Judicial training conference on insolvency issues in Croatia

By Axel  Reiserer

Judicial training conference on insolvency issues in Croatia

Good progress being made on legal transition

The EBRD’s Legal Transition Team (LTT) organised a judicial training conference on insolvency matters in Opatija, Croatia, this week which ended today with the conclusion that the country has made good progress on legal transition and implementation was now key.

The conference – organised in cooperation with the High Commercial Court of Croatia and the Judicial Academy of Croatia – was dedicated to topical issues and best practices in dealing with insolvency cases. The participating 170 Croatian judges and court advisers shared their experiences of handling insolvency cases, learned about best practices in dealing with insolvency matters and how to develop a common understanding and uniform approach to dealing with problematic issues in the application of insolvency law.

The course focused on creditor’s rights, the role of the Financial Agency (Fina) in pre-bankruptcy and bankruptcy proceedings and the rights of secured creditors and guarantors in pre-bankruptcy and bankruptcy proceedings.

Following the promulgation of the new insolvency law in Croatia in 2015, EBRD experts provided comments on the law and conducted policy discussions with the authorities on the resolution of the high volume of non-performing loans in the banking sector.

In addition, in November 2016 a workshop on out-of-court restructuring took place, hosted by the Ministry of Justice in Zagreb. One of the main conclusions was that amendments to the insolvency law together with a change in culture were needed to promote “in-court” corporate reorganisation and also encourage “out-of-court” corporate restructuring. Participants agreed that capacity issues in the Croatian legal system needed to be addressed, including the training of bankruptcy administrators and judges.

Following a request from the Ministry of Justice, LTT launched a technical cooperation project aimed at identifying the issues within the existing insolvency framework and raising the capacity of Croatian bankruptcy managers, banks and other stakeholders. A roundtable discussion co-organised by the Ministry of Justice and the EBRD on “Strengthening the legal framework for bankruptcy and pre-bankruptcy proceedings in Croatia” was organised earlier this month in Zagreb. One of the key takeaways was the need for more judges in the area of insolvency, particularly on cross-border issues.