On 15 November 2017 the Proposal for a new Czech Civil Procedure Code was introduced (the “Code”).
The key objectives of the Code are to accelerate as well as reduce the cost of proceedings. The legal community has been in demand for the changes in the Code for some time on the basis that the current Civil Procedure Code, firstly introduced in 1963, is impractical, overcomplicated and outdated.
One of the significant changes in the Code is the obligatory representation of an attorney in civil proceedings. In addition to enhancing justice, the change is intended to prevent major delays in the trial, which are currently experienced as a result of the court needing to advise participants on basic matters.
An additional noteworthy feature of the Code is that an extraordinary appeal (in Czech dovolání), which may be used by a participant of the proceedings against the final decision of an appellate court, shall no longer be an extraordinary remedy, but shall be an ordinary one. As a result, a decision will only be considered final if it is a decision of the Supreme Court, or in cases where no extraordinary appeal is filed within a month of delivery of the written judgment (currently the period is two months). Although the authors of the Proposal are of the opinion that this shall lead to faster proceedings and to greater legal certainty, we believe that this will, as a result, have the opposite effect. Our view is shared also by the judges of the Supreme Court.
It is likely there will be amendments made to the Code before it is adopted. Everyone is able to provide comments upon the Code online at: https://crs.justice.cz/.