The right to a trial without undue delay is the constitutional category defined in the first paragraph of Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia under the heading "right to judicial protection". The content of the article tells us that everyone has the right regarding his rights and obligations and accusations against him to be judged under independently, impartially and lawfully established court without undue delay.
The right to a trial within a reasonable time, synonymous with our right to a trial without undue delay, is part of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Thus, in the first paragraph of Article 6 of the ECHR, under the heading "the right to a fair trial", everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law in the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him.
The term "reasonable time" is a legal standard, which is determined by the circumstances of each case individually. The legal practice of the European Court of Human Rights has shaped typical situations that can be understood as the circumstances of the case: the complexity of the case in factual and legal terms, the contribution of the complainant's conduct, the contribution of the judicial authorities and the importance of the case to the client.
Since 2007, the right to a trial without undue delay has been regulated uniformly in the Protection of the Right to a Trial without undue delay Act, unlike the previously dispersed and rather unregulated system of protection of this right.
In this master's thesis the right to a trial without undue delay in criminal proceedings is presented. First of all, I begin with the definition of this right, the delimitation of this right during criminal and civil proceedings. Later, I introduce the legal framework for the protection of this right in the Republic of Slovenia before the adoption of the Protection of the Right to a Trial without undue delay Act and the influential case-law of the ECtHR criticizing Slovenian legislation. I devote special attention to the Lukenda case and the decision of the Constitutional court U-I-65/05. In the next section, I introduce the rules for calculating the beginning and the end of the relevant period in cases where we consider that the process takes too long and the way of assessing the causes that led to a lengthy procedure. I conclude with a presentation of the Protection of the Right to a Trial without undue delay Act and the reaction of the European Court of Human Rights to the new legislation as revealed through cases against the Republic of Slovenia.