1. In your legal system, are there acts which fall within the notion of an authentic instrument as defined in the European Union regulations?
[‘authentic instrument’ means a document which has been formally drawn up or registered as an authentic instrument in a Member State and the authenticity of which:
(I) relates to the signature and the content of the authentic instrument; and
(II) has been established by a public authority or other authority empowered for that purpose by the Member State of origin.]
If so, what are they? Are these only notarial acts or also acts of other authorities?
This definition describes notarial acts and authenticated private instruments (private documents drafted by the parties according to a set of highly formal rules, examined and approved by the notary, rendering the same legal effects as notarial acts) under Croatian Law.
Certain other documents could fall within the scope of the definition as well, when prescribed so by the law – e.g. judicial protocols and protocols made by non judicial authorities on certain declarations.
Public wills can serve as an example of non notarial authentic instruments: Art. 32-33 and 146-150 of the Croatian Inheritance Act (https://www.zakon.hr) prescribe that public wills can be drafted by Municipal courts (judges or judicial counsels), civil law notaries and (for Croatian nationals abroad) diplomatic-consular representatives, all in line with the definition provided by the Successions Regulation.
Authentic instruments issued by authorities other than the civil law notary are an exception and exist only if prescribed.
2. In your legal system, does the authentic instrument have enhanced probative value? What are the rules that provide that?
3. Do all authentic instruments have the same enhanced probative value?
4. Enhanced probative value concerns:
- The date on which the authentic instrument was drawn up
- The place where the authentic instrument was drawn up
- The signature by the parties of the authentic instrument
- The parties’ declarations
- Any observation made by the authority within the limits of its competence
- The measures the authority declares to have taken
- Appearance, identification and consent of the parties
Authentic instruments assembled by notaries have to contain all of the abovementioned information because failing to mention any one of them would render the document invalid as notarial acts (authentic instrument in this sense). The notary also has to establish if the declaration is given in a certain capacity (e.g. legal representative of a company) and how this capacity was determined. As mentioned Ad 2), it can also contain an enforcement clause.
5. Enhanced probative value can be contested:
Before which authority: The court. Depending on the nature of the case, the competent court can be a municipal court (general jurisdiction) or a commercial court (jurisdiction in commercial civil matters).
According to which procedure (state the applicable rules): Civil litigation seeking to declare the authentic instrument partially or totally invalid. Art. 230 of the Croatian Civil Litigation Act prescribes that public documents are documents issued by a public authority within its field of competence, proving presumed veracity of facts that are indicated in the document. It is permitted to contest them by proving the indicated facts were poorly established, or that the document was poorly drafted.
Within what timeframe: The enhanced probative properties exist until established otherwise by the Court.
1. In your legal system, which authorities or delegates of public authority can issue authentic instruments in accordance with Article 3 (1) (i) of Regulation 650/2012?
2. Can you indicate which are the most common authentic instruments in the case of a succession to the estates of deceased persons and which authorities issue them?
3. Probative value of certain specific acts, for example the “acte de notoriété” in France and Italy
1. What types of family law instruments exist?