On 24 March 2020 the Government of the Slovak Republic adopted several new measures to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
Among others, the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic (JMSR) submitted a draft law on certain extraordinary measures related to the spreading of the dangerous contagious human disease Covid-19 (the “Lex Corona”) to the National Council of the Slovak Republic for approval within an abbreviated legislative procedure. The law was approved in the National Council on 25 March 2020 and published as Act No. 62/2020 Coll.
Lex Corona is effective from 27 March 2020.
It introduced the following extraordinary measures:
- at the time of an emergency situation or a state of emergency, collective bodies of legal entities established according to civil or commercial law shall be allowed to use per rollam voting or their members shall be allowed to attend meetings of the body via electronic means even if the same is not regulated in their internal regulations or statutes (i.e. general meetings of shareholders in joint stock companies or limited liability companies shall be allowed to adopt resolutions even without shareholders being present in person);
- limitation and prescription periods in private-law based relations shall not run from the effective date of this Act until 30 April 2020; the periods that ended between 12 March 2020 and the effective date of this Act shall not end earlier than 30 days after the effective date of this Act;
- with certain exceptions, procedural deadlines for parties to court proceedings shall not run until 30 April 2020;
- at the time of an emergency situation or a state of emergency, court hearings will only be held to the necessary extent, and the public may be excluded from such hearings for the sake of health protection;
- the time limit for a debtor to file a bankruptcy petition shall be extended to 60 days if the debtor incurs excessive debt from 12 March 2020 to 30 April 2020;
- a temporary ban is imposed on exercising the right of lien and auction;
- an amendment to Act No. 351/2011 Coll. on Electronic Communications allows, at the time of an emergency situation or a state of emergency, the providers of electronic communication services to disclose on the request data that is subject to telecommunication secrecy, such as data on the communicating parties (telephone number, name, surname, title and address of the permanent residence) as well as the information when localization data was created; to the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic, for the purpose of their collection, processing and retention to the extent necessary to identify individuals for the sake of the protection of life and health, as well as to identify the recipients of the messages, by which they will be specifically notified by the Public Health Authority. The Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic will be authorized to collect, process and retain such data during the duration of an emergency situation or a state of emergency in the health sector, no longer than until 31 December 2020;
- an amendment to Act No. 343/2015 Coll. on Public Procurement shall enact a restriction on the prohibition of concluding agreements within the framework of public procurement with entities that are not registered in the Register of Public Sector Partners if such agreements are concluded for the purpose of ensuring the protection of life and health at the time of a state of emergency or an emergency situation, provided that the conditions for a direct negotiation procedure owing to an emergency are met (except for low-value contracts).
The additional, more comprehensive measures were adopted by the amendment to Lex Corona, Act No. 92/2020 Coll. These measures include:
- protection of lessees, which precludes lessors of real estate, including flats and non-residential properties, to unilaterally terminate lease due to delay of lessees with payment of rent, including payments for performance usually associated with the lease, which are due during the period between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2020. Such protection shall apply provided that the late payment by a lessee was caused by circumstances resulted from spread of dangerous contagious human disease COVID-19. Please find more here.
- deferral of attachments (executions) over properties of natural persons based on application to the bailiff provided income of indebted natural person (individual) has temporally decreased due to the spread of coronavirus and immediate attachment (execution) would have particular adverse effect on him/her or his/her family members. The deferral may last at max. six months, however not longer than until 1 December 2020. Please find more here.
- It also prolongs time periods for temporary ban on enforcement of pledges and auctions until 31 May 2020.
All of the abovementioned measures are effective from 25 April 2020.
Finally, the amendment introduces a specific legal framework in order to provide protection against bankruptcy for entrepreneurs. This measure is effective from 12 May 2020. Since this date entrepreneurs may request the protection by the means of electronic applications to the district courts specifically designated as the locally competent for this purpose. We analyse the topic of protection against bankruptcy for businesses here.
Updated 4 May 2020.