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A Guide to the Republic of Slovenia Legal System and Legal Research

 

By Maja ?arni and Špela Košak

 

Maja ?arni holds a law degree from the University of Ljubljana (2003) and an LL.M. in European law from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2004). She is currently an employee of International Relations Department at the Ministry of Public Administration in Slovenia.

 

Špela Košak holds a law degree from the University of Ljubljana (2004) and an LL.M. in International law from the University of Helsinki (2005). She currently works as a legal clerk at the Higher Court in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

 

Published September 2006
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Political System

2.1 State

2.1.1. Legislative Power

2.1.1.1. The National Assembly

2.1.1.2. The National Council

2.1.2. Executive Power

2.1.2.1 The Government

2.1.2.2. The President of the Republic

2.1.3. Judicial Power

2.1.3.1. Courts of General Jurisdiction

2.1.3.2. Labour and Social Court

2.1.3.3. Administrative Court

2.1.3.4. The Supreme Court

2.1.3.5. Constitutional Court

2.1.4. Court of Audits

2.1.5. Ombudsman

2.2. Municipalities

3. Legal System

3.1. Sources of Law

3.1.1. Constitution

3.1.2. International Treaties

3.1.3. Laws

3.1.4. Case Law

3.1.5. Regulations

3.2. National Legislation

3.2.1. Bearers of Public Authorities

3.2.2. Regulations Issued by the Competent Ministers

3.2.3. Government Regulations

3.2.4. Procedure of Adopting Regulations in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia

4. Judicial Profession

5. Sources for Legal Research

5.1. Online Resources

5.2. Legal Publishers

5.3. Legal Journals

5.4. Miscellaneous

 

1. Introduction

With its 20,000 square kilometers and almost 2 million inhabitants, the Republic of Slovenia has enjoyed its independence only for a little more than a decade. It was a part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that fell apart in the 1990s in the cruel fights between the ethnic groups in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. As Slovenia is not as ethnically colorful as the other Federal states were, its secession was not as painful. After a 95% approval of the citizens in the referendum on December 23, 1990, Slovenia declared its independence on June 26, 1991. Although it had to face an invasion of Yugoslav armed forces, the war only lasted for 10 days and without the massacres that happened in the southern parts of the ex-Yugoslavia.

 

Slovenia shares its borders with Italy on the West, Austria on the North, Hungary on the Northeast and Croatia on the South and East. It also borders the Adriatic Sea to the Southwest. Geographically it lies on the borders of the Balkan Peninsula but historically it has always been connected to the Central Europe, being a part of Habsburg’s Empire for centuries.

 

On May 1, 2004 Slovenia became a full member of the European Union. At the moment of writing this article, Slovenia is already a part of MTC-2 (the new exchange rate mechanism of the European Monetary Union) and will adopt EURO as its currency on January 1, 2007. Until then it still has its own currency, Slovene Tolar (the parity exchange rate: 1 EUR = 239,640 SIT). In 2007 Slovenia will also became a member of the Schengen Agreement.

 

Slovenia became a member of the United Nations on May 22, 1992, a participating state to the OSCE on 24 March 1992 and joined the Council of Europe on May 14, 1993.

 

The official language in Slovenia is Slovene (a language that belongs into the Slavic language group). In the parts of the country by the borders of Italy and Hungary, in those municipalities where Italian or Hungarian national communities reside, the official languages are also Italian and Hungarian respectively (Art. 11. of the Constitution).

 

The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana (Art. 10 of the Constitution).

 

2. Political System

Slovenia is a democratic republic (Art.1 of the Constitution) and it endorses the parliamentary system of democracy. According to the Constitution, Slovenia has an “incomplete bicameral system”, meaning that the upper chamber (in Slovenian case the National Council) does not have equal competences with the lower chamber (in the Slovenian case, the National Assembly) but it only supervises the work of the lower chamber.  
 
It is also a territorially unified and indivisible state (Art. 4 of the Constitution). Slovenia is currently still organised in a two-railed system which means the national level and the local - municipal level to which self-government is guaranteed by the Constitution (Art. 9).
 
However, the idea of introducing the regional level was very strong in the past few years and it got even broader support when joining European Union in 2004. This resulted in changing the Constitution in order to facilitate the establishment of the regional level[i]. The National Assembly agreed on regulating the organization of regional level with a law, which is yet to be enacted. 

2.1. State

2.1.1. Legislative Power

2.1.1.1. The National Assembly

The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia is the supreme representative and legislative institution, exercising legislative and electoral powers as well as control over the Executive and the Judiciary.

 

Tasks of the National Assembly:
 

In its legislative power, the National Assembly:

  • adopts the Constitution and constitutional amendments,
  • adopts laws,
  • adopts other general acts,
  • adopts the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly,
  • adopts authentic interpretations of laws and consolidated texts of laws,
  • adopts the state budget, the revised state budget, and the annual financial statement,
  • ratifies treaties, and
  • calls referendums.

 

In its electoral power, the National Assembly appoints and dismisses:

  • the President of the Government and the ministers,
  • the President of Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly,
  • Constitutional Court judges and other judges,
  • the Governor of the central Bank,
  • members of the Court of Audit,
  • the Ombudsman, etc.

 

In its control power, the National Assembly:

  • orders parliamentary inquiries,
  • decides on votes of confidence and no confidence in the Government,
  • decides on the impeachment of the President of the Republic, President of the Government, and ministers before the Constitutional Court.

 

The National Assembly exercises control also through parliamentary questions.

 

In addition to the above three fundamental functions, the National Assembly decides on the declaration of war or state emergency, and on the use of armed forces. The National Assembly confirms the elections of deputies, and decides on the immunity of deputies and judges.

 

The National Assembly is composed of 90 deputies, of which 2 posts are guaranteed for the representatives of ethnical minorities (Italian and Hungarian). A deputy's term of office normally lasts four years.

 

National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia

Address: Šubi?eva 4, 1102 Ljubljana

P.O. Box: p.p. 636

Phone: +386 1  478 94 00

Fax: +386 1 478 94 45

E-mail: info@dz-rs.si

 

2.1.1.2. The National Council

The National Council (“the upper chamber”) is, in accordance with the Constitution, the representative of social, economic, professional and local interest groups. The forty-member National Council comprises 22 representatives of local interests, six representatives of non-commercial activities four representatives of employers and four of employees and four representatives of farmers, crafts and trades and independent professionals. All together there are 40 representatives.    
 

Powers of the National Council:

  • legislative initiative
  • presenting opinions to the National Assembly
  • suspensory veto on an adopted law
  • legislative referendum
  • parliamentary inquiry
  • to require the Constitutional Court to rule on the constitutionality of an adopted law

 

The National Council of the Republic of Slovenia

Šubi?eva 4
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia

Phone:  +386 1 478 9802
Fax: +386 1 478 9851

 

 

2.1.2. Executive power

2.1.2.1. The Government

The government is a collective body presided by the Prime Minister. Other members are the ministers responsible for a certain field of work. Currently the government is composed of 15 ministers heading the 15 ministries and 2 ministers heading the government offices. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia (RS) is the executive body and, at the same time, the supreme body of the state administration. Thus the function of the Government is twofold: executive-political and administrative. Its executive-political function involves mainly the execution of policies agreed by the National Assembly and the implementation of the laws and other regulations passed by the National Assembly. In accordance with the Constitution, with the laws and with other general acts of the National Assembly, the Government sets, directs and harmonises the implementation of state policies. As the highest body of the state administration, it issues regulations and passes legal, political, economic, financial, organisational and other measures, which are needed for development of the state and the regulation of conditions in all the areas of the state’s jurisdiction.
 
