The Development of the Administrative Court Systems in Transition Countries and Their Role in Democratic, Economic and Societal Transition

  • Mateja Held
Keywords: administrative courts, transition countries, judicial review, democratic economic societal transition


The paper analyses the formation of democratic institutions and establishment of administrative court systems during 1990s in transition countries, namely in Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Albania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Further changes in the national legislations of transition countries were affected by the standards of international organisations, such as the CoE, SIGMA and OECD, as well as by the process of accession to the EU and harmonisation of the national legislation with acquis communautaire. The process of accession to the EU was characterised by a series of documents and strategies resulting in serious reforms in administration, which is in theory generally known as Europeanisation and modernisation of public administration. They all had the same goal – protecting the rights of citizens from unlawful decisions issued by administrative bodies and protection from unlawful procedures conducted before administrative bodies. The main goals were to enable appeals to a higher instance court and lessen the duration of the proceedings in general. Nowadays, administrative courts’ procedures in most European countries are characterised by a number of common features
in the organisation of judicial control of administration, but with some differences according to which transition countries can be grouped into four models. Countries also became aware of the disadvantages of their administrative court systems by themselves or through the input of European institutions, and are now
entering the evaluation phase. The aim of the paper is to examine and analyse to what extent the development of the new administrative court systems in transition countries and subsequent reforms have affected the rights of citizens and what their role is in the democratic, economic and societal transition.