Strasbourg, 3 March 2005

CCJE (2005) 21
English only

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

Questionnaire on theme “Justice and society”: Reply submitted by the delegation of Slovenia

A.1.
There are no special arrangements. The provision of information to the public (Ensuring that the work of the court is made public) is ensured by the court mainly on the basis of provisions: Court Rules, Media Act, Act on the Access to Information of Public Character (AAIPC), Courts Act and procedural laws.

Article 7 of the Court Rules provides:

“2. Ensuring that the work of the court is made public

The courts shall ensure that hearings are public in accordance with procedural regulations.

The court shall inform the public about its work and about its decisions and opinions which the public is interested in through publications and other public media, at press conferences or in another appropriate manner.

The court may inform the public about its work, findings and problems at press conferences.

The Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia shall issue important decisions in a collection of judicial decisions, and adopted legal opinions and legal principles in the Judicial Opinions of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia (see enclosure, Article 109 of the Courts Act).

Legally binding judicial decisions of the courts are accessible to the professional public under conditions determined by the administrator, through the judicial decisions database.”

In addition the courts report to the Ministry of Justice, and the Supreme Court of the RS also to the Parliament.

Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia provides: Court hearings shall be public. Judgements shall be pronounced publicly. Exceptions shall be provided by law.

Press resources used:

in addition to the instruments determined in the Court Rules, informative brochures (about the court, about special programmes), brief informative materials, and information offices (e.g. ADR programmes, Land Register) and the internet are also used for providing information to the public.

In addition the courts ensure the provision of the following information:
- annual and semi-annual work reports (duration of proceedings, delays, trends, specializations, difficulties or anomalies in enforcement of laws)
- risks connected with parties to court proceedings and results of lawsuits
- accessibility of individual programmes (e.g. the accelerated lawsuit programme at the Circuit Court in Ljubljana, alternative dispute resolution programme, free legal assistance programme etc.)
- important judicial decisions by the Supreme and Constitutional Courts

Such services are provided mainly by the courts themselves, partially also by the Ministry of Justice.

The judges’ professional society (SSD – Slovenian Judges Association) cooperates in communication with the public in projects which involve the judiciary or judges. The SJS also has a special public relations consultant. Thus in the case of the adopting of the Code of Judicial Ethics, the SJS informed the public about what kind of actions or behaviour can be expected from judges.

Public interest organizations and universities have no special role in providing communication services.

A.2.
Providing information to the public is performed on the basis of the above-listed laws and the Court Rules.

Court Rules, Article 7 to 20
Chapter: 2. Ensuring that the work of the court is made public

Article 7
The courts shall ensure that hearings are public in accordance with procedural regulations.

The court shall inform the public about its work and about its decisions and opinions which the public is interested in through publications and other public media, at press conferences or in another appropriate manner.

The court may inform the public about its work, findings and problems at press conferences.

The Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia shall issue important decisions in a collection of judicial decisions, and adopted legal opinions and fundamental legal opinions in the Legal Opinions of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia.

Legally binding judicial decisions of the courts are accessible to the professional public under conditions determined by the administrator, through the judicial decisions database.

Article 8
The courts shall monitor the reporting of the public media in their area and shall inform the public about their work and problems.

The court chairman shall be responsible for monitoring the public media and informing the public, or a person authorised by the chairman for public relations.

In providing information orally, the judge who is hearing the matter about which the public is being informed shall not participate.

Article 9
Information about matters before a court shall be provided in written form or exceptionally in well-publicized matters at press conferences only for journalists who have previously shown press cards.

Written announcements by the court shall be sent to the public media usually via the Slovene Press Agency or directly to the public media which cover the area for which the announcement is intended.

In issuing announcements to public media it shall be necessary to take into consideration provisions on the confidentiality of proceedings or their individual parts. The announcement must be composed such that it protects the reputation, privacy and business interests of the parties and other participants in the proceedings.

Article 10
In criminal cases the court shall make announcements about filed demands for investigations and about charges brought only after the procedural document has been tested and the defendant has been notified of this.