The Government of Republic of Slovenia
Gregor?i?eva 20-25 
1000 Ljubljana
 

Office of the Prime Minister

Gregor?i?eva 20, 25

1000 Ljubljana

Slovenia

Phone: +386 1 478 1000

Fax: +386 1 478 1140

E-mail: gp.kpv(at)gov.si

 

2.1.2.2. The President of the Republic

The President of the Republic represents the Republic of Slovenia and he is the commander-in-chief of its defence forces (Art.102 of the Constitution). The President is elected in direct, in general elections by secret ballot for a term of five years. 
 
The President of the Republic: 
·       calls elections to the National Assembly;
·       promulgates laws;
·       appoints state officials where provided by law;
·       appoints and recalls ambassadors and envoys of the Republic, and accepts the letters of credence of foreign diplomatic representatives;
·       issues instruments of ratification;
·       decides on the granting of clemency;
·       confers decorations and honorary titles;
·       performs other duties determined by this Constitution. 
 
Where required by the National Assembly, the President of the Republic must express his opinion on an individual issue.
 
If in the performance of his office the President of the Republic violates the Constitution or seriously violates the law, he may be impeached by the National Assembly before the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court decides either that the impeachment charges are justified or it dismisses the charges, and it may further decide on relieving the President of office by a two-thirds majority vote of all judges. Upon receiving a resolution on impeachment from the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court may decide that pending a decision on impeachment the President of the Republic may not perform his office.
 
Office of the President of the Republic
Erjav?eva 17
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
Phone: +386 1 478 12 22
Fax: +386 1 478 13 57
 

2.1.3. Judicial Power

Judges are independent in the performance of the judicial function (Art. 125. of the Constitution) and their office is permanent (Art. 129. of the Constitution; there are strong debates in the moment of writing, though, about abolition of the permanent function. The question is about motivating the judges to trial more cases and to reduce the number of cases waiting for the process. Namely, in 2006 judges still have to adjudicate cases from 1998 and newer. Due to that fact the Republic of Slovenia already lost some cases in front of the European Court for Human rights in Strasbourg for violating the right to a hearing within a reasonable time - Par. 1, Art. 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights.). The Constitutional provision on the direct participation of citizens in the exercising of judicial power (Art. 128. of the Constitution) is achieved by the institute of lay judges that sit in some panels as provided by law. In Slovenia there is no institute of a jury that passes verdicts of guilt; all the decisions are brought by the single judge or by the panel.

 

The Courts Act regulates the jurisdiction and composition of the Courts in Slovenia. In general, there are two different kinds of courts of first instance (43 County courts and 11 District courts) and 2 stages of appeal, first one being High courts (4) and the second one the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia. In same cases the rulings of the later can also be examined by the Constitutional Court. Beside the general civil and criminal courts there are several different types of specialized courts in Slovenia; their competences are defined by special acts and they proceed pursuant to special rules of procedure. Specialized courts (courts of specialized jurisdiction) have the jurisdiction ratione materiae and not ratione personae (there are no specialized courts for juvenile cases, for example). Specialized courts in the Republic of Slovenia are:

 

  • Labor and social courts with a High Labor-Social Court (appeals court for labor and social courts) and
  • Administrative Court of the Republic of Slovenia;

 

It is prohibited to establish extraordinary courts, as well as military courts in peacetime (Art. 126. of the Constitution).

 

It is in the domain of the Civil District courts and of the Labor courts to organize the legal aid for the people that can not afford to pay the costs of the legal procedure and their lawyers. The costs are paid from the budget, but the help is limited to the people which do not exceed the census of the legally determined minimal salary (Legal Aid Act of the Republic of Slovenia).

 

2.1.3.1. Courts of General Jurisdiction

 
1. Civil courts

The general civil jurisdiction lies on the civil courts. The rules regulating courtroom procedure are governed either by the Civil Procedure Act or Non-litigious Civil Procedure Act.

 

The courts of first instance are county and district courts. The jurisdiction between them is divided according to the subject of the trial.

 

In general the county courts are competent to adjudicate in the property-law related disputes, when the value of dispute does not exceed 2.000.000 SIT (app. 8.300 EUR), the disputes on trespassing, easement, real encumbrance and disputes on lease or tenancy relations.  Beside the civil department local courts are furthermore divided into:

 

  • legacy and non-contentious department;
  • enforcement of judgments department;
  • and land register department (Lend register is not entirely compatible with the actual state of the ownership in the country yet; namely the system of ownership has changed after the independence and all the socialized property has changed into the private property again, which has caused the amount of the registrations that could not be handled simultaneously. The delay is getting reduced, though). 

There is always one judge conducting proceedings and adjudicating or deciding in front of the Local courts.

 

On the other hand the district courts bring to trial the property-law related disputes, when the value of a dispute exceeds 2.000.000 SIT (app. 8.300 EUR), disputes arising from the family relations, copyrights, disputes relating to the protection or use of inventions and marks of distinctiveness or to the right to use a firm name, in disputes relating to the protection of competition, commercial/business disputes, and disputes arising from bankruptcy proceedings. District courts also have following departments:

 

  • Commercial claims department;
  • and Companies registry (register of commercial companies).

 

As a rule the District courts are constituted by a single Judge, except in the cases foreseen by the law. In such cases the courts sit as a panel in the composition of one judge and two lay judges. In the cases of commercial/business disputes, that is to say in the proceedings where the parties are companies, institutes, state or municipalities as legal subjects, as well as in the disputes concerning ships and sea navigation, bankruptcy proceedings and disputes concerning intellectual property (trialed by commercial claims department), the special rules lead the procedure and the court sits in the composition of three judges. In deciding in disputes on the rights of intellectual property, the District Court in Ljubljana has the exclusive territorial jurisdiction at the first instance, except for disputes between employers and workers in connection with inventions, forms of bodies, pictures, drawings and technical improvements.

 

Appeals are to be solved by Higher courts that sit in the panels in the composition of three judges: a president of the panel, a judge rapporteur and a member.

 

To review the rulings of the Higher courts, extraordinary legal remedies are possible, namely revision and request for protection of legality, both trialed by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia sitting in the composition of 5 judges. Revision is only allowed in claims exceeding 1,000,000 SIT and the request for protection of legality can only be presented by the Public Prosecutor Office.

 

The third way of reviewing a valid court decision is opening a new trial within the absolute period of 5 years.

 
2. Criminal Courts
The criminal procedure in Slovenia is a contradictory one with the strong influence of the “material truth” principle, which gives the judge an active position in the procedure and that is why Slovene criminal procedure is still rather inquisitorial (it has to be noticed, though, that the presumption of innocence is strictly followed). The criminal procedure law (governed by the Criminal Procedure Act) regulates courtroom procedure (together with the composition of the courts) as well as actions of the police and the investigational procedure in front of the court (the pre-hearing procedure).
 
In Slovenia there is no death sentence and the highest punishment foreseen by the Penal code is 20 years of imprisonment. 
 

The courts of the first instance are also here county and district courts. The jurisdiction between them is divided according to the severity of the punishment foreseen by the Penal Code for the committed criminal offence.

 

According to the Courts Act, county courts have jurisdiction in criminal matters to adjudicate at the first instance on criminal offences which are punishable by a fine or to a term of up to three years of imprisonment, except in matters of criminal offences against honor and reputation committed by press, via radio, television or other means of public information and to perform investigatory actions regarding these criminal offences.

