This page provides you with information about the legal system in Slovakia. Please see the page of Legal order – Slovakia on the European Judicial Network: civil justice legal order.
The term ‘sources of law’ is used in three senses:
On the basis of how legal norms emerged and the binding form in which they are expressed, the following types of sources of law are traditionally distinguished:
One of the basic principles of the Slovak legal order is the hierarchy of norms. Understanding the proper place of this principle in legislative practice and implementation is vital. The hierarchy of norms is not, however, simply a question of straightforward logical precedence or subordination. Hierarchy relates to the entire issue of legitimate authority and also includes the categorical imperative that a piece of legislation may only be made by a body authorised to do so by law – within the limits of law and its own legislative powers.
Legislation is categorised by what is known as ‘legal force’. Legal force refers to the properties of legal norms, one piece of legislation being subordinate to another (i.e. one with greater legal force), or where a legal norm is derived from one having greater legal force. In a situation involving legal norms with different legal force, the weaker norm may not contradict the stronger one, and the stronger norm may override the weaker one.
In terms of the levels of legal force, legislation may be hierarchically arranged as follows:
Primary legislation (laws)
Secondary legislation (also referred to as subordinate legislation)
In the system of legislation, a law having precedence means that all other legal norms must derive from the law, be compatible with it and not contradict it. This means that, in practice, if a legal norm lower down the hierarchy contradicts a higher-ranking norm, it is the higher-ranking norm that must be followed.
The bodies and authorities listed below have the power to adopt legislation (law-making bodies):
Stages of the legislative process:
Introducing a proposal for legislation – legislative initiative
Under Article 87(1) of Act No 460/1992 (the Constitution of the Slovak Republic), bills may be introduced by the following:
Bills are submitted arranged in sections, together with explanatory notes.
Discussion of the bill
In accordance with the rules of procedure of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (Act No 350/1996), bills go through three readings:
Voting (decision on the bill)
For a law to be passed, at least half the members present must vote in favour of it.
The Constitution may be amended and individual articles repealed only if passed by a qualified majority, which means three-fifths of all members of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (3/5 of 150).
The National Council of the Slovak Republic is a quorum if at least half its members are present.
Signing the adopted bill
The adopted bill is signed by:
This step in the procedure involves checking the content, procedural correctness and final form of the adopted bill. By signing, these highest-ranking constitutional officers endorse the wording of the law.
The President has the right to exercise a ‘suspensive veto’ and refuse to sign an adopted law on the grounds of faulty content. He or she must then send the adopted law, together with his or her comments, to the National Council of the Slovak Republic to be debated again.
The returned bill then goes through the second and third reading stages. At this point, the National Council of the Slovak Republic may – but does not have to – take the President’s comments into account. The National Council of the Slovak Republic may overturn the ‘suspensive veto’ by voting again, in which case the law must be promulgated, even without the President’s signature.
Promulgation (publication) of legislation
Promulgation is the final stage in the legislative process. Legislation applying to the country as a whole is formally published in the Collection of Legislative Acts (Zbierka zákonov) of the Slovak Republic; this publication falls within the remit of the Slovak Ministry of Justice.
Entry into force
Legislation takes effect upon publication.
Given their restricted territorial application, local legal norms are posted on an official notice board for a set period, generally 15 days.
Legislation of lower legal force must not contradict legislation of greater legal force.
Legislation may only be amended or repealed by legislation of the same or greater legal force.
In practice, the rule in settling conflicts between legislation having the same legal force is that a more recent piece of legislation repeals or amends an older piece of legislation, or that a specific norm repeals or amends a general norm.
The Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic reviews and rules on whether:
Where the Constitutional Court holds that there is conflict between pieces of legislation, such acts - or parts or provisions thereof - cease to be in effect. Where the bodies that made such an act fail to harmonise it with the applicable legislation having greater legal force within the statutory time limit following the issue of the ruling, the act - or parts or provisions thereof - is/are voided.
The JASPI database of the Slovak Ministry of Justice gives you access to:
Other content available on the JASPI database includes:
The JASPI database is an open, non-commercial system designed to provide citizens with free access to comprehensive legal information on the country. The purpose of the project is to provide fast and clear access to legal information.
The information system for ‘legislative workflow’ has two functional applications.
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