Slovenia’s Supreme Court rejects the European Court of Human Rights

On Wednesday 24th of October the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia made a striking, indeed unprecedented, announcement. After a rather uncontroversial and routine ruling by the ECtHR, the Supreme Court has declared – in a mere press release and without any justification – that it respects only the rulings of the Strasbourg Court that it finds persuasive. In so doing, Slovenia hints at joining the regimes of Russia and Turkey.

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The Ljubljana Initiative for Re-Launching the European Integration

It is a sign of unconventional times when earnest people wish you a less exciting year 2017 compared to the one that has just, luckily, passed. Starting a new year, a less exciting one then, is an opportunity for reckoning about the past and for charting the plans for the future. For those who care about the project of European integration, these are no easy moments. By looking back we are reminded about the chain of crises that has been strangling the Union. By looking forward we cannot help ourselves but to wring hands at what is yet to follow. It is high time that this self-destructive European (indeed Western) narrative and, unfortunately, praxis were put to a halt. It is high time to present a positive alternative to the present status quo and to the populist decay. It is high time to re-launch the process of European integration.

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Slovenia constitutionally reloaded, but still failing

Some time ago this blog has lent itself as a platform for an intense debate on a systemic rule of law and democracy defiance in several EU Member States, most notably in Hungary. In that context, I contributed a short post on what I then called the de facto failed Slovenian democracy. I described a judicial process against the leader of the opposition, who was accused and convicted with the force of res judicata exclusively on the basis of circumstantial evidence for having accepted a promise of an unknown award at a vaguely determined time, at an undetermined place and by an undetermined mode of communication to use his influence, then as a Prime Minister, to have a military contract awarded to the Finnish company Patria. The ruling was confirmed by the Supreme Court and then appealed to the Constitutional Court. Two days ago the latter quashed the entire process.

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Pitfalls of the National Selection Processes of Judges to the ECtHR

Even though the selection process in the Council of Europe is quite rigorous and strict, it does not fully exclude the possibility of day-to-day politics interfering with the national selection process. The Council of Europe does not have much influence on the national selection procedures. Consider, for instance, the ongoing difficulties to select a judge on behalf of Slovenia.

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The Timing of Dialogue: Slovenian Constitutional Court and the Data Retention Directive

On 3rd July 2014, the Slovenian Constitutional Court struck down Articles 162 – 169 of the Act on Electronic Communications (ZEKom-1) which regulate data retention and were adopted in order to implement the Directive 2006/24/EC. The case is of interest not so much for the legal argumentation presented in the judgment but because of the positioning of the Slovenian court in the Europe-wide judicial response to the Data Retention Directive. In that sense, it’s a contribution to the discussion on the role of an individual constitutional court in a multi-level network of courts, especially in cases when a number of constitutional or other high courts in the member states are seized with issues stemming from the same piece of legislation.

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Slovenia: a de facto failed constitutional democracy

Apparent abuse and instrumentalization of law, through the actions and omissions of the judiciary, to eliminate particular political opponents and to consolidate political, economic, legal-institutional and finally overall social power in the hands in which it has rested so far, that is the old-new post-communist elite – indeed, this is happening in a country which used to be known as the best disciple among the new Member States of the European Union.

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Will Slovenia join Hungary and Romania as examples of constitutional back-sliding?

Just weeks from the election, the Slovenian opposition leader will be sent to jail on dubious corruption charges – unless the Constitutional Court intervenes this week. Slovenia will find itself in an unprecedented constitutional regression and join the notorious Hungarian and Romanian examples of apparent constitutional back-sliding.

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Der Strafprozess vom Opfer her gedacht

Als Frau W. 18 Jahre alt war, wurde sie von sieben Männern vergewaltigt. Als sechs der Täter deswegen zu Gefängnisstrafen verurteilt wurden, war Frau W. Anfang 30. Sie musste so lange auf die Bestrafung ihre Peiniger warten, weil die slowenische Justiz das Verfahren verbummelte. Dies hat Slowenien jetzt eine Verurteilung durch den Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) eingetragen: Der Staat, so der EGMR in einer am Donnerstag veröffentlichten Entscheidung, verletzt seine Pflicht, seine Bürger vor unmenschlicher Behandlung (Art. 3 EMRK) zu schützen, wenn er Vergewaltiger so lange nicht bestraft. Jetzt muss Slowenien Frau W. mit 15.000 Euro entschädigen.

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