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Due Process of Law Recent Dawn Raid Practice in Slovakia Juraj Steinecker. Czech l aw f irm of the y ear (2011). No. 1 legal advisor according to the number of M&A deals in the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe ( 201 1 ). The largest law firm in the Czech Republic. Ranked by clients

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due process of law recent dawn raid practice in slovakia juraj steinecker

Due Process of LawRecent Dawn Raid Practice in SlovakiaJuraj Steinecker

Czech law firmof the year

(2011)

No. 1 legal advisor according

to the number of M&A

deals in the Czech Republic

and Eastern Europe

(2011)

The largest law firm

in the Czech Republic

Ranked by clients

as the best law firm

in the Czech Republic

No. 1 amongCzech

lawfirms

(2011)

agenda
Agenda

Dawn raids in Slovakia - Overview

First major case – Ševt(3Sžz/1/2011)

Second major case – AT Computer (4Sžz/1/2013)

  • Right to request explanation
  • Search of computers – right to be present?

General observations

d awn r aids basic framework
Dawn Raids – Basic Framework

“Standard” authorizations of Slovak NCA:

  • Enter business premises and vehicles
  • Inspect and copy documents
  • Search and copy hard disks
  • Request information
  • Seal premises
  • Enter private premises and vehicles (authorization by court)
supreme court evt 1
Supreme Court – ŠEVT1

Supreme Court disqualifies inspection of Slovak NCA

  • Deficiencies in the authorization to conduct an inspection
    • Uncertain legal qualification
    • Absence of official stamp, file no. and reasoning
  • No administrative file

Outcome:

  • Slovak NCA prohibited to search copies of hard disks seized during dawn raids
  • Administrative proceedings against undertaking discontinued
supreme court evt 2
Supreme Court – ŠEVT2

Legal privilege: failure & failed opportunities

Failure to address all challenged aspects of inspection

Application of administrative rules to inspection

Happy client – unhappy lawyer

supreme court at computer 1
Supreme Court - AT COMPUTER 1

Raising various issues in conducting dawn raids

  • Self-incriminating questions
  • Right to be present at the search of a hard disk

Disqualification of partial aspects of the inspection

No obligation on the part of Slovak NCA to explicitly inform the undertaking of its rights, e.g. right to legal representation

supreme court at computer 2
Supreme Court - AT COMPUTER 2

Authorization of Slovak NCA to request explanation

  • Strict limits during dawn raids
  • What kind of questions?

Several questions “go beyond or at least raise suspicion whethertheir aim is to safeguard the inspection”

On-spot explanations should not substitute witness questioning

No explicit mention of prohibition of self-incriminating questions

Consequences for Slovak competition law

supreme court at computer 3
Supreme Court - AT COMPUTER 3

Requesting explanations from an employee when searching his computer – procedural deficiency

Inspecting the computer of the employer during its providing explanations – no violation of basic rights?!

  • Supreme Court: Unless the documentation seized from the correspondence is of private character, the inspection is legal.

No mention of basic rights to protection of privacy & privileged documentation

How to check what Slovak NCA is doing when not being present?

supreme court at computer 4
Supreme Court - AT COMPUTER 4

Detailed review & concise decision

Ambiguous decision

Failed opportunities:

  • Self-incriminating questions
  • Privacy
  • Legal privilege
  • Procedural questions

Unhappy client & unhappy lawyer

general observations post at computer
General observations – post AT COMPUTER

Right to challenge inspection immediately

Quite few open and/or unaddressed issues

Next decision…?

comments questions thank you for your attention
Comments / Questions?Thank you for your attention !

Juraj Steinecker

juraj.steinecker@havelholasek.sk

tel.: +421 220 256 780