In exceptional cases the court shall issue an announcement before the filing of the demand for an investigation only in the most well-publicized cases, if the investigative activities are performed by an investigating judge and it is appropriate that the public be informed about the event and the measures.

The announcement shall include only data on the type of procedural document filed, the legal definition and the statutory designation of the criminal offence. The announcement shall be limited to only a general description of the event. It shall not contain information on parties, nor information which could damage the interests of the criminal proceeding. It shall also not contain information on the statements of persons whose statements shall be removed from the court file pursuant to procedural laws.

The announcement must contain a special notification of the phase which the criminal proceeding is in. The court may issue an announcement about the outcome of the case after the announcement of the verdict.

If the court issued an announcement about a criminal matter whose outcome in a proceeding with regular or extraordinary legal remedies was different from the original outcome, the court must each time issue a written announcement to the public media.

In proceedings against juveniles the announcement shall not contain information on the basis of which the identity of the juvenile could be assumed.

In criminal proceedings in which the public is excluded, the court shall issue an announcement before the announcement of the verdict only exceptionally, if it is a well-publicized case. The announcement shall not contain information about the perpetrator or the victim which could in any way enable the recognition of the persons connected with the criminal activity, the perpetrator or the wronged party.

The announcements shall not convey information about the judge who is hearing or who heard the case.

Article 11
If the verdict was not announced orally, the court shall issue an announcement to the public media only after the verdict is served to the parties.

Article 12
In issuing announcements to the public media about other matters the provisions of Article 10 of the Court Rules shall be applied appropriately.

Article 13
If a judge makes a public appearance, he shall express his opinion and appear on his own behalf.

If the judge makes a public appearance as a representative of the court, he shall express the opinion of the court.

Article 14
If it is determined that a public medium has issued information which is not in accordance with the announcement issued by the court, or that the information issued in the public medium does not objectively show the work of the court, the court chairman shall demand the issuing of a response or correction in the same or equivalent part or broadcast of the public medium in the same manner that the information was issued.

For reasons of response or correction, the court chairman may make a demand in writing for a review of sound and image recordings of broadcasts issued on radio or television.

Upon each taking of action pursuant to the provisions of the previous paragraphs of this article, the court chairman shall inform the Ministry of Justice.

If the court assesses that a response regarding legal principles is necessary in connection with the reporting of the public media, it shall notify the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia of this and propose that the latter should submit the response.

Article 15
Courts shall keep special records of announcements to public media: “Announcements to public media” (form SR no.1).

Courts shall keep special records of monitoring the reporting of the public media and measures taken by the court chairman in this connection: “Monitoring the public media” (form SR no.2).

Article 16
Judges shall officiate with parties and other participants only in hearings and scheduled conferences.

Article 17
In the framework of general provisions on work hours parties shall have access to judicial chambers and public records only during official hours.

Article 18
The courts shall announce on their notice boards: the annual work schedule and changes to it, schedule of judges in legal fields, rules for assigning cases to judges, official days and hours for parties to judicial proceedings and the schedule of main hearings and public appeals sessions, except in those cases in which the public is excluded.

The schedule of main public hearings, scheduled conferences and sessions of the senate with the participation of the parties, which shall be prepared weekly by the head of the judicial or department office, shall include: case number, date and time of the beginning of the public main hearing or senate session and the room number in which the hearing, scheduled conference or session will be held.

Article 19
Photographic, sound or sound and image recordings shall not be permitted in court buildings except at press conferences and in cases determined by law.

Media Act
RIGHT TO CORRECTION OR RESPONSE

Right to correction of issued announcement

Article 26
(1) Everyone shall have the right to demand that the editor shall publish free of charge their correction to an issued announcement by which their rights or interests were affected.

(2) The issuing of the correction may be demanded within thirty (30) days of the issuing of the announcement, or of the day when the interested party becomes aware of the announcement, if for objective reasons they could not become aware of it within the given time period.

(3) The expression announcement means the issuing of content which could affect the rights or interests of an individual, organization or body.

(4) The expression correction shall not only mean correction in the narrow sense, i.e. the correcting of asserted incorrect or false statements in the issued announcement, but also a statement of the events and circumstances which the affected party impugns or with the intention of impugning substantially supplements the statements in the issued announcement.

