Extract from the final Eurexpertise report
All rights reserved EEEI © 2012
- Dr. Mateja KONCINA PETERNEL, Supreme Court
- Alix LOUBEYRE, –Doctoral student
Other Administrative order
I. Procedural rules in calling for an expert examination
I. 1) On the initiative of
The judge, after asking the parties’ opinion.
I.2) Mandatory expert examinations
I. 3) Decision-maker
I.4) Is a pre-trial expert examination possible?
II. Choice and appointment of the expert(s)
II. 1) Register
List established and administered by the Ministry of Justice.
II. 2) Oath
Yes, before the Minister of Justice
II. 3) Choice of the Expert
II. 4) Participation by the parties in the appointment process
II. 5) Nationality
EU or EEA – Slovenian speakers
II. 6) Recusal by the litigant parties
YES, for the same reasons as for judges: ties to the parties, previous expert examination in the same case before a lower court, or if other circumstances make his impartiality uncertain.
The move for recusal must be made when the judge hears the parties to decide on the expert’s appointment or at the latest before the expert report has been submitted.
II. 7) Expert’s withdrawal (refusal of a mission)
Yes, but must be justified.
II. 8) Possibility of adding another expert
YES for extremely complex missions.
II. 9) Possibility of being assisted by a colleague
No, since all the experts who participate in the mission must be appointed by the judge in order to allow for the parties to be able to recuse them.
III. DEFINITION OF THE EXPERT’S MISSION
III. 1) Who determines the mission?
The judge – he determines the object of the report and the questions to be answered, and if necessary he asks the expert complementary questions.
III. 2) Type of mission
IV. PROGRESS OF THE EXPERT’S MISSION
IV. 1) Judge supervision
The expert can ask for clarifications on certain points or to be able to consult files pertaining to the case. He can also ask for necessary additional elements.
IV. 2) Form of contradictory procedure
Insofar as is possible, the judge transmits the expert’s findings before the hearing (Art. 253 CPC).
The judge also transmits the preliminary report with a deadline before which the parties can make their own observations.
IV. 3) Participation in the hearing
At the judge’s request
v. close of the expert examination
V. 1) Does conciliation put an end to the expert’s mission?
V. 2) Form imposed on the report
V. 3) Does the report put an end to the expert’s mission?
V. 4) Is there an imposed structure for the report?
There are non-official standards prepared by legal expert associations in each field of specialisation.
V. 5) Is a preliminary report mandatory?
V. 6) Is the judge bound by the expert’s conclusions?
NO – based on the principle of free assessment of evidence by the judge (Art. 8 CPC)
V. 7) Possibility of a second opinion
YES if the expert’s findings are incomplete or if they contradict themselves on various points
VI. Funding for the expert examination
VI. 1) Security-Payment
Yes, the party having requested the expert opinion pays, or the Court itself if it has decided that the expert opinion is necessary – for example in family law in the best interests of the child. The unsuccessful litigant reimburses the trial costs, including the expert examination.
VI. 2) Determining the amount of payment due
VI. 3) Possibility of additional payment
Yes, but rarely
VI. 4) Determining fees and costs
The fees are officially set in the “Rules on court experts and court valuators”.
Transport, accommodation and food expenses, as well as loss of earnings must be reimbursed to the expert.
VI. 5) Possibility of contesting the fees
VII. Expert liability within proceedings
VII. 1) Are there any laws governing expert examinations?
Civil Procedure Act:
Rules on Court Experts and Court Valuators
VII. 2) Expert liability
Yes, the expert’s civil liability can be incurred if the general conditions of professional liability are filled, that is to say, if breaching these professional standards has caused damage to a third party.
VII. 3) Mandatory insurance for the expert
VIII. The expert’s status
VIII. 1) Existence of selection criteria (accreditation)
YES, defined in the Code of Civil Procedure and specific texts on experts.
Provides for general criteria, a written test of knowledge and competence, and an oath taken before the Minister of Justice.
VIII. 2) Classification of skills
YES, by the Ministry, on the recommendations of specialised bodies.
VIII. 3) Required qualifications
VIII. 4) Grant of accreditation
By the Ministry of Justice after consultation with a commission of experts in the same field whose members must be at least as qualified as the applicant (professional organisation / public body), and a written exam.
VIII. 5) Possibility of accrediting a legal person
Yes, namely scientific bodies (hospitals, laboratories, universities…)
There are specialised public bodies in certain fields (counterfeit currency, graphology, fingerprinting…) In these cases, they are automatically appointed to do the work.
VIII. 6) f) Validity period for the accreditation
Subject to compliance with the obligation of continuous training.
VIII. 7) Regular assessment tests
YES tests may be made mandatory by the Ministry with an aim to ensure that experts in specific specialisations are up-to-date in the new methods or technologies developed in their respective fields.
VIII. 8) Supervision of the expert’s mission
VIII. 9) Expert’s activity report
VIII. 10) Code of ethics
YES, general rules of the Code of Civil Procedure (Article 251)
The expert must respect the rules of the CPC, and commits to testifying and delivering all his findings and his opinion.
He must give a detailed account of all his discoveries and is informed of the consequences of perjury.
VIII. 11) Good practice
Yes, experts learn about “good practice” during training courses organised by expert associations in each field of specialisation.
VIII. 12) Possibility of penalties
YES. A fine that cannot exceed 1300 euros if the expert does not present himself before the court without any justification after having been officially invited to do so or if he refuses to carry out the examination without giving any explanation for his withdrawal.
On request of one of the parties, the judge can order the expert to reimburse the costs brought about by his unjustified absence, his refusal to hand in his report, or his delay in submitting said report.
VIII. 13) Laws governing the expert’s status
Even the duration of the expert examination is codified: normally 30 days with a possible extension to 60 days.
Once he has been instructed by the judge, the expert has 15 days to inform the Court if he believes he will be unable to submit his report within the deadline.
In this event and if so required by exceptional circumstances, the Court can extend the deadline.
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Rules on Court Experts and Court Valuators
Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no. 88/2010 (Pravilnik o sodnih izvedencih in sodnih cenilcih).