Entrepreneurs Are Again Voting for the Best and the Worst Act of the Year
"It will be interesting to see again what legal regulations will be selected by entrepreneurs from the shortlist in respect of the regulations' impact on their business."
- Tomáš Babáček,
Attorney at Law, Ambruz & Dark / Deloitte Legal
Prague, 18 March 2013 – One year on, Czech entrepreneurs are again selecting the best and worst legislative acts of the year. For the ACT OF THE YEAR survey, over 200 significant Czech business firms engage actively and also this year legal regulations adopted in the prior calendar year that have a significant impact on the Czech business environment were nominated for the survey. The goal of the survey is to foster discussion among Czech entrepreneurs, politicians and the professional public on the quality of legal regulations. The fourth year of the prestigious competition is being held by Ambruz & Dark/Deloitte Legal law offices in co-operation with their partners.
"The past year brought about a wide range of legislative changes with a significant impact on Czech entrepreneurs. Apart from the Amendment to the Public Procurement Act and the revolutionary re-coding of private law, the year-end was most interesting as the Czech Parliament voted on reforms, tax changes and church restitutions. Therefore, it will be interesting to see again what legal regulations will be selected by entrepreneurs from the shortlist in respect of the regulations' impact on their business," says Tomáš Babáček, Chairman of the Survey's Nomination Committee and attorney at Ambruz & Dark/Deloitte Legal, adding: "Even more important will be to see the competition between those general aspects of legal regulations that we try to highlight through our nominations and on which we facilitate the voting. As the whole survey's sense is to cultivate and enhance entrepreneurs' common view of what is essential for them in the legal environment and what is rather marginal. Moreover, the survey seeks to draw attention to what entrepreneurs should try to support by their activities, among other things also in relation to state administration."
When preparing the nominations, the Nomination Committee also drew into consideration tips sent in by the general public through the www.zakonroku.cz webpage and via Twitter. In determining five nominations for each of the "Act of the Year" and the "Pasquil of the Year" categories, the Committee took into consideration principally the expected practical impact and Czech entrepreneurs' experience relating to the application of particular legal norms. The Committee that includes thirteen members comprises primarily legal professionals from across the legal branch who are mostly attorneys and corporate lawyers, and other personalities.
"I am glad that this year the Association of In-House Lawyers could participate in the Act of the Year survey, as corporate lawyers aim for cultivation of the legal environment, of which the quality of legal regulations is one of the pre-requisites. The survey helped to draw attention to the fact that there is a diversity of opinions. This can be seen from the opinions of my colleagues, who have participated in the debate and whose nominations varied and sometimes mutually differed. Personally, I realised that there is one category that is missing, ie the "Non-Adopted Act of the Year". I feel the lack of an Act on State Service. And I dare to say that I am not the only person in this respect," said the President of the Association of In-House Lawyers and the Head of the Legal Section of Pražská energetika, Marie Brejchová.
"It was really hard to select among regulations that frequently represent both a step forward to the simplification of the legislation framework for the business environment, and at the same time are also a step backward. There are many new norms with good intentions; however, the form or their realisation through individual adopted regulations is worse. Therefore, arriving at a conclusion as to whether the relevant norm's contribution is positive or negative is difficult. Moreover, there is one thing that was clearly reflected by all panel participants – the opinion that any contribution to eliminate useless bureaucratic burdens for business is a step in the right direction and that in future legislators should pay attention to the quality of how such amendments are prepared and, if possible, that they are prepared enough in advance," adds another member of the Nomination Committee, Head of the Legal Department of Siemens, Richard Baček.
Under the rules of the ACT OF THE YEAR 2012 survey, generally-binding legal regulations of the Czech Republic and the European Union that came into effect in the prior year, such as the following: constitutional acts, individual acts, regulations issued by ministries, governmental decrees, and EU guidelines and provisions, can be nominated. The nominations can also relate to new international agreements that have an effect on the business environment in the Czech Republic.
In the category of "Worst Legislative Act of the Year", voters can select from legal regulations that ceased to be effective in the given year, principally because they were cancelled by the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic or the Court of Justice of the European Union. The authors of the nominated legal regulations presented in the survey include individual regulations' initiators and/or those who have significantly contributed to the given regulation's adoption.
The complete nominations and the results of the votes for the winners in the categories "Act of the Year" and "Pasquil of the Year" can be found on the Internet page www.zakonroku.cz. The voting procedure will be completed on 10 May 2013 and six days later (16 May 2013) the complete results will be published on the survey's webpage.
The survey's partners in this year are the Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Crafts of the Czech Republic, the British Chamber of Commerce, the Business for Society Platform, Czech Institute of Directors, the Confederation of Employment and Business Unions of the Czech Republic, the Pro Bono Alliance and the Association of In-House Lawyers of the Czech Republic (UPP ČR). The media partners are as follows: the C.H. Beck publishing house and the Beck-online legal information system, CSR Forum, Ekonom, Hospodářské noviny, iHNED.cz, Právní rádce, ProbyznysInfo.cz, PubliCon and Trade News.
In the best (and the worst) legislative act for the business environment in the Czech Republic for the year 2011 survey, the Act of the Year title was awarded to an EU guideline that significantly limits the delayed settlement of invoices as part of trade relations and the "Pasquil of the Year" was the State's unsystematic approach in penalising the use of the off-the-books method (Czech: "švarcsystém").
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