Article 27
The correction shall be issued without changes or supplements, in the same or equivalent place in the programme layout and issued in the same or equivalent manner as the announcement to which the correction refers. The correction shall not be disproportionately longer than the announcement or the part of the announcement to which it refers.

Right to response to issued information

Article 42
(1) The right to response is intended to ensure the public interest through the objective, universal and timely provision of information as one of the essential conditions of democratic decision-making about public matters.

(2) Everyone shall have the right to demand that the editor publish free of charge their response to issued information, in which with verifiable statements they deny, substantially correct or substantially supplement statements about the facts and data in the issued information.

Article 43
(1) The response must be issued without changes and supplements, except for spelling corrections.

(2) The editor shall have the right to demand the shortening of the response from the author before issuing said response.

(3) With regard to the response the provisions of Article 31 of this law shall be applied appropriately, provided that the editor may refuse to issue responses which are identical in content after one has already been issued.

(4) The editor may also refuse to issue a response in the case that the response includes false or unverifiable data or claims.

(5) If in the opinion of the editor only some of the data or claims are false or unverifiable, he shall not refuse to issue the response without first demanding that the author remove such data and claims from the response.

General provisions

Article 44
(1) In a procedure of judicial protection, with regard to the right to response the provisions of this section shall be applied appropriately with regard to the procedure in connection with the right to correction.

(2) Unless otherwise provided in this law, in disputes in connection with the issuing of a correction or response, the provisions of the Civil Procedure Act shall be applied appropriately.

In addition the Ministry of Justice and the Parliament shall also receive:
- annual and semi-annual reports from all courts
- annual report of the Supreme Court
- report of the Judicial Council on the efficiency of courts and judges

A.3.
The educational role of judicial decisions is manifested mainly through the acquainting of judges, lawyers and other legal professionals with the judicial practice of the courts (especially the higher courts and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia), published on the website of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia and on individual private websites.

The general public is poorly informed of judicial decisions, only here and there through media reports on the most well-publicized court cases.
Paragraph 5 of Article 7 of the Court Rules provides: Legally binding judicial decisions of the courts are accessible to the professional public under conditions determined by the administrator, through the judicial decisions database.

Under certain conditions the general public is informed about judicial decisions if justified interest is demonstrated for the obtaining of information in individual cases or trends. To this end the courts (the ruling judge or later the court chairman) may even allow them to review the court file. Justified interest among the media is determined on a case-to-case basis.

A.4.
As part of its education programme, the Law School of the University of Ljubljana schedules visits to the courts, attending hearings and writing research papers on this topic. Basic information on the operation of the judicial system and visits to the courts (main hearings) are also included in the curricula of individual specialized programmes at other faculties (e.g. the Faculty of Social Sciences, Academy of Administration etc.).

Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Court Rules provides: The court chairman shall be responsible for monitoring the public media and informing the public, or a person authorised by the chairman for public relations.
Two courts in the country – the Circuit Court in Ljubljana and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia – have organized public relations departments or media relations representatives. At the remaining courts this function is performed by the court chairmen, whose work is mainly oriented only towards media relations.

Public relations agencies are used to a minimal extent (in exceptional cases they are hired by the Chamber of Attorneys or e.g. the Chamber of Notary Publics for individual communications projects).
Educational methods: attending hearings, announcements in professional publications, role playing, open house days.

A.5.
There are no special “outreach programmes” or regular programmes. Such activities are performed on the initiative of individuals (lawyers, judges, professors).

It would conditionally be possible to include among such programmes the alternative dispute resolution programme which is carried out at the Circuit Courts in Ljubljana, Koper and Nova Gorica and in the framework of which the general public is informed/educated about alternative means of settling disputes.

A.6.
I am not aware of any theoretical studies in the field of outreach programmes.

B1
No special programmes.
Conditionally perhaps education in the psychology of resolving conflicts or e.g. settlement, which are organized by individual courts, could be included in this category.

The court chairman makes decisions about assigning free-of-charge legal assistance.

