Your case should be examined within a reasonable time. It is important to avoid an overly long period of uncertainty in your legal status and to maintain trust in the work of the courts.

Long periods of time with no activity in a case are not permissible. The frequent changing of judges or their excessive workload cannot be used as an excuse for excessive delays in your case.

What is a reasonable length?

A reasonable length for a trial depends on the circumstances of each case. To determine whether the court (or the State in general) can be blamed for taking too long to deal with your case, the following have to be taken into account:

  • the complexity of your case
  • your own behaviour and the actions of the other party
  • the conduct of the court and state authorities
  • what is at stake in the case

example If a simple traffic violation case, in which the charged person cooperates with the investigation, takes a couple of years to examine, this would be unreasonable. However, a complex tax evasion case with multiple participants who are actively using their rights to appeal various procedural decisions and failing to attend court sessions, could reasonably take several years to examine.

The other party

Normally the court cannot be blamed for your behaviour or the other participant’s actions, such as the failure to attend court sessions or the use of so-called delaying tactics such as the filing of various requests for no good reason. However, if only one party is delaying the proceedings, then the court should use its powers to ensure that the trial moves on effectively. Long periods of time with no activity in the case are usually not permissible. 

How to complain

The chief justice of the particular court is responsible for the timely examination of the cases in his or her court. If you believe that your case is being handled carelessly and risks exceeding reasonable time limits, you should file an application to the chief justice of that court. 


Last updated 11/11/2018