Special department within county court is a department adjudicating minor offences. It is trialing according to a special procedure, the court of appeal in those cases is Higher Court.

In a county court, the proceedings are conducted and adjudicated or decided by a single judge, the same goes also for the investigation acts before the trial.

 

District courts have jurisdiction in criminal matters on criminal offences which are punishable by more than three years of imprisonment and to carry out an investigation or investigatory actions concerning those criminal offences; to perform preliminary proceedings and adjudicate at the first instance on criminal offences of minors; to decide at the first instance on the enforcement of a criminal judgment issued by a foreign court; to execute criminal judgments (of both, county and district courts); to decide about permission for the encroachment in human rights and fundamental liberties; to reach decisions in a non-trial panel (also in criminal matters falling within the jurisdiction of county courts); and to exercise supervision regarding the lawful and correct treatment of convicts, and supervision over detainees.

 

Beside the investigation department district courts also have a special department for the criminal offences of minors (if the defendant committed the criminal offence as a minor (until 18 years old) and was not yet 21 years old at the beginning of criminal procedure). The public in those procedures is excluded and the whole criminal procedure follows the special rules of conducts. The court sit as a panel in the composition of a judge for minors and two lay judges that are elected among professors, teachers, tutors and other persons having experiences with education of minors. Also higher courts and the Supreme Court have special panels in composition of three judges to decide about the appeals.
 
District courts sit as a panel in the composition of two judges and three lay judges when adjudicating criminal offences which are punishable by fifteen years or more of imprisonment and in the composition of one judge and two lay judges when adjudicating in other cases. Investigation acts before the trial starts are carried out by investigation judges. Non-trial panels (izvenobravnavni senati) in the composition of three judges decide without the hearing about the appeals against the decisions of investigation judges and judges of the county courts when performing investigation acts. 
 
Higher courts decide on the appeals in the panels composed by three judges. The appeal withholds the execution of the sentence and in case that only defendant files an appeal the verdict can not be changed in his detriment. 
 

The Supreme Court adjudicates at the third instance on regular legal remedies against the decisions of courts of the second instance. The panels of the Supreme Court in these cases are composed by five judges.

 

2.1.3.2. Labour and Social Court

Jurisdiction of the labor and social courts is determined by the Labor and Social Courts Act. They have the position of district courts at the first instance and their appeal court is High Labor-Social Court in Ljubljana. Appeals against rulings of the High Labor-Social Court as well as extraordinary appeals are trialed by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia. Both first instance courts sit in the panels in the composition of one judge and two lay judges (one of them being elected by the National assembly among employers/institutions and one of them being elected among employees/insurants for the fixed period).

 

Labor courts adjudicate disputes arising from the working relations between employers and employees, such as disputes concerning working contracts, beginnings and endings of working relations, etc. (individual labor disputes). Labor courts have also jurisdiction in collective labor disputes, such as validity and execution of collective agreements, accordance of the collective agreements with the law, accordance of the general acts of the employers with the collective agreements and laws, legality of the strikes, participation of the workers at the management, etc.

 

There is only one Social court with its seat in Ljubljana, although it also holds hearings in its external departments. It adjudicates the disputes arising from pension and disability insurance, unemployment insurance, health insurance, social and family incomes; it is competent to review legality of the acts issued by institutions dealing with the above insurances.

 
Labour and Social Court
Delovno sodiš?e v Ljubljani
Resljeva 14,  Ljubljana
1000 Ljubljana
Phone: (01) 232-51-96
Fax: (01) 432-82-31
E-mail: urad.dslj@sodisce.si
 

2.1.3.3. Administrative Court

The establishment, organization and function of the Administrative Court of Republic of Slovenia are governed by the Administrative dispute act. The Court is situated in Ljubljana and holds the external departments in Nova Gorica, Celje and Maribor.

 

In Ljubljana the workload is divided among five departments: Department for public finances; Department for property relations; Department for protection of constitutional rights; Department for environment, spatial planning and construction; Department for customs and other taxes. 

 

The administrative court ensures in accordance with the Administrative dispute act judicial protection of rights and legal interest of individuals, legal and other persons if they hold rights and responsibilities against decisions brought by administrative or other state bodies authorized by law.

This procedure is followed when the court decides: on legality of the final individual decision that is enacted by state bodies, self-government bodies or other bodies holding a public authorization; on legality of individual decisions and actions violating constitutional rights of an individual if there is no other legal remedy; on legality of regulations enacted by state bodies, self-government bodies or other bodies holding a public authorization so far as they regulate individual relations.

 

Administrative Court of Republic of Slovenia

“Upravno sodiš?e Republike Slovenije”

Tržaška 68a

SI-1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
Phone.:  01/ 47 00 100
Fax: 01/ 47 00 150

 

2.1.3.4. The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state. It functions primarily as a court of cassation. It is a court of appellate jurisdiction in criminal and civil cases, in commercial lawsuits, in cases of administrative review and in labor and social security disputes. It is the court of the third instance in almost all the cases within its jurisdiction. The grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court (defined as extraordinary legal remedies in Slovenian procedural laws) are therefore limited to issues of substantive law and to the most severe breaches of procedure.
 
Apart from administering justice (reviewing cases in its jurisdiction), the Supreme Court also determines most cases of disputes over jurisdiction between lower courts, grants the transfer of jurisdiction to another court in cases provided by law, and keeps records of the judicial practice of courts.
 

The Supreme Court takes care also for the uniform case law. To decide on questions related to the uniform practice of the courts the court sits in the panel in composition of all the judges of the Supreme Court (ob?a seja).

 

The Court is organized in seven departments:

Criminal Department, Civil Department, Commercial Lawsuits Department, Labor and Social Security Disputes Department, Administrative Review Department, Registry Department, and Department for International Cooperation.
 
 

Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia

»Vrhovno sodiš?e Republike Slovenije«

Tav?arjeva 9, 1000 Ljubljana

Phone: ++ 386 1 366 44 44

Fax: ++ 386 1 366 43 01

Franc Testen, President

Phone: ++ 386 1 366 42 00

Fax: ++ 386 1 366 43 01

 

2.1.3.5. Constitutional Court

On June 25, 1991 the Republic of Slovenia became an independent and sovereign State. The Constitutional Court of the former federal unit of the former Yugoslavia, which had been established in 1963 (on 5 June 1963 the first President and eight judges of the then Constitutional Court were appointed), thus became the constitutional court of the newly independent State. With new Constitution coming into force the Constitutional Court acquired new important powers and the position of the highest body of judicial power for the protection of constitutionality, legality and human rights.
 
In relation to other State bodies, the Constitutional Court is an autonomous and independent State body. It regulates its organization and work by the rules of procedure and other general acts. The existing organization is determined by the Constitutional Court Act, Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court and the Rules on the Internal Organization and Office Operations of the Constitutional Court.
 
The Constitutional Court is composed of nine judges, elected on the proposal of the President of the Republic by the National Assembly. The judges are elected for a term of nine years and may not be re-elected.  The President of the Constitutional Court shall be elected by the judges from among themselves for a term of three years. 
 
