About the CCE Court of Honour

Pixabay.com

The Court of Honour with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce was founded in the year 1989 with the former Chamber of Commerce of Croatia. After the Republic of Croatia had gained its independence in the year 1991, the Court continued to work as the Court of Honour with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (hereinafter referred to as the Court).

The Court was founded with the following objectives:

  • to promote and encourage consciousness and honesty and the rules of morality,
  • education and ethical development of its members – by pointing out to the behaviours contrary to good business practices and basic principles of obligatory right as well as to the rules valid for their business operations
  • protection of its members and consumers
  • promotion of the economy and of
  • the chamber system at the whole.

By its activities the Court contributes to the relief of regular and specialised courts, to a quicker settlement of disputes and promotion of the consumer protection policy. This especially in cases of amicable settlement of disputes, in a previous conciliation procedure in which the complainant realises its pecuniary claim or requires only a moral satisfaction that the complainant gets through the identification of responsibility of the accused company and through the pronouncement of a measure of social discipline.

In order to accomplish the above said objectives and to strengthen its influence among the members, the Court utilises the measures of social discipline but it also endeavours to resolve disputes in an amicable manner, in a previous conciliation procedure. Its effectiveness is shown by the fact that, from 863 complaints filed with the Court in the period from 1995 to 2005 year 500 complaints were resolved in an amicable manner that means that the complainants have realised their pecuniary claims, as well.

In performing its function the Court is independent and decides pursuant to the Constitution, international agreements, laws, rules and regulations, the Chamber’s by-laws, basic principles of civil obligations based on the Civil Obligations Act, and especially pursuant to the principles of consciousness and honesty in civil obligations and according to the morality of the society.

The Court does not provide the activities of legal assistance.

The procedure with the Court of Honour shall be initiated by filing a written complaint. The complaint shall be submitted in the Croatian language and in the Latin script.

The complaint cannot be lodged by e-mail.

For initiation of the procedure no fee is charged. However, it does not mean that the parties cannot have costs in the procedure. This is especially meant for cases when the Court finds the need for presentation of evidence by expert evaluation or by witness hearing, in which case the costs are payable by the parties.

For filing a complaint both subjective and objective deadline are prescribed, so the party can lodge its complaint within 6 months from the date of being informed of the infringement and of the infringement maker or within a year from the date of infringement.

The complaint can be lodged only against the Chamber members which in performing their economic activities and supplying goods and services on the territory of the Chamber have infringed the rules of morality (good business practices) or the provisions of the Statute and other Chamber by-laws, whether such infringements by the Chamber members have been made in their mutual dealings or against third parties. The Court decides about such infringements also in cases of consumer complaints (consumer disputes).

The most frequent infringements of rules of morality (and of good business practices), which are the reason for filing a complaint with this Court, are:

  • conscious non-fulfilment of contractual obligations,
  • rendering services of bad quality as if they were of good one
  • non-compliance with legal norms prescribing the conduct of legal persons in the supply of goods and services,
  • actions oriented to the damage of reputation of other business persons,
  • non-acknowledgment of customer claims and not acting according to positive legal provisions,
  • infringement of the provisions of by-laws of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and of ethical codes adopted by professional associations acting within the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

What is specific for the function of this Court is that the Court may not  pronounce condemnatory and constitutional sentences, namely the sentences based on which the accused would be ordered to do something or to suffer in favour of the complainant, or based on which a contract would be cancelled, for instance. However, after establishing the fact in an expert and objective way and finding out that there is an infringement of morality, the Court may pronounce one of the measures provided for by the Rule Book of the Court of Honour with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (Official Gazette Narodne novine No. 66 / 2006, 114 / 2006, 129 / 2007, 8 / 2008).

So the Court may pronounce the following measures: reprimand, public reprimand along with its announcement at the session of the Assembly of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce or public reprimand along with its announcement in press and on the Web page of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. These measures have not only a repressive character but also a preventive one, and that is the prevention of infringement of the rules of morality, the directing of the parties to an amicable settlement of dispute as well as the education of and a warning to the members regarding the necessity of exemplary conduct to the consumers.

The above stated measures shall be pronounced by the  First Instance Council  of  the Court consisting of  the  Council  President  and  two Council members, while the Second Instance Council consisting of the Council President and four Council members decides about appeals submitted against a first instance judgement or decision.

In consumer disputes judgement is passed:

  • at first instance by a Council consisting, besides the Council President, of one member appointed from the list of judges of first instance councils from among consumers and of one member appointed from the list of judges of first instance councils from among tradesmen – members of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce,
  • at second instance by a Council consisting, besides the Council President, of two Council members of legal profession and one member appointed from the list of judges of second instance councils from among consumers and of one member from the list of judges of second instance councils  from among tradesmen – members of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

The measure of reprimand shall be implemented only by submitting a final judgement to the accused against which it has been pronounced.

The measure of public reprimand along with its announcement at the session of the Assembly of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce shall be implemented by announcement of the final judgement in abbreviated form at the session of the Assembly of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

The measure of public reprimand along with its announcement in press and on the Web page of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce shall be implemented by announcement of the final judgement in abbreviated form at the expense of the accused and on the Web page of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

The pronounced measure shall not be implemented after expiry of a two years period from the final judgement.

Terms for cancellation of measures from the Register of Court Measures:

  1. year from the finality of the judgement by which the measure “reprimand” has been pronounced if the member affected by the said measure does not make a new infringement in that period of time  for which a measure of social discipline with final effect has been pronounced to it,
  2. years from the finality of the judgement by which the measure “public reprimand along with its announcement at the session of the Assembly of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce” has been pronounced if the member affected by the said measure does not make a new infringement in that period of time for which the measure of social discipline with final effect has been pronounced to it,
  3. years from the finality of the judgement by which the measure “public reprimand along with its announcement in press and on the Web page of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce” if the member affected by the said measure does not make a new infringement in that period of time for which the measure of social discipline with final effect has been pronounced to it.

If within  a period of cancellation  of  the  pronounced  measure  from  the records  the  member affected  by the said  measure  makes  a  new infringement, the previously pronounced measure with final effect shall be cancelled from the Register of Court Measures when the conditions for cancellation of a new pronounced measure with final effect are fulfilled.

In its further activity the Court aims to strengthen its prestige among its members and also to influence on consideration of measures pronounced against the infringement of social discipline.

In its work the Court cooperates with the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, State Inspector’s Office, consumer protection associations and other institutions.