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Slovak lawsuits take too long

ACCORDING to World Bank research, the average lawsuit in Slovakia lasts 565 days. This is comparable to the length of time lawsuits take in certain African countries, such as Congo (560 days), Benin (570 days) and Mozambique (580 days), the Národná Obroda daily reported April 4.

The average length of time lawsuits take in the EU is 276 days.

"Some lawsuits [in Slovakia] take from seven to 10 years. Useless drafts in a lawsuit negatively influence business activities. Slovak courts are failing to perform their duties," said Pavel Nechala, a lawyer with Transparency International Slovakia.

The justice ministry spokesman, Richard Fides, said, however, that the situation has improved in the last few years.

"The new legislation is gradually taking effect, but the results won't show immediately," he said.

The amendment to the Civil Procedure Code gives courts a time limit for establishing a date for initial proceedings. The judges have many cases and Slovakia needs more judges. Slovakia has 1,200 judges and 600 higher legal officers.

All of Slovakia's immediate neighbours, apart from Poland, have better turnaround times for lawsuits. In Sweden a lawsuit takes 208 days, and in Belgium, only 112 days.

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