Most powers of the Constitutional Court are explicitly determined in the Constitution however, they may also be determined by statute:
 
According to the Constitution, the Constitutional Court decides:
·       on the conformity of statutes and other regulations with the Constitution, ratified treaties and with general principles of international law;
·       on the conformity of executive regulations and local community regulations with statutes;
·       on constitutional complaints stemming from the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by individual acts;
·       on jurisdictional disputes between the State and local communities and between the local communities themselves, between courts and other State authorities and between the National Assembly, the President of the Republic and the Government;
·       on the unconstitutionality of the acts and activities of political parties;
·       on appeals against National Assembly decisions on the confirmation of National Assembly Deputies' mandates;
·       on impeachment against the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and Ministers; 
·       issues an opinion on the conformity of a treaty with the Constitution in the process of ratifying such treaty.
 
Statute determines the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court to:
·       decide on appeals against National Council decisions on the confirmation of its members' mandate;
·       review the constitutionality of a referendum question concerning a legislative referendum, and the decision of the National Assembly not to call a referendum;
·       review the constitutionality and legality of a referendum question concerning a local referendum;
·       review the constitutionality and legality of a National Assembly decision on finding that conditions for the establishment of a municipality or a change in its territory are not fulfilled;
·       review the constitutionality of a National Assembly decision to dissolve a municipal council or dismiss a mayor.
 
Constitutional Court
Beethovnova ulica 10
P.O. Box 1713, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 1 477 64 00
Fax: +386 1 251 04 51
E-mail: info@us-rs.si
 

2.1.4. Court of Audits

The Court of Audit has been brought to Slovene legal system with the new Constitution. It is the highest body for supervising state accounts, the state budget and all public spending (art. 150 of the Constitution); it may audit any act on past operations as well as the act on the planned operations of public fund users. The Court of Audit cannot be categorized within any of the three branches of power, legislative, executive or judicial. The court is independent in the performance of its duties and bound by the Constitution and laws - its functioning is determined in the Court of Audit Act as well as in number of other laws dealing with functioning of public fund users. 
 
The Court has three members: a president and two deputy presidents; they are appointed for a term of nine years on a proposal from the President of the Republic by the National Assembly by majority vote of all the deputies in a secret ballot. In addition to the Members the Court of Audit also has a maximum of six Supreme State Auditors, who head the audit departments and have the status of public officials. They are appointed by the President of the Court of Audit for a term of nine years. The Court of Audit is accountable to the National Assembly and the public for the implementation of its tasks, it has the right and the duty to report on its audit findings. 
 

Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia

Ra?unsko sodiš?e Republike Slovenije
Slovenska c. 50, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone:
+ 386 (01) 478 58 88
Fax:
+ 386 (01) 478 58 91

 

2.1.5. Ombudsman

The institute of the human right ombudsman has been created in Slovenian law according to the Scandinavian model and has been created by the new constitution in 1991 (Art. 159 of the Constitution). His function is a constitutional category that does not fall under the executive, judicial or legislative branch of authority; it is therefore not part of any mechanism of authority, but rather acts as an overseer of authority since as an institution it restricts its capricious encroachment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In his work the Ombudsman is not only limited to handling direct violations defined as human rights and freedoms in the constitution, moreover, he may act in any case whatsoever dealing with a violation of any right of an individual arising from a holder of authority. He can intervene also in the case if unfair and poor state administration in relation to the individual. The Human Rights Ombudsman is elected by the Parliament upon the nomination made by the President of the Republic for the term of 6 years.

Before turning to the Ombudsman, all regular and extraordinary legal remedies have to be exhausted, except in cases where it would be useless for the petitioner to start or continue such proceedings, or if individuals would suffer great or irreparable damage in the meantime.

Among other means of acting, the ombudsman can request the Constitutional Court to review the constitutionality and legality of specific regulations or acts in the name of the applicant and with his authorization, or file a constitutional complaint about a rights violation. He can also submit suggestions for changes to statutes and other regulations to Parliament or the Government.

According to the Constitution Special ombudsmen for the rights of citizens may also be established by law for particular fields, but that provision has not been realized in the practice yet. The position and functioning of the institute of the ombudsman is regulated by the Human Rights Ombudsman Act.
 
Human Rights Ombudsman
“Varuh ?lovekovih pravic”
Dunajska 56, 1000 Ljubljana
Tel: + 386 (0)1 475 00 50
Fax: + 386 (01) 475 00 40
E-mail: info@varuh-rs.si 
 

2.2. Municipalities

According to the Constitution, municipalities represent self-governing local communities (art. 139 of the Constitution). The territory of a municipality comprises a settlement or several settlements bound together by the common needs and interests of the residents. A municipality is established by law following a referendum by which the will of the residents in a given territory is determined. The territory of the municipality is also defined by law. Currently Slovenia has around 200 municipalities (some procedures are in progress in time of writing; if it turns out all candidates fulfil the requirements, there will be 210 municipalities).
 
The competences of the municipality are either autonomous dealing with local affairs affecting residents or are delegated from the state level with the prior consent of the municipality. The state may by law vest specific duties within the state jurisdiction in the municipality, if the state provides financial resources for this purpose. The proper and competent performance of duties (delegated by the state) is supervised by the state, while the general acts enacted within the scope of autonomous competences can only be challenged before the Constitutional court.
 
The competences may vary also upon the status of the municipality. Already the Constitution itself determines a specific form of municipality – urban municipality. The conditions to attain the status and its competences are determined by law (Local Self-Government Act).
 
Municipality is defined as a community capable of meeting the needs and interests of its residents and to carry out other tasks laid down by the law. The community is considered to meet the requirements when it provides: complete elementary schooling, primary citizens’ health care, food shop and general store, municipal services (drinking water supply, removal and purification of waste water, electricity supply), postal services, financial services (bank), library, premises for local community administration (Art. 13 of Local Self-Government Act).  The lower limitation of number of inhabitants is 5000, exceptionally not less then 2000 in the case of special circumstances. 
 
The urban municipality (20 000 inhabitants minimum) in addition to the previously mentioned requirements needs to ensure at least 15 000 working posts, of which at least half must be in tertiary and quaternary activities and it is the geographic, economic and cultural centre of its gravitational area (Art.16 of Local Self-Government Act).
 
The main municipal bodies are municipal council, mayor and supervisory committee. The municipal councilors and mayor are elected in direct, general elections by secret ballot, municipal councillors for a term of four years.
 
The municipal council holds “the legislative” power, mayor and municipal administration an “executive” one, while supervisory committee supervises the municipal expenditure. 
 

3. Legal System

The Slovene legal system is a part of the continental legal systems with the strong influence of German law and legal order. As the territory of today’s Slovenia was a part of the Austrian Empire for a long time, the influence has rather historical roots. The law was transformed after the socialist models in the post war time when the territory joined the Yugoslav republic. The impact of the institutes such as socialized property, socialistic self-management, protection of workers and lower social class can still be found in the legal system today (such as denationalized procedures that are about to come to an end; social security system; special arrangements of the labor and social courts; etc.).

 

In 1991, after the favorable referendum on accession from Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991, Slovene assembly has enacted the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia which became the legal basis for its independence. The Constitution was adopted on December 23, 1991 and hereinafter the laws started to pass; until they were put into force, the old Yugoslav Republic and Federal laws and rules have been applicable. In this legislation activity the legislator followed the German model in a lot of the areas.

 

The legislation is still very vivid in Slovenia, it was especially necessary before joining European Union (with taking over aquis communitaire). Also the Constitution has been changed several times since it entered into force.

 

3.1. Sources of Law

3.1.1. Constitution

Slovenia has a constitution in the formal meaning of the word - it is written in a single document and it is the top of the Slovene legal system, hierarchically it is above the other legislative acts: the international treaties, laws and regulations. The Slovene Constitution regulates the foundations of the Slovene political and legal order. It is divided in 10 chapters:
 
·       General Provisions: are regulating the base of the Slovene independence with the provisions on the organization of the state, they define symbols, official language and the capital of the state.
·       The list of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: human rights are guaranteed to everyone, irrespective of national origin, race, sex, language, religion, political or other conviction, material standing, birth, education, social status, disability or any other personal circumstance; All are equal before the law. Furthermore, human rights and fundamental freedoms have to be exercised directly on the basis of the Constitution and they can only be limited by the rights of others and in such cases as are provided by this Constitution. The manner in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are exercised have to be regulated by law (and not other, lower acts). The list of the individual rights follows the lists in international documents, specially the European Convention of the Human Rights and reflects the former legal regulation with stressing the social and economical human rights (freedom of work, right to social security, right to health care, … ). In the Art. 64 Special Rights of the Autochthonous Italian and Hungarian National Communities in Slovenia are guarantied. The position and the rights of those communities are considered to be very brought and democratic. Among other they also can establish their own self-governing communities in the geographic areas where they live in order to exercise their rights. On the proposal of these self-governing national communities, the state can authorize them to perform certain functions under national jurisdiction, and have to provide funds for the performing of such functions. Moreover, the two national communities are directly represented in representative bodies of local self-government and in the National Assembly. On the national level that means that 2 places in the National Assembly are reserved for the deputies elected by these two communities. Furthermore, these deputies have the veto rights to the laws, regulations and other general acts that concern the exercise of the constitutionally provided rights and the position of the national communities exclusively.    
·       Economic and Social Relations: include more social and economic right, specially the right to property and rights connected to employment. Some of those provisions must be considered more as program provisions then rights, e.g. the provision that the state shall create opportunities for employment and work (Art. 66 of the Constitution), or that the state shall create opportunities for citizens to obtain proper housing (Art. 78 of the Constitution). Those obligations are meant to be politically and not legally binding (meaning that the state has an obligation to devote attention to solving these problems, but those provisions can not be enforced in front of the courts). 
·       Organization of the State
·       Self Government: provisions dealing with local government
·       Public Finance: provisions that are the base of the taxation, auditing and Slovene Central Bank. 
·       Constitutionality and legality
·       The Constitutional Court
·       Procedure for amending the constitution (described below)
·       Transitional and final provisions
 
In the Slovene Republic, the Constitution can be amendment by a Constitutional Act. The Slovene Constitution can be defined as an entrenched constitution meaning that there are special provisions governing its amendments which are stricter than the normal legislative procedure. This procedure has two stages. First stage begins with the proposal to initiate the procedure for amending the Constitution, which has to be made by twenty deputies of the National Assembly, the Government or at least thirty thousand voters. Such proposal is then decided upon by the National Assembly by a two-thirds majority vote of deputies present. In case of the rejection of the proposal the procedure stops here. On the other hand, if adopted, the second stage of the procedure is deciding upon the wording of the suggested amendment. Acts amending the Constitution are adopted with 2/3 majority votes of all the deputies. Furthermore, the people can also be included in the process of the Constitutional amendments: the National Assembly must submit a proposed constitutional amendment to voters for adoption in a referendum, if so required by at least thirty deputies. Such an amendment is adopted in a referendum if a majority of those voting voted in favor of the same, provided that a majority of all voters participated in the referendum (Art. 170 of the Constitution). A contrario; if the necessary votes are not obtained the amendments can not be adopted. 
 
Beside the Constitution (and Constitutional Acts as the means of amending the Constitution) the constitutional level of the legal acts in Slovenia also includes the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter Constitutional Charter). The Constitutional Charter is a “sui generis” constitutional legal act that meant a basis for the Slovene independence. Two of its provisions are especially important even today: It characterizes the Republic of Slovenia as a sovereign and independent state, defines the borders of the state.
 
The text of Slovene Constitution is available in the English, French, German, Italian and Hungarian languages (all of the texts are published in the web pages of the Constitutional Court).   
 

3.1.2. International treaties

In the Slovene Republic international law gets to be a part of the inner law after its incorporation in the Slovene legal system.  In principle, an international treaty has to be ratified and published in order to de directly applicable (Art. 8 of the Constitution). National Assembly ratifies treaties by a majority of votes cast by those deputies present, save where a different type of majority is provided by the Constitution or by law.
 
As for the hierarchy of the legal acts, laws must be in conformity with generally accepted principles of international law and with valid treaties ratified by the National Assembly, whereas regulations and other general legal acts must also be in conformity with other ratified treaties (Art. 153 of the Constitution). “Other ratified treaties” are treaties ratified by the Government, and those are, according to the Art. 75 of the Foreign Affairs Act, protocols, programs and similar acts that have been adopted for implementation of other adopted international treaties and which do not include new obligations.
 
The Constitutional court has a special role supervising the conformity of laws and other regulations with ratified treaties and with the general principles of international law on one hand and the conformity of the international treaties in the process of ratifying with the Constitution on the other hand. Namely, in the process of ratifying a treaty, the Constitutional Court, on the proposal of the President of the Republic, the Government or a third of the deputies of the National Assembly, have to issue an opinion on the conformity of such treaty with the Constitution. The National Assembly is bound by the opinion of the Constitutional Court (Art. 160 of the Constitution). 
 
There is a difference, though, when taking a look at the legal acts adopted by the European Community. As in the other member states also in Slovenia the Community law has supremacy over the national law. In order to adjust the legal order to that Community principle, before entering in the European Union, Slovenia had to change the Constitution. In 2003 the Constitutional act added 3a article to the Constitution which provides in the third paragraph, that legal acts and decisions adopted within international organizations to which Slovenia has transferred the exercise of part of its sovereign rights are applied in Slovenia in accordance with the legal regulation of these organizations. 
 

3.1.3. Laws

Laws/acts (zakoni) are the main general law acts in a law system. Hierarchically they are subordinated to the Constitution and International treaties signed and ratified by the National Assembly and have to be in accordance with them (the principle of constitutionality). The laws are adopted by National assembly according to the procedure described below (sector 4.2.4.). 
 
In Slovenia there are no different types of laws (as there are, e.g. in federal states; federal laws and state laws) but in practice also a type of law called code (zakonik, kodeks) is used. This term is used for the laws that systematically and entirely govern the legal regulation of a large area of social life. However, they are not above the other laws - if there is an antinomy between a codex and a law, the usual principles of the legal explanation are to solve the conflict. Slovene has several codes, such as Penal code and Civil code.
 
Laws have to be published in the Official Gazette and they enter into force on the fifteenth day after its publication unless otherwise determined in the act itself.
 

3.1.4. Case law

In Slovene legal system case law is not recognized as a source of law, but it often happens that it represents one with the power of its arguments. That means that in practice lower courts often use precedents in judging cases, not because they were obliged to but because they like the argumentation of the decisions. When applying to the term case law in Slovene legal area one should not have in mind the meaning of the term that is used in Anglo-American legal system but rather the collection of the decisions made by the courts. One of the functions of the Supreme Court of Slovenia is also to take care also for the uniform case law.
 

3.1.5. Regulations

Regulations and other general legal acts must be in conformity with the Constitution, laws and also with all the ratified treaties. They can be both general and individual, they are issued by government, ministries, local communities and other bearers of public authority. Regulations must be published prior to coming into force. A regulation comes into force on the fifteenth day after its publication unless otherwise determined in the regulation itself. State regulations are published in the official gazette of the state, whereas local community regulations are published in the official publication determined by the local community. The legislative procedure is described below (3.2.1., 3.2.2., 3.2.3.).
 
