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Polonca Kovač

In regulating administrative procedures, legislators at the national and European levels should devote special attention to the codification of procedural rights in administrative relations that are recognized as European principles of good administration. Furthermore, there is a normative issue to be addressed between a more or less centralized general codification, with common minimum standards applying in any kind of administrative relation, and the admissibility of special procedural rules adapted to the specifics of individual administrative areas. A comparative analysis of the Slovenian General Administrative Procedure Act and eu standards regarding principles of administrative procedures is conducted in order to identify the role of principles, such as the right to be heard, the right of access to information, and the right to legal protection, on the national level. An additional analysis of the case law of the Slovenian Constitutional Court shows that the general codification of respective procedural rights is indispensable in pursuing the principle of the equal protection of rights. The Slovenian case can serve as a model for other, especially Eastern European, countries. The author argues that there is a need for general codification, which should not be overly detailed, but which should still serve the basic objectives of administrative procedures, namely ensuring substantive rights and the most important legal interests of the parties, in addition to guaranteeing effective protection of the public interest. At the same time, special rules should be allowed as exceptions in order to regulate sector-specific aspects, while nonetheless ensuring that such rules remain in compliance with European and constitutional procedural principles.

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Polonca Kovač

Regulatory Impact Assessment (ria) is a system of approaches applied worldwide, which is designed to implement Better and Smart Regulation programs at both the European and national levels, as well as to support reforms aimed at promoting good governance. Its purpose is to enable public consultation in the regulatory cycle and to simplify legislation. To this end, public authorities strive for the implementation of several key principles related to the regulatory process, such as transparency, participation, proportionality, accountability, etc. This article examines the above principles over various stages of the regulatory process, analyzing regulatory stakeholders, the relations between them, and the introduction of ria in administrative procedures. In addition to certain general principles, selected legal sources are considered, particularly with regard to Slovenia, which is used as a case study of compliance with international guidelines by an eu and oecd member. In 2009, the Slovene Parliament adopted the Resolution on Legislative Regulation, followed by adoption of the Government’s Rules of Procedure in pursuing ria in 2010. In order to identify a possible gap between declaratory principles and reality, a study on ria in the Government’s practice was conducted in 2011 and 2016. The results reveal that there is indeed a gap between the goals and principles as set out in the ria meta-regulation and theory and what occurs in reality, which is, furthermore, a condition that does not seem to be improving over time. This article explains the reasons behind such deficiencies and suggests the actions to be taken to bridge the gap and to develop effective public governance in the future. In particular, the deregulation of ria and a further systematic awareness of the role and benefits of ex-ante and ex-post assessment at the political level – and involving all sections of public administration – will need to be strongly enforced in this respect, both in Slovenia and in other countries that face similar circumstances.

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Tina Sever, Vedran Đulabić and Polonca Kovač

Construction permitting and spatial regulations are important for the functioning of modern society as regards enabling basic social needs, the right to a healthy living environment and the possibility to promote business and economic growth. However, what is typical of these real life situations is a collision of several private interests and the public interest. In order to protect the latter, the state needs to set certain limitations also by means of regulations and to ensure the appropriate administrative capacity to implement them. Moreover, the right and possibility to build is important for sustainable regional development. The article addresses the profiles of Slovenia and Croatia, in particular their procedural aspects and administrative systems’ efficiency in the field of construction. The results show that both countries regulate their construction procedures similarly, with a special focus on the simplification of administrative procedures. As such, they continually try to enhance administrative capacity.