The new Criminal Code, which came into force on the first day of 2013, brought some novelties, such as higher penalties and longer limitation periods, while also introducing new criminal offences, such as non-payment of salaries, wanton driving and illicit gambling. By amendments to the Criminal Code of December 2012 in the domain of criminal liability, the possession of drugs for personal use became a minor offence.
The Criminal Code has a general part and a specific part:
A) The general part of the Criminal Code contains the provisions applicable to all criminal offences. These provisions regulate the general presumptions of punishability, fines and criminal penalties.
B) The specific part of the Criminal Code contains the descriptions of individual criminal offences and the penalties which may be imposed for them, and also includes criminal offences and penalties imposed for such offences under other legislation. The criminal offences laid down in the Croatian Criminal Code are:
Criminal Procedure Act (Zakon o kaznenom postupku) (NN Nos 152/08, 76/09, 80/11, 91/12 – Order and Decision of the Croatian Constitutional Court, 143/12, 56/13, 145/13, 152/14 and 70/17)
This Act defines the rules to ensure that no innocent person be convicted, and that a penalty or other measure be imposed on perpetrators of criminal offences under the terms provided for by law based on lawfully conducted proceedings before a competent court.
Criminal prosecution and proceedings may be conducted and completed only according to the rules and under the terms laid down in the Act.
The Criminal Procedure Act transposes the following EU regulations into the Croatian legal system:
Criminal proceedings are conducted at the request of an authorised prosecutor.
The authorised prosecutor of offences for which criminal proceedings are initiated ex officio is a public prosecutor (državni odvjetnik), while the authorised prosecutor of offences for which criminal proceedings are initiated by private action is a private prosecutor. In the case of certain criminal offences laid down by law, criminal proceedings are initiated by a public prosecutor only at the motion of the victim. Unless provided otherwise by law, the public prosecutor is required to initiate criminal proceedings where there are reasonable grounds for believing that a certain person has committed a criminal offence for which criminal proceedings are initiated ex officio and there are no legal impediments to the prosecution of the person in question.
If the public prosecutor finds no grounds for initiating or conducting criminal prosecution, his position may be taken by the victim in the role of the injured party as plaintiff under the terms specified in this Act.
Act on the Legal Consequences of Conviction, Criminal Records and Rehabilitation (Zakon o pravnim posljedicama osude, kaznenoj evidenciji i rehabilitaciji) (NN Nos 143/12 and 105/15)
This Act regulates the legal consequences of conviction, the organisation, keeping, availability, provision and deletion of criminal record data and international exchange of criminal record data, and rehabilitation.
This Act contains provisions that are in compliance with the following European Union acts:
Criminal records in Croatia are organised and kept by the ministry responsible for the judiciary which is, at the same time, the central authority for the exchange of such data with other states (hereinafter: the Ministry).
Criminal records are kept for natural and legal persons (hereinafter: persons) who have been convicted of criminal offences by a final judgement in Croatia. Criminal records are also kept for Croatian citizens and legal persons domiciled in Croatia who have been convicted of criminal offences by a final judgement outside Croatia, if such data have been provided to the Ministry.
The contents of criminal records include a list of persons convicted by a final judgement of criminal offences of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, and other criminal offences referred to in Article 13(4) of this Act.
The most important civil law acts in Croatia are:
Civil Obligations Act (Zakon o obveznim odnosima) (NN Nos 35/05, 41/08 and 125/11)
This Act regulates the foundations of civil obligations (general part), contractual and extracontractual civil obligations (specific part).
Parties to transactions are free to regulate civil obligations, but these may not be regulated in a manner contrary to the Croatian Constitution, mandatory regulations and public morality.
Ownership and Other Material Rights Act (Zakon o vlasništvu i drugim stvarnim pravima) (NN Nos 91/96, 68/98, 137/99, 22/00, 73/00, 129/00, 114/01, 79/06, 141/06, 146/08, 38/09, 153/09, 143/12 and 152/14)
This Act establishes general arrangements for the possession of things by persons; the rules of this Act will also apply to the possession of things that are subject to some special legal arrangement, unless they run contrary to such arrangement.
Whatever is provided by the Act with regard to the ownership right and owners applies accordingly to all other material rights, unless otherwise specifically provided for by law or arising out of their legal nature.
Succession Act (Zakon o nasljeđivanju) (NN Nos 48/03, 163/03, 35/05 – Civil Obligations Act and 127/13)
This Act regulates the right of succession and the rules under which courts, other authorities and authorised persons proceed in matters of succession.
Land Register Act (Zakon o zemljišnim knjigama) (NN Nos 91/96, 68/98, 137/99, 114/01, 100/04, 107/07, 152/08, 126/10, 55/13, 60/13 and 108/17)
This Act regulates the issues relating to the legal status of real estate in the territory of Croatia relevant for legal transactions, and also regulates the manner and form of keeping land registers (land title office (gruntovnica)) if no specific provisions have been made for certain plots of land.
Civil Procedure Act (Zakon o parničnom postupku) (NN Nos 53/91, 91/92, 112/99, 88/01, 117/03, 88/05, 02/07, 96/08, 84/08, 123/08, 57/11, 148/11 – consolidated text, 25/13 and 89/14)
This Act regulates the rules of procedure under which courts hear and decide in disputes concerning the fundamental rights and duties of man and citizen, personal and family relations of citizens as well as in labour, commercial, property and other civil disputes, unless provisions have been made by law for courts to decide on some of these disputes under the rules of some other procedure.
Enforcement Act (Ovršni zakon) (NN Nos 112/12, 25/13, 93/14, 55/16, and 73/17)
This Act regulates the proceedings in which courts and notaries public enforce the settlement of claims based on enforcement and authentic instruments (enforcement proceedings) and the proceedings in which courts and notaries public enforce claim security (security proceedings), unless otherwise provided for by a separate law. Substantive legal relations established on the basis of enforcement proceedings and security proceedings are also governed by this Act.
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