Chapter 5. Operation of the Courts in areas where the autochthonous Italian and Hungarian ethnic communities reside
In the areas inhabited by the autochthonous Italian or Hungarian ethnic communities in which the equality of the Italian or Hungarian languages is provided by the Constitution and the law, the Courts must guarantee the equality of the Italian or Hungarian languages in the proceedings in accordance with the law if the party living in this area uses either the Italian or Hungarian language.
If only one party appears or if both parties in the proceedings use the same language, the court proceedings shall be conducted in the language of the parties.
If, however, one of the parties in the proceedings uses the Slovene language and the other the Hungarian or Italian language, the proceedings shall be conducted in the Slovene and the Hungarian or Italian language (hereinafter referred to as the bilingual proceedings).
The court also acts in this way if the application instituting the proceedings is written in the Slovene language, and the party declares prior to the initiation of the proceedings that he/she uses the Hungarian or Italian language.
If the court, after the application by which a party institutes the proceedings or after the declaration made by a party, establishes that the proceeding has to be conducted in the Hungarian or Italian language or as a bilingual proceedings, this shall be marked in the appropriate register and on the folder of the court record (IT or H).
If, according to the provisions of the law or the Court Rules, the proceedings should be conducted in the Hungarian and Italian languages. However, if the parties declare that the proceedings be conducted in the Slovene language, the proceedings shall be conducted in the Slovene language. Such declaration of a party must be verified in the register.
If the proceedings are conducted in the Hungarian or Italian language only, or if the proceedings are bilingual, the discussions with the parties shall be held in their respective languages.
If an individual participant in the proceedings does not understand the language in which the proceedings are conducted, the interpretation of everything he/she and the others say, and the translation of the documents and all other written evidence materials must be guaranteed.
If the proceedings are conducted in the Hungarian or Italian language, the minutes shall be recorded in that language.
If an individual participant in the proceedings does not have a command of the Hungarian or Italian language, his/her testimony of statement shall be recorded in the minutes in the official language of the proceedings.
The minutes in bilingual proceedings shall be recorded in the language used by the parties and other participants in the proceedings. Every allegation, testimony, statement, etc shall be translated immediately and recorded in the Slovene and Hungarian or Italian languages.
Court decisions in the proceedings conducted in the Hungarian or Italian language and court decisions in the bilingual proceedings shall always be issued in the Slovene and Hungarian or Italian language.
Decisions in both languages shall be original and delivered to the parties in both languages.
If an ordinary or extraordinary appeal is filed in proceedings conducted in the Hungarian or Italian language or in bilingual proceedings, the court of first instance shall provide the translation of the appeal and of the entire record into the Slovene language.
When deciding on ordinary or extraordinary appeals for which the court of first instance conducted the proceedings in the Hungarian of Italian language, the higher courts and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia shall also issue their decision in the translation into the Hungarian or Italian language.
The costs arising from proceedings in the Hungarian or Italian language, i. e. from bilingual proceedings, shall be covered from the funds allocated for the operation of the court, and the costs may not be charged to the parties.
The ministry competent for justice shall be responsible for the education of judges and court personnel for conducting bilingual proceedings.
Bilingual proceedings may only be conducted by a judge or professional worker who has passed a special examination in the Hungarian or Italian language before the examination board of the ministry competent for justice, or has a university degree in the Hungarian or Italian language, or has been entered in the list of permanent court interpreters for one of the two languages.
At the courts at which there are no judges with active knowledge of the Hungarian or Italian language, bilingual proceedings are conducted with the assistance of a court interpreter.
The provisions of this Article shall also apply to court personnel participating in bilingual proceedings.
The bonus for the qualification of judges and court personnel for conducting bilingual proceedings shall be determined by the judicial council.
Source: Report submitted by the Republic of Slovenia pursuant to Art. 25 Para. 1 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities