Justice in electoral matters and local and regional referendum

In contrast to the situation in the pre-WWII Czechoslovak period, the Czech Republic has no distinct electoral courts. Before January 2003, justice in electoral matters was fragmented. Since 1 January 2003 (the date when the new Code of Administrative Justice entered into force), administrative courts have been competent to hear all disputes relating to elections (section 88 and following of the Code of Administrative Justice).

Although electoral disputes are not strictly speaking administrative law issues per se (they do not involve judicial review of public administration), electoral matters are issues of public law, so competence in this area was bestowed on the administrative courts.

Administrative courts are competent to hear disputes relating to the keeping of electoral register, the registration of a candidate list for the election, the removal of a candidate from the candidate list or challenges to the registration of a candidate list. Administrative courts may furthermore hear actions concerning the validity of elections, the validity of individual ballots and protection in matters relating to the duration of the mandate of a member of a municipal council. The Supreme Administrative Court has the competence to decide on cassation complaints against the decisions of regional courts on the local and regional referendum.

The Supreme Administrative Court decides directly in matters concerning the presidential election and also elections to the Parliament of the Czech Republic and the European Parliament.

In electoral matters, administrative courts are required to decide within strict time limits (typically twenty or thirty days).