irreparable damage to the party. After the SDS party lost in the courts of first and second instance, they filed a motion with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia to allow a revision. The Supreme Court granted the request of the SDS party in two of the four points, so the party’s legal representative, the Matoz Law Firm, was able to file a revision. The aforementioned revision succeeded as the decision was taken unanimously.
The success of the revision is very important, going forward. “The case is being returned to the High Court in Maribor, which must explain the verdict properly, as it was not properly explained in many of the important facts, which resulted in a violation of Articles 22 and 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia,” lawyer Franci Matoz commented on the ruling. And the fact that the decision was taken unanimously is undoubtedly also of great importance.
Let’s think back to what happened a year ago. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia, in a senate composed of the Supreme Judges Rudi Štravs as president and Mateja Končina Peternel and Tomaž Pavčnik as the members, decided to allow the review of two issues in the motion for allowing the revision in the legal case of the SDS as the plaintiff, represented by the Law Firm Matoz, against the defendant, the Republic of Slovenia, represented the State Attorney’s Office, in the matter of the payment of compensation, on the plaintiff’s proposal for the review of the judgment of the High Court in Maribor and the judgment of the District Court in Ljubljana at the hearing on the 7th of November 2019.
They decided that the revision will be allowed in the cases of the following two issues: 1. “Did the court of the second instance commit a violation of Articles 22 and 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia and an absolutely substantial violation of point 14 of the second paragraph of Article 339 of the Contentious Civil Procedure Act due to the absence of an explanation or a lack of explanation?” (Item 14, Article 339 – A substantial violation of the provisions of civil procedure is recognized if the court did not apply any provision of this Act during the procedure or applied it incorrectly, which could affect the legality and correctness of the judgment. A substantial violation of the provisions of civil procedure is always recognized: If the judgment has shortcomings which cannot be examined, in particular, if the operative part of the judgment is incomprehensible, if it contradicts itself or the reasons for the judgment, or if the judgment has no grounds at all or does not state the reasons for decisive facts, or these reasons are unclear or contradictory).
2. “Did the court of the second instance infringe on the substantive law and fail to establish the relevant facts by failing to take into account the grounds of the appeal, alleging that the decisions of the courts of all instances deciding on criminal proceedings deviated from the clear decisions and the hitherto settled case-law and that there was a gross breach of procedure and a deliberate interpretation of clear rules contrary to the case-law?”
Because of the Patria case, the party received less funding from the budget
The plaintiff, so the SDS party, filed a lawsuit, asking the court to rule that the defendant – the state – is obliged to pay the party compensation in the amount of 886,257.37 euros with statutory default interest. The claim is asserted on the basis of paragraph 1 of Article 26 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, which stipulates that everyone has the right to compensation for damages, caused to him in connection with the performance of service or any other activity of a state body, local community body, or public authority conduct which is done by a person or body performing such a service or activity. The SDS party claims that the judicial authorities acted illegally in the Patria case and points out that this had a direct impact on the parliamentary elections in 2011 and 2014 when the party received fewer votes than in 2008. As a result, the party received less funds from the budget, and therefore suffered damages.