The average overall duration of a civil lawsuit in Slovak courts is 15 months, according to statistics from the Justice Ministry of the Slovak Republic.
Last year, Slovak courts settled almost 80,000 civil lawsuits, the greatest number (18,561) in courts within Bratislava Region. At the same time, the duration of lawsuits in this region was the longest (18.56 months). However, the largest number of cases was settled in 6 to 12 months (4,702).
The Košice region recorded the second-highest number of settled civil legal cases, with 16,500. The average duration of a lawsuit last year was 15.4 months.
Courts in the Banská Bystrica region managed to settle lawsuits in the shortest time. On average, a lawsuit there lasted 10.11 months, while more than a third of the 9,000 lawsuits its courts handled were settled in less than three months.
Delays in legal proceedings are a major problem for the Slovak judiciary, something the ministry has admitted. Actions against the Slovak Republic in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg only go to prove this. Delays in legal proceedings, however, don’t apply just to Slovakia, but to almost every European country. Among the other problems affecting the Slovak judiciary are the instability of the legal code and the quality of judges and judgements.
Delays in legal proceedings should be eliminated by increasing the number of judges. Fifty new judges were named this year. The ministry also hopes to speed up legal proceedings and eliminate delays as a result of an Amendment to the Civil Judicial Code which will come into effect on January 1, 2009.