A cross-border dispute is a dispute in which the applicant for free legal aid has a domicile or residence in an EU Member State other than the Member State in which court proceedings are conducted or a court decision has to be enforced.
Legal aid in cross-border disputes is granted in civil and commercial matters, conciliation proceedings, out-of-court settlements, execution of public documents and legal advice in those proceedings, while the provisions on cross-border disputes do not apply in tax, customs and other administrative proceedings.
An applicant with a domicile or residence in the Republic of Croatia who seeks legal aid in a cross-border dispute before the court of another EU Member State must submit the application to the administrative body according to the territory of their domicile or residence. The competent administrative body forwards the application to the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration within eight days of receiving the application. The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration will then have the application and attached documents translated into the official language or one of the official languages of the EU Member State and the competent receiving authority, and forward them to the competent authority of the Member State where court proceedings are conducted or a judgment is to be enforced (receiving authority) within 15 days of receipt of the application. If free legal aid is not granted, the applicant is obliged to reimburse the costs of translation. The applicant may also apply directly to the authority competent for the receipt of such applications in the EU Member State where court proceedings are conducted or a judgment is to be enforced.
An applicant with a domicile or residence in an EU Member State other than Croatia who seeks free legal aid in a cross-border dispute before a court in Croatia is entitled to legal aid in accordance with the provisions of the Free Legal Aid Act. The applicant or the competent authority of the Member State of their domicile or residence (sending authority) must submit the application for free legal aid in Croatia to the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration (receiving authority).
Application forms and attached documents must be submitted translated into the Croatian language or the application will be rejected.
The application is to be submitted using the form prescribed by Commission Decision of 9 November 2004 establishing a form for legal aid applications under Council Directive 2003/8/EC to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid for such disputes.