LAWS TO WATCH: Expropriation Act
The proposed legislation authorises the Ministry of Justice to manage property expropriation procedures for projects that the government declares to be strategic investment projects (i.e. Rijeka Gateway Project, Mali Losinj airport). The ministry will have authority of court of first instance with no appeal allowed on the decision; an administrative appeal is allowed over the commercial value determined.
The ministry can approve urgent and immediate expropriation of property, if it is determined that the reasons are justified and the owner has been paid the commercial value for the property.
If the project investor (oftentimes a state-owned company or institution) and property owner do not agree on an independent assessor for the property value, the Ministry of Justice will determine the assessor. The methodology of determining the commercial value of the expropriated property will be defined by the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning through a separate bylaw.
The proposed legislation also prolongs the deadline from two to five years for the expropriating investor to start the construction of the project from the time that the property has been expropriated.
Note: Legislation has passed Sabor debate; awaiting vote and Sabor ratification…