The Administrative court is having jurisdiction to review administrative acts and to decide the legality of final individual acts with which state authorities, local community authorities and bearers of public authority decide the rights or obligations and legal entitlements of individuals and organizations, if other legal protection is not provided by law for a particular matter.
If other legal protection is not provided, the Court also decides on the legality of individual actions and acts which intrude upon the constitutional rights of the individual.

3.2. National Legislation

In compliance with the legislative regulation in the Republic of Slovenia, legal acts are adopted and issued by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia as the legislative authority, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and individual ministers within the executive branch of power, and the bearers of public authorities to whom public powers for implementation of certain state administration functions are granted by the law. The procedures for the adoption of legal acts differ depending on which of the above stated entities is adopting or issuing them.

 

3.2.1. Bearers of public authorities

In compliance with Article 121 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, self-governing communities (municipalities and regions), enterprises and other organizations may be granted public powers by the law for implementing certain state administration functions. Public powers may also be implemented by issuing general acts that may have the same effect as the public law, which means that their norms are binding for all the entities concerned. The procedure of issuing such acts is not as formalized with respect to its legislative regulation as is the case with other authorities, because these are mostly general acts issued by particular organizations whose activities are not as manifold as are those of the state administration, and they are not the representatives of different interests as reflected in the coalition structure of the Government, and are not the subject of political confrontation and discourse, which are the prime characteristics of legislative authorities. The main task of these organizations is thus professional implementation of public powers granted to them within the regulatory framework.  Considering the above, these cases hardly involve formal standardized procedures that would be as highly structured as those of legislative decision-making or decision-making at the Government's sessions. Within the legislative regulation of the Republic of Slovenia, public agencies should be mentioned in the first place as the bearers of public authorities that are granted the power of issuing general acts with the capacity of regulations. The actual examples below are given in illustration and confirmation of the above:

 

a) The Post and Electronic Communications Agency as an independent authority is authorized by the Electronic Communications Act to regulate by general acts certain matters whose main framework is determined by the law. Such acts are issued by the Director of the Agency on an autonomous basis. The procedure of issuing such acts is not determined either by the law or any other regulation;

b) The Securities Market Agency as an independent regulatory body is responsible for issuing several general acts under the Securities Market Act. These general acts are issued by the Agency's Council, consisting of nine members. The procedure for their adoption is practically non-regulated, except for the majority vote required for their adoption;

c) The Agency for Energy is an independent authority under the Energy Act and also implements several regulatory tasks in the field of energy. The procedure of adopting general acts by the Agency's Council is not regulated (except in the part requiring the majority vote of all Council members for the adoption of general acts as determined by the Public Agencies Act).

 

However, the procedure of adopting such acts may be determined in more detail by the rules of procedure of the bodies adopting these regulations, but these are internal acts and not regulations regulating such matter. General acts on the execution of public powers are published in the Official Gazette and in certain cases (for example, under the Energy Act), the consent of the Government is required in the issuing of these acts, and the latter also has the power to suspend their implementation if it believes them to be contrary to the law or in disagreement with the Constitution, and to institute the relevant proceedings before the Constitutional Court.  

 

3.2.2. Regulations issued by the competent ministers

Within the legislative regulation of the Republic of Slovenia, standardized procedures determined and applicable to the issuing of regulations on the part of the ministers exist only to a limited extent. First, the Constitution requires the issuing of any such regulation to have a statutory basis, meaning that primary normative regulation by the executive branch of power is not allowed. The ministers may thus issue regulations only when there is an explicit statutory basis or when they estimate that their regulation is necessary in order to implement the provisions of a certain law.

 

The procedure of issuing a regulation within the Ministry is not regulated and indeed, no regulation is needed, because any given case involves an individual decision of the responsible minister. It is another question, however, when and what kind of regulation should be issued. Such decisions depend on the particular ministries and on the relation between expert services and political function, which, however, is not the subject of prescribed standardized procedures. Formally, the procedure of issuing ministerial regulations is regulated only in the following respects:

 

·       Any such regulation must be submitted for inspection to the Government Office for Legislation to examine it in terms of its conformity with the Constitution, laws, EU regulations, and in terms of regulatory compliance and technical accuracy (not in terms of relevance of its contents). If the Head of the Office considers a minister's regulation to be in disagreement with the Constitution, law, another regulation of a National Assembly or a governmental regulation, he informs thereon the minister concerned. If the minister insists on the publication of such a regulation, the Head of the Office informs the Prime Minister and proposes suspending the implementation of the published regulation,

  • Any such regulation must be submitted to the Ministry of Public Administration to be examined in terms of reducing administrative burdens. If the sponsor of the law fails to take into consideration the respective comments, the Government decides on the issue in dispute,
  • The Government may suspend the implementation of such regulation if it believes that it is in disagreement with the Constitution, law or its regulation.

 

Finally, it should be mentioned that even in the case of ministerial regulations, the coordination among several ministries may at times be indispensable – even more so when a certain regulation is issued jointly by several ministers or when it is issued by one minister in agreement with another one.

 

3.2.3. Government regulations

Like ministerial regulations, the government regulations must also have a regulatory basis, but their issuing procedure is essentially different from the issuing procedure on the part of the ministers. Government is a collective authority and all ministers are responsible for its work. On the other hand, the government is also a place where different coalition interests collide for the first time and where the most important decisions are drafted and adopted. For the above reasons, the procedure of issuing regulations and adopting other decisions is highly formalized and elaborated in detail in the governmental rules of procedure. These Rules of Procedure determine in detail the method of processing any material (including the drafts of regulations) undergoing the governmental procedure. In summary, this procedure could be described in the following way: first, the governmental rules of procedure determine in detail the elements that any material undergoing the government procedure must contain (among other things, assurance of the proposer[ii] on the conducted impact assessment of the proposed decisions on public financial resources, conformity with the EU acquis, reduction of administrative burdens and public administration, judicial authorities, economy, environment and social situation of individuals). Furthermore, the governmental rules of procedure require all material to be coordinated with the ministries and government offices concerned before they are submitted for the governmental procedure, and all drafts of regulations to be coordinated with the Ministry of Finance and the Government Office for Legislation. Non-coordinated material may proceed into the governmental procedure only if it could not be coordinated or if thus required by the urgency of the procedure.

 

The governmental rules of procedure thus determine a 14-day period for inter-ministerial coordination and a further 5-day period available to the Office for Legislation and the Ministry of Finance for their repeated opinion if the stage of inter-ministerial coordination produced changes in the submitted material. All government material is then published in the information system of the Government. Ministers and directors of government offices responsible directly to the Prime Minister may submit their respective comments within three days after its publication, oppose the procedure, and the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Administration and the Government Office for Legislation may in certain cases demand the extension of the before stated period available for the submission of comments to nine days. The procedure of processing such uncoordinated material is continued after the notification of the successful coordination or its failure. As a rule, the material is then processed by a responsible working body of the Government and at a Government's session. The decisions of the Government may also be taken at correspondence sessions. When and what will be decided on at a correspondence session depends mostly on the Prime Minister.

 

3.2.4. Procedure of adopting regulations in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia

The main responsibility of the National Assembly lies in adopting laws regulating social relations, rights and obligations of the nationals and other persons and in providing the basis for further normative regulation. The legislative procedure in the Republic of Slovenia is determined in detail by the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly.

