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Accelerating Civil Proceedings in Croatia

In the second half of the nineteenth century, during the period that was deci- sive for the formation of the institutions of the modern liberal State, Croatia devel- oped as an autonomous constituent part of the Habsburg Monarchy (later: Austria- Hungary). This led to a large extent to the reception of legislative models from other areas of the then complex community of States, e.g., of laws enacted in Vienna. But that process did not develop harmoniously, in full, or without delays.11 Some of the key pieces of procedural legislation (or the commentaries on them) were adopted in Croatia after they had already been superseded in Austria.12

For example, the Temporary Rules of Civil Procedure for Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, Serbian Vojvodina and Tamiški Banat were adopted in Croatia in 1852, almost seventy years after the enactment of their Austrian model and principal source of inspiration, the General Rules of Court Procedure (Allgemeine Gerichtsord- nung) of 1781. The major commentary on the Temporary Rules of Civil Procedure for Hungary etc. was published in Croatia in 1892,13 only a few years before a com- pletely different procedural model – the Zivilprozessordnung of Franz Klein – was adopted in Austria.

The same Austrian Zivilprozessordnung of 1895 was accepted in Croatia thirty years later, during the process of unification of procedural law that took place in Yugoslavia in 1929. The standard commentary on the Yugoslavian Code of Civil Procedure (which was practically a literal translation of the Austrian Zivilprozess- ordnung) was a translated Austrian commentary.14 It was published in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1935, almost forty years after the first publication of this commen- tary in Austria. Ominously, it was also the year in which Georg Neumann, its au- thor, died.

As a consequence, the model of civil proceedings conceived by its creator, Franz Klein, in Austria – a model of quick, efficient, simple and concentrated pro- ceedings, in which an activist judge holds a public hearing and then pronounces his judgment immediately15 – never became a complete reality in the territory of Croa-



13 14

For the delayed reception of foreign models in the ‘perpiphery’ see D. epulo, ‘Središte i periferija’ (‘The Center and the Periphery’), Zbornik Pravnog fakulteta u Zagrebu, 50/6, 2000, p. 889-920. Some useful, although very short and overly simplified, remarks on the reception of Austrian law in Croatia can be found in W. Jelinek, ‘Einflüsse des österreichischen Zivilprozeßrechts auf andere Rechtsordnungen’, in W.J. Habscheid (ed.), Das deutsche Zivilprozessrecht und seine Ausstrahlung auf andere Rechtsordnungen, Bielefeld, Gieseking, 1991, p. 41-89 (p. 72-74, 85-86). See also A. Uzelac, ‘Ist eine Justizreform in Transitionsländern möglich? Das Beispiel Kroa- tien: Fall der Bestellung des Gerichtspräsidenten in der Republik Kroatien und daraus zu ziehende Lehren’, Jahrbuch für Ostrecht: Sonderband ‘Justiz in Osteuropa’, volume 43, 1. Halbband, München, Beck, 2002, p. 77-79. See Rušnov-Šilovi , Tuma gra anskom parbenom postupniku, Zagreb, Kugli & Deutsch, 1892. G. Najman (Neumann), Komentar Zakona o sudskom postupku u gra anskim parnicama, Beograd,


Planeta, 1935. This commentary was largely österreichischen Zivilprocessordnung. For Klein’s reforms and their meaning today

a translation of G. Neumanns’ Komentar zum

see R. Sprung, ‘100 Jahre Österreichische Zivil-

prozeßordnung’, in W.H Rechberger and T. Klicka, Procedural Law Millenium – Das Prozessrecht an der Schwelle eines neuen Jahrtausends, 30.

on the

Threshold of

a New


Manz, 2002,

p. 11-


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