Authorities

 Czech Republic - Central Authority (Art. 2, 24) and practical information
Address

Central Authority(ies):

Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic

Contact details:

Address:

Vyšehradská 16
128 10 PRAHA 2
Czech Republic

Telephone: +420 221 997 925 
Fax: +420 221 997 919
E-mail: [email protected]
General website: http://www.justice.cz/
Contact persons: Ms Pavla Bellonová
Ms Zuzana Fišerová
Languages spoken by staff: Czech, English (French)

Practical Information
(The following information was provided by the relevant State authorities or was obtained from the replies to the 2008 Evidence Convention Questionnaire)

Blocking statutes:

Yes, there are two European instruments of this nature:

Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (see, Article 5(1)).

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (See, Art. 25(1)).

Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)

Transmission of Letters of Requests: Letters of Request are sent directly from a judicial authority in the requesting State to the Central Authority of the requested State.
In a small number of cases, Letters of Request are sent via the Ministry of Justice (Central Authority), especially where some difficulties are expected.
Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request (Art. 7): Judicial authority competent to execute the request.
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8): No declaration of applicability.
Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution (Art. 11): No declaration of applicability.
Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33):  No declaration made (i.e., accepts letters of request submitted in Czech, English and French).
Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request (Arts 14(2)(3) and 26): There are no constitutional limitations with regard to the reimbursement of fees and costs, in connection with the execution of Letters of Request, for the service of process necessary to compel the appearance of a person to give evidence, the costs of attendance of such persons, and the costs of any transcript of the evidence (Art. 26).
Time for execution: The execution of the request takes between 2 to 3 months on average.
Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents: Letter of Request may be executed (no declaration).
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence:  See European Judicial Network - Taking of evidence and mode of proof - Czech Republic.

Witness examination under Chapter I

Should Letters of Request include specific questions to be used during witness examination or only a list of matters to be addressed? There is no law that requires specific questions to be included in the Letter of Request. However, courts are recommended to include a list of specific questions.
Is it a public or private hearing? Public hearing. Unless, it would endanger secret information protected by the law, trade secret, morality or an important interest of a party.
Do the judicial authorities "blue-pencil" Letters of Requests (i.e. rephrase, restructure and / or strike out objectionable questions or offensive wording so that a Letter of Request may be executed under the laws of the requested State)? Yes but it would depend on the nature of the Request (e.g. if rephrase or restructure is possible).
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? No, depending on the matter, the court might invite the witness to bring some documents that include the requested information.
Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court? No.
Is an oath generally administered to the witness? Yes.
Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall? Yes, but a second Request is necessary.
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? If the summoned person does not appear in the examination, the chairman of the panel may bring him or her forward by force if the person was previously warned and fails to appear without an excuse (§52 Czech Civil Procedural Code).
It is also possible to fine the person for not appearing in court without any serious excuse (§ 53 Czech Civil). Procedural Code).
Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified? Yes.
How is the testimony transcribed? The testimony is transcribed to the minutes. It can be also recorded on request. Such a record would have MP3 data format. 

Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)

Article 15 Applicable.
Article 16 Applicable (no permission required subject to reciprocity). Where permission required, see competent authority.
Article 17 Applicable. See competent authority.
Article 18 Applicable subject to reciprocity. See Competent Authority.

Taking of evidence by video-links
(under either chapter)
 

Chapter I

Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No. Taking of evidence by video-link is not especially regulated in Czech law. The taking of evidence is in general terms regulated in the Civil Courts Procedure Law no. 99/1963 Coll.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available. 
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
How would a request for evidence be handled if witness not willing? No information available.

Chapter II

Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No information available.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
Bilateral or multilateral agreements

Bilateral conventions on judicial co-operation: Albania,  Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Algeria, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium,  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Fiji, France,  Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Nauru, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunis, Turkey,   Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen.

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters

Useful links: -

(This page was last updated on 22 August 2011)

Conventions