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Abstract

On 13 February 2006, the Constitutional Court of Croatia issued a very important judgment in which it resolved a difficult situation created by divergent judgments of the Administrative Court of Croatia in which The Administrative Court ruled on decisions made by the Croatian Competition Agency. The Administrative Court’s judgments diverged in the interpretation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the Republic of Croatia and the European Community. In the ongoing pre-accession period it is of great importance to instruct the Croatian judiciary how and when the criteria and standards of the comparative law of the European Community should be applied. This is especially important in cases which involve the Croatian Constitutional Court, as its primary function is to preserve the division of powers in Croatia. According to the Administrative Disputes Act,[1] an administrative dispute can be initiated against the decisions of administrative bodies[2] against which appeals are not permitted, in other words before the Administrative Court. Given that the largest part of the European acquis communautaire relates to administrative law, the focus points of the application of European law in Croatia will be administrative legislation, administrative proceedings and administrative law in general.

* The author wishes to thank Miljenko Giunio LLM, editor of the journal Pravo u Gospodarstvu, who previously published parts of this paper, Professor Siniša Rodin, Head of the Jean Monet Department for Public European Law at the University of Zagreb, and also his associates in the Department, for their helpful suggestions. Gratitude is also due to the Department for organising the annual ‘Advanced Issues of European Law’ seminar in Dubrovnik, where researchers can exchange opinions with respected international experts on European law.

[1] Official Gazette (OG) 53/91, 9/92 and 77/92. This was a regulation from the SFR Yugoslavia which was applied, with certain changes, in Croatia from 8 October 1991. At the moment this regulation was adopted, the one published in the Official Gazette of the SFR Yugoslavia 4/77 came into force. See Jakša Barbić, Građansko, Trgovačko, Radno i Upravno Pravo – Novine Nakon Preuzimanja Saveznih Propisa (Organizator, Zagreb 1992).

[2] Ministries, ie the executive, are the most common bodies that decide in the second instance or, on the basis of law, issue decisions against which there is no opportunity to appeal. In this manner, the Administrative Court, as the judicial body, directly controls the decisions of the executive.