THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURTOF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA: COMPOSITION, COMPETENCES, AND PROCEEDINGS
Croatia had its Constitutional Court when it still formed part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Constitutional Courts were established both on the federal level and as federal units. The Croatian Constitutional Court had been established by the 1963 Constitution, and it was retained by the later 1974 Constitution. Its primary competence was abstract norm control, and it examined the constitutionality and legality of self-governing general acts. Given the socialist ideology on the supremacy of the elected assembly, if the Court found a law to be contrary to the Constitution, it could not repeal the law. It could only declare its inconformity, and the Assembly would have six months to enact new legislation. It was not competent to decide on the constitutionality and legality of individual acts. The first democratic Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter, the Constitution), promulgated on December 22, 1990, in its Basic Provisions, article 3, states, “[F]reedom, equal rights, national equality, commitment to peace, social justice, respect for human rights, inviolability of ownership, conservation of nature and the human environment, the rule of law, and a democratic multiparty system are the highest values of the constitutional order of the Republic of Croatia.” The whole system of the Republic of Croatia has been organized accordingly, including the constitutional position of the Constitutional Court.