“Preinačujuća presuda i presuda iznenađenja”
Dr. sc. Marko Bratković, docent Pravnog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Trg Republike Hrvatske 14, 10000 Zagreb; email@example.com; ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0893-6682
Nije svaka preinačujuća presuda žalbenog suda koja svojim sadržajem neugodno iznenadi koju od stranaka ujedno i presuda iznenađenja (njemački Überraschungsurteil). Štoviše, trebala bi biti riječ o neželjenoj iznimci. Preinačujuća bi presuda bila presuda iznenađenja ako bi je žalbeni sud donio na temelju pravne ocjene spora bitno različite od one o kojoj se u postupku raspravljalo, a koju ni savjesna i brižljiva stranka nije mogla razumno predvidjeti. Isto tako, o presudi bi iznenađenja bila riječ ako bi je žalbeni sud zasnovao na činjenicama i dokazima o kojima strankama nije bila pružena razumna mogućnost da se o njima izjasne. Presuda je iznenađenja zabranjena jer je u protivnosti s postulatima pravičnog postupka. Zato bi protiv preinačujuće presude žalbenog suda koja je ujedno i presuda iznenađenja Vrhovni sud u povodu prijedloga svakako trebao dopustiti reviziju, a iznenađenoj bi stranci pravnu zaštitu, ako bi to propustio učiniti revizijski sud, trebali pružiti Ustavni sud i Europski sud za ljudska prava.
Ključne riječi: presuda iznenađenja, preinačujuća presuda, pravičan postupak, žalba, savjesna i brižljiva stranka
Hrčak ID: 280157
“Varying the First-Instance Judgment and the Surprise Judgment”
Marko Bratković, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Trg Republike Hrvatske 14, 10000 Zagreb; firstname.lastname@example.org; ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0893-6682
Not every decision of the appellate court varying the first instance judgement which comes as an unpleasant surprise to either party necessarily constitutes what is known as a surprise judgment (German: Überraschungsurteil). On the contrary, a surprise judgment should only be a rare, undesired exception. A varying judgment may be considered a surprised judgment only if the appellate court changed the legal classification of the case from that in the original case into one that a diligent party could not reasonably have foreseen. Also, a surprise judgment would also refer to cases in which the appellate court based its ruling on facts and evidence on which the parties had not been given a reasonable opportunity to comment. Surprise judgments are prohibited as they are in conflict with the postulates of fair trial.
According to the case of law of the European Court of Human Rights, each party must be given a reasonable opportunity to comment on all relevant aspects of the case, not only in respect of evidence, but also in respect of the legal issues, i.e. an opportunity to participate effectively in the proceedings. It is to be emphasised that this also refers to legal arguments raised ex officio by the court. The principle iura novit curia cannot be an excuse for not allowing the parties to participate in a debate concerning the legal issues. However, this is not to say that the court should necessarily declare its legal positions to the parties.
This duty exists only as an exception; for instance, in order to inform the parties of its intention to deviate from the case law or legal positions announced expressly or implicitly, or in legally intricate cases or cases involving issues with no relevant case law. The point is that the legal reasoning of the court must be reasonably foreseeable in view of the arguments which had been raised during the course of the proceedings by the opposing parties or by the court itself. Certainly, a party to civil proceedings is expected to display due diligence him/herself in that regard. If the legal classification of the case could not have been foreseen by the party as a diligent party, it constitutes a surprise judgment. If legal arguments which had been pursued by the court could not be regarded as substantially different from the observations submitted by the parties during the course of the proceedings, there is no breach of the adversarial principle.
These postulates of fair trial refer to all courts, not only appellate ones, but the prohibition of surprise judgments bears special significance in the context of varying judgments of appellate courts considering their immediate effect of rendering the matter res iudicata. The Supreme Court should by all means allow a second appeal against a varying judgment of an appellate court which constitutes a surprise judgment, and if it should fail to provide a remedy to the surprised party, a remedy should invariably be provided by the Constitutional Court or the European Court of Human Rights.
Keywords: surprise judgment, varying judgment, fair trial, appeal, diligent party
Hrčak ID: 280157