 

First it should be noted that in the majority of cases, the proposer of legislation in Slovenia is the government. A draft law may also be submitted by a deputy, the National Council, or at least 5.000 voters, but the percentage of these proposals is very low. This means that a vast majority of the laws undergoes not only the procedure as laid by the parliament’s rules of procedure, but also the procedure described under the preceding point.

 

A draft law in the National Assembly undergoes three stages in the legislative procedure. The first reading includes a general debate on the reasons for the adoption of the law and on the principles, goals and basic solutions of the draft law. However, it should be emphasized that this stage is not obligatory and takes place only if requested by at least 10 deputies (out of 90). During this debate the National Assembly decides whether the draft law is appropriate for further reading or not. In the latter case, the legislative procedure is terminated.

 

The second reading of a draft law is first held within the working body responsible of the National Assembly. In this stage, individual articles of the draft law are debated and amendments are tabled. Amendments to a draft law may be tabled by deputies, a deputy group, certain working bodies and the Government – but the latter only where it is not itself the proposer of the law. After the discussion on amendments and articles, a supplemented draft law is drawn up by including all the adopted amendments. Such text is then discussed by the National Assembly as a whole. In this stage, an amendment may be tabled to those articles of the draft law to which amendments were adopted by the working body responsible. Amendments may be tabled by a deputy group, at least ten deputies, or the Government where it is not itself the proposer of the law. If amendments to less than a tenth of the articles of the supplemented draft law have been adopted during the second reading, the National Assembly may decide that it will continue with the third reading of the law at this same session.

 

In the third reading, the National Assembly debates and votes on the draft law in its entirety. In this stage, amendments may be tabled to those articles to which amendments have been adopted in the second reading. Amendments may be tabled by the proposer of the law or a deputy group or the Government where it is not itself the proposer of the law. After the debate and vote on amendments, the National Assembly votes on the draft law.

 

The parliament’s rules of procedure provide also for a shortened and urgent procedure for the adoption of a law. The proposer of a law may propose shortened procedure in the event of minor amendments to the law, less demanding harmonization of the law with other laws or with the law of the European Union, or amendments to laws related to decisions of the Constitutional Court. Urgent procedure for the adoption of a law may only be proposed by the Government in the interests of the security or defense of the state, or in order to eliminate the consequences of natural disasters, or to prevent consequences regarding the functioning of the state that would be difficult to remedy. The merits of these two procedures are reduced time limits determined for the regular legislative procedure and implementation of all stages of the legislative procedure at one and the same session.

 

When a law is adopted, it comes into force by its promulgation on the part of the President of the Republic of Slovenia and by its publishing in the Official Gazette. However, the Slovenian regulatory framework provides for two exceptions: under the first one, the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia (herein after the National Council) may vote on a suspensive veto against the adopted law. In consequence, the National Assembly has to decide again on the law as a whole and adopt it by the absolute majority of the votes cast in contrast to the regular procedure where the adoption is granted by the majority of votes cast by the deputies.

Our legislative regulation includes the possibility that the National Council, one third of deputies or at least 40.000 voters request that the adopted law be reconsidered on a subsequent referendum. If such a request is given, the National Council is obliged to call such referendum. This results in delaying the enactment of the law by several months – especially when the request is submitted by the voters. In this case, the initiators of referendum (supported by the signatures of at least 1000 voters) must be given a time limit by which they have to collect the required 40.000 signatures of voters (30 days). Here it should be mentioned that in Slovenia, in principle a referendum might be called in respect of any law. The only exception is when it would cause unconstitutional consequences, which, however, are decided on by the Constitutional Court.

 

4. Judicial Profession

There are 2 law faculties in Slovenia, one in Ljubljana (created in 1919) and another one in Maribor (created in 1975). Both of them offer also post-graduate studies; the field of the studies varies every year. Both are also included in the Erasmus program of the European Union.  The Ljubljana Law faculty’s library offers some 118.000 titles and access to some databases as Ius info. The faculty also has the United Nations Depository Library DL-27 in the framework of the Institute for international law and international relations. It mostly contains the documents, monographic and serial publications and other UN materials. Borrowing of the materials is on disposal free of charge for all the citizens of Republic of Slovenia. Maribor Law faculty’s library contains some 32.000 titles, free access to Ius info, Lexis Nexis, European Review of Contract Law and INIS Database.

 

Students can enter the law faculty after they have successfully passed the matriculation (matura) at the end of high school - gymnasium (4 years). Normally, students start studying with 19 years, they have 4 years of studies and 1 additional year to prepare the final thesis (the system is about to change, though, since Slovenia is entering the 3 + 2 system of the Bolonia reform). After finishing all of the exams and presenting their final thesis to the commission of the professors, they are awarded with the title “univerzitetni diplomirani pravnik / uni.dipl.prav. ” (Bachelors).

 

Studies may continue with 2-years masters program, which end with master thesis and awards the title “magister / mag.”. This level will be abolished after the full integration of Bolonia process. The last level of academic education is and will stay the doctorate which takes additional 2 years. The awarded title is “doktor / dr.” (P.H.D.).

 

Slovene libraries’ databases - COBISS

 

University of Ljubljana

Law faculty

Poljanski nasip 2,

1000, Ljubljana

Tel.: + 386 1 42 03 100
Fax: + 386 1 42 03 115

Secretariat: + 386 1 42 03 113

E-mail: pf-dekanat@pf.uni-lj.si

 

University of Maribor

Law faculty

Mladinska 9,

2000, Maribor

Tel.: +386 (0) 2 250 42 00  

FAX.: +386 (0) 2 25 23 245

E-mail: info.pf@uni-mb.si  

 

Recognition and Assessment of Education

Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Education Recognition Unit

Trg OF 13

1000 LJUBLJANA

Tel.:  00 386 1 478 47 45)

Fax.:  00 386 1 478 47 24)

E-mail: naric.mszs@gov.si

 

In order to be a lawyer in Slovenia, in principle one only needs a degree from one of the law faculties in Slovenia, but in order to practice some specific law professions (such as judge, attorney-at-law, state prosecutor, notary) or to represent clients in front of some courts one needs also the State’s law exam. Before taking that exam a graduated lawyer needs to work for two years in practice, one of them needs to be obligatory in the court as a trainee. For that purpose the higher courts in Slovenia prepare paid and unpaid internships. The state’s exam is composed out of two parts, written (to write one verdict in criminal and one verdict in civil matter) and oral part (knowledge of the law system and laws in all the legal areas).

 

To become an attorney-at-law it takes furthermore 5 years of work as an “attorney-at-law candidate” in a legal office after passing the State’s law exam. Attorneys-at-law are connected in a bar association that has to approve the new members. The bar association registers the candidates on the list of attorneys-at-law and keeps the register of the foreign attorneys-at-law that can practice law in Slovenia; they have to be citizens of any European Union member state, speak actively Slovene and (among other conditions) show the knowledge of Slovene legal system by passing an exam. It is not possible to found a law firm in Slovenia, the lawyers have to act in their own name. The list of registered lawyers can be found on the web pages of the bar.

 

The notary is a public service, notaries are drawing up public and privet documents and they assure legal protection at making contracts and other legal transactions. Notaries are appointed by the Minister of Justice. They are represented in the notary chamber

 

The interests of the Republic of Slovenia and some other state’s institutions before domestic, foreign and international courts are represented by State attorney’s office.

