08 April 2022

Something Wicked This Way Comes

In den letzten 20 Jahren wurde eine Krise nach der anderen als Rechtfertigung für die Einrichtung eines umfassenden Überwachungsapparats angeführt. Währenddessen verloren Drittstaatsangehörige schrittweise ihrer Rechte auf Privatsphäre und Datenschutz, wodurch die Bewegung unschuldiger Personen in verdächtige, potenziell terroristische Aktivitäten umgewandelt wurde. Unter den wichtigsten Veränderungen im Informationsmanagement wird die Interoperabilität - die Fähigkeit von Informationssystemen, Daten auszutauschen - die tiefgreifendsten Auswirkungen auf das Recht auf Datenschutz haben und den "point of no return" markieren. Continue reading >>

Something Wicked This Way Comes

One crisis after another has been offered as a justification for the establishment of a comprehensive surveillance apparatus throughout the past 20 years, while third country nationals were gradually stripped of their rights to privacy and data protection, transforming the movement of innocent individuals into suspicious, potentially terrorist activities. Among the most significant changes in information management in the area of freedom, security and justice, interoperability – the ability of information systems to exchange data – will have the most profound effects on the right to data protection and as such marks the “point of no return”. Continue reading >>
27 August 2021

Slovenia’s Legal Farce with the Nomination of European Delegated Prosecutors

Slovenia is the only Member State participating in the European Public Prosecutor’s Office that has not yet made a single nomination for the positions of European Delegated Prosecutors. This post seeks to sketch the legal framework governing the appointment of the EDPs, explain how the blockade came about at the national level in Slovenia, and elucidate why no appointments from Slovenia can be expected for the time being. Continue reading >>
19 März 2021

Slovenia: Second Wave of Challenges to Constitutionalism

Slovenia had a very different experience in the first and the second wave of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. In the first wave, the number of infections and deaths per capita has been comparatively low and Slovenia was even identified as a “corona success story”. The second wave, however, has propelled Slovenia into the highest ranks of mortality per capita globally with the total of 162 deaths per 100,000 people from the beginning of the pandemic until 25 January 2021. The Government introduced stringent measures in Autumn 2020, including the complete ban on assembly and sale of non-essential items, the closure of educational institutions, a strict 9 pm - 6 am curfew, and the prohibition of movement across municipal borders. Continue reading >>
10 März 2021

A Dissident Letter from „Slovenian Dictatorship“

Exactly a year ago darkness has set on Slovenia. The process of constitutional erosion and decay has been let loose. This is the narrative that dominates in the political, economic and the most influential civil society circles which have wielded control in Slovenia over the last three decades. It is at this point, when everyone everywhere, including the academics, uncritically, without a degree of the prerequisite self-criticism and their own independent fact-finding, partake in the same, unequivocally shared narrative, that I taught myself to pause and take some distance from the frenzy of the masses. Continue reading >>
17 Dezember 2020

The Inviolability of National Centrals Banks as a Matter of EU Law

National authorities have to be extremely cautious in their dealings with National Central Banks in national investigations. Given the role of those in EU law, and their place within the EU legal order, today's judgment of the European Court of Justice should be seen as a stern warning to investigative authorities of the Member States. They must engage with the applicable EU institutions, prior to seizing documents of National Central Banks. Continue reading >>
25 März 2020

(Rule of) Law in the Time of Covid-19: Warnings from Slovenia

It is beyond question that radical limitations of a wide range of human rights are necessary to limit the spread of Covid-19, keep healthcare systems afloat, and help saving human lives. The aim of this contribution is not to argue against such measures per se. In spite of the gravity of the situation, however, any measures adopted to combat it must be adopted by competent bodies, following the procedure and under the conditions envisaged by law. In other words, rule of law concerns have to be fully respected. It is my concern that Slovenia has been failing this »rule of law in times of emergency« test. Continue reading >>
30 Januar 2020

Can Elections be Held under Unconstitutional Electoral Law?

After the collapse of the Slovenian government, a snap election will possibly take place in April. The Constitutional Court, however, had declared the electoral law partly unconstitutional. Could that throw the very constitutionality of the snap election into question? Continue reading >>
10 Juli 2019

Judges Depending on Judges

Since the beginning of 2018 the CJEU has finally been putting flesh on the bones of the EU principle of judicial independence. Most recently, the Court has been widely praised for its ruling against the Polish attempt of removing the, presumably, disloyal judges by a general measure of lowering their retirement age from 70 to 65. While the decision is indeed praiseworthy, it is nevertheless necessary to emphasize its notable doctrinal lacuna with potential negative practical implications – particularly in those EU member states with a weak democratic and rule of law tradition, a low degree of legal and political culture as well as with a small and tightly-knit legal elite. Continue reading >>
26 Oktober 2018

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. Continue reading >>
13 Januar 2017

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. Continue reading >>
25 April 2015

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. Continue reading >>
25 September 2014

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. Continue reading >>
10 September 2014

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. Continue reading >>
21 Juni 2014

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. Continue reading >>
14 Juni 2014

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. Continue reading >>
25 Januar 2014

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. Continue reading >>
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