 

Judges are elected by the National Assembly on the proposal of the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council is composed of eleven members; five of them being elected by the National Assembly on the proposal of the President of the Republic from among university professors of law, attorneys and other lawyers, and the other six members are elected by judges holding permanent judicial office from among their own number. Among other conditions the candidates for judges have to be lawyers with the state’s law exam, with at least 3 years of work in law after the exam and at least 30 years old. Judges are independent in the performance of the judicial function and their office is permanent. Judicial office is not compatible with office in other state bodies, in local self-government bodies and in bodies of political parties, and with other offices and activities as provided by law. Judges are protected by the immunity; according to the Constitution, no one who participates in making judicial decisions may be held accountable for an opinion expressed during decision-making in court.  Furthermore, if a judge is suspected of a criminal offence in the performance of judicial office, he may not be detained nor may criminal proceedings be initiated against him without the consent of the National Assembly.

 

State Prosecutors file and present criminal charges and have other powers provided by law. The State Prosecutor General is appointed by the National Assembly on the proposal of the Government, the other, on the other hand, the others are appointed by the Government on the proposal of the Minister for justice, and their function is permanent. The organization of State Prosecution office follows that of the courts: State Prosecutor General (the head of State Prosecution office), Supreme State Prosecutors, Higher State Prosecutors, District State Prosecutors and State Prosecutor’s assistant.

 

 

Bar Association of Slovenia

“Odvetniška zbornica Slovenije”

Pražakova 8, 1000 Ljubljana

Phone: ++ 386 1 300-34-20, 1 300-34-21

Fax: ++ 386 1 300 34 32

E-mail: odvetniska.zbornica(at)moj.net

 

Notary Chamber of Slovenia

”Notarska zbornica Slovenije”

Tav?arjeva ul. 2, 1000 Ljubljana

Phone: ++ 386 1 439-25-70

Fax: ++ 386 1 434-02-47

 

Bailiffs Chamber of Slovenia

»Zbornica izvršiteljev Slovenije«

Stegne 21, 1000 Ljubljana

Phone: ++ 386 1 513-10 68

Fax: ++ 386 1 513-10 68

 
Law Society Ljubljana (Pravniško društvo v Ljubljani) 
 
Law society Maribor 
Pravniško društvo v Mariboru 
Mladinska ulica 9
2000 Maribor
E-mail: info.pdm@uni-mb.si.
 

Šubi?eva ulica 2

SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1244 1000

Fax: +386 1244 1040

E-mail: vlozisce.dprs@dp-rs.si

 

Supreme State Prosecutor General

Dunajska cesta 22
1511   Ljubljana
Phone: + (0) 1 434 19 00
Fax: +(0) 1 434 19 36

 

5. Sources for Legal Research

5.1. On-line Resources

IUS INFO - IUS INFO / EURO IUS INFO is the most elaborate tool for searching legal materials in Slovene. It has databases of laws and regulations, decisions of Higher courts, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional court; articles, legal opinions, legal dictionaries, register of legislation, ect. and legislation of the European Union. European Union law databases are also accessible in English, but most of them are only accessible with the password obtained by the paid registration. Besides the wide coverage the biggest quality of Ius info is an easy searching engine that makes the system the unique one in Slovene. They update their bases frequently and it is also used by Slovene courts and Public administration. 
 

Ius Software

Tivolska 50, 1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 431 22 66

Fax: +386 1 433 93 92

 

URADNI LIST - The Official Gazette publishes the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia weekly (in principal), and from 1.1.2006 it also has the on-line version of the Gazette, that has the same content, setting up and is published at the same time as the paper version. Very useful database is accessible without registration and free to all but unfortunately only in Slovene in the time of writing. The documents are accessible in the PDF format.

 
Register of legislation - The register of laws, regulations, international treaties, opinions of the Human Rights Ombudsman and other relevant legal sources that (eventually) directs the user to the full version of the text at the Official Gazette’s web pages. The register is organized according to the legal areas and is only in Slovene language in the time of writing.  
 
Parliament database - National Assembly has a database of the adopted legislation from 1996 on. It consists of the following databases: Consolidated Texts of Laws, Adopted Laws, Draft Laws - draft laws submitted for discussion in the current term of the National Assembly, Readings of Laws - End of Procedure, Draft Acts, Readings of Acts, Draft Ordinances, and Readings of Ordinances - End of Procedure. Database has also a searching engine, not as elaborated as the previous ones, though, and it is only available in Slovene in the moment of writing.
 
Case law of the Constitutional Court
 
Case Law of the Supreme Court and the Higher Courts (in Slovene only)
 
Slovene laws in English
 
CONSTITUTION
 

GV IN - Slovenian Business Intelligence - It is more a business than a law database, but useful when dealing with legal facts affecting companies. It has the most complete business coverage in the country for the last 10 years. Information are daily updated.

 

5.2. Legal publishers

Although the most publishers publish legal literature among the other literature, there are several more or less specialized legal publishers in Slovene (most of the web pages are not accessible in English yet):
 

URADNI LIST – založba

E-mail: prodaja@uradni-list.si  

 

GV ZALOŽBA, založniško podjetje, d. o. o.

Dunajska cesta 5,

1000 Ljubljana  

 

CODEX IURIS Zavod za pravne raziskave Maribor

Vodnikov trg 4,

2000 Maribor

E-mail: info@codex-iuris.com 

 

ZALOŽBA LEGAT, d.o.o.

Savska cesta 10,

4248 Lesce

Phone:+386 4 531 88 48

Fax:+386 4 530 20

E-mail: zalozba-legat@siol.net 

 
NOVA REVIJA
?asopisno in založniško podjetje, d.o.o.
Dalmatinova 1, p. p. 1705, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone:
+ 386 (01) 433 43 06,
Fax: + 386 (01) 433 42 50
E-mail: info@nova-revija.si
 
Ljubljana Law Faculty - publications 
 

5.3. Legal Journals

PRAVNA PRAKSA

Probably the most read law review, published weekly.

 

PODJETJE IN DELO

Law review for company (business), labor and social law.

 

PRAVNIK

Review for law theory and practice issued by Association of Law societies Slovenia.

 

THE SLOVENIAN LAW REVIEW (SIR)

It is the first Slovenian legal review which publishes articles in foreign languages and is issued by the Ljubljana Law Faculty. 

 

DIGNITAS
M
ainly dedicated to human rights protection; it also publishes current translations of the important decisions of European Court for Human Rights and their comments as well as the comments of the Constitutional court decisions.

 

REVIJA JAVNA UPRAVA

Legal review for public administration published by the Institute for public administration at Ljubljana Law Faculty four times a year.


Inštitut za javno upravo pri Pravni fakulteti v Ljubljani
Poljanski nasip 2,
1000 Ljubljana
Phone:
+ 386 (01) 42 03 178,
Fax:
+ 386 (01) 42 03 175

 

ZBORNIK ZNANSTVENIH RAZPRAV

Scientific gazette of the Ljubljana Law Faculty.

CEDOEX

 

PAMFIL

Legal review published by students of Ljubljana Law faculty.

 

REVUS

Review for European constitutionalism, issued two times in year by Gospodarski vestnik.

5.4. Miscellaneous

 

Television

 

Banks

·       NLB

·       A- Banka

·       SKB banka

·       Nova KBM

·       Banka Celje

 



[i] The Constitution allowed the establishment of the regional level, but it predicted an integration of municipalities on a voluntary basis, which turned out to be impossible to organize.

[ii] Proposer - that is the word taken form the official Slovene translations of the Government regulations. It supposed to mean the one who "proposes the law to be adopted" to the Parliament or to any other organ responsible for the legislation (the initiator). The word was not changed because the acts are also using it and we wanted to avoid the vagueness.