General information in connection with the courts is also available to parties in the courts’ information bureaus (usually located near the entrance).

B.2.
Court staff take part in carrying out such activities.

B.3.
I am not acquainted with any theoretical studies in this field.

C.1.
There are no special programmes.
Two courts in the country – the Circuit Court in Ljubljana and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia – have organized public relations departments or media relations representatives.
There is a joint website “sodisce.si”, which includes links to the websites of all of the courts of regular competence in Slovenia. On these sites one can find presentations of the courts, data on judges (names), lists of public hearings, public tenders, judicial practice, various forms, instructions for visitors to the courts, public announcements etc.
Informative materials and brochures published by some (few) courts are mainly intended for special programmes (e.g. the Programme of alternative dispute resolution through mediation).
The organized approach to educational activities is not well-developed. As stated, such activities are carried out on the initiative of individuals (lawyers, judges, professors). One of such activities was the staging of a civil hearing for 120 children, which was performed in 2003 on Civil Justice Day and organized by the Circuit Court in Ljubljana and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia, and e.g. mock mediations in the framework of Slovene Public Relations Representatives Days (Oct. 2003) or mock judicial proceedings with elementary school children.

C.2.
Such activities are mainly participated in by secondary school children, university students, and interested individuals (e.g. people interested in becoming mediators).

In accordance with procedural laws, the public must be excluded from proceedings against juveniles and in cases of family legal disputes. More on the exclusion of the public below.

C.3.
I am not acquainted with any theoretical studies in this field.

C.4.
Article 293 of the Civil Procedure Act provides: Public access to main hearings

Article 293
Main hearings shall be public.

Only persons of majority age may be present at hearings.

Persons present at hearings may not possess weapons or dangerous tools.

The provision of the third paragraph of this article shall not apply to the warders of people participating in the proceedings.

Article 294 of the Criminal Procedure Act provides: 1. Public access to main hearings

Article 294
(1) Main hearings shall be public.

(2) Persons of majority age may be present at main hearings.

(3) Persons present at main hearings may not possess weapons or dangerous tools, except the warden of the defendant, who may be armed.

Certain limitations are provided in all of the above-listed laws (Media Act, AAIPC), procedural laws (e.g. Article 294 of the Civil Procedure Act and Article 295 of the Criminal Procedure Act) and the Court Rules.

e.g. Article 294 of the Civil Procedure Act:

The senate may exclude the public from all of a main hearing or part of it if that is required for the protection of official, business or personal secrets, the public order or moral reasons.

The senate may also exclude the public if it can not ensure the unobstructed course of the proceedings through the measures for maintaining order which are determined in this law.

Article 295 of the Criminal Procedure Act

From the beginning of the session to the end of the main hearing, the senate may at any time pursuant to their official duty or on the proposal of parties, each time after their deposition, exclude the public from all or part of the main hearing, if this is necessary for protecting secrets, protecting the public order, moral reasons, protection of the personal or family life of the defendant or the wronged party or the well-being of a juvenile, or if in the opinion of the senate the public would interfere with the interests of justice.

Exceptions pursuant to the Media Act are defined in paragraph 4 of Article 45, which states:
Public officials can refuse to give them information only in the following cases:

- if the information requested in the prescribed manner is determined to be a state, military or official secret or a business secret

- if this would constitute a breach of the confidentiality of personal data pursuant to the law, except if their issuing could prevent more serious criminal actions or immediate danger to the lives of people and their property

- if it would interfere with a judicial or pre-trial criminal procedure.

Limitations (exceptions) pursuant to the AAIPC, when the body refuses the petitioner access to the requested information, are determined by points 7 and 9 of Article 6, which state:

7. data which was obtained or compiled due to or in connection with a criminal prosecution or a misdemeanour proceeding and whose disclosure could damage its execution

9. data which was obtained or compiled due to a civil, non-civil or other court procedure and whose disclosure could damage its execution

C.5.
Provisions which regulate the access of the media to judicial information include especially the provisions of Articles 7 to 20 of the Court Rules (see enclosure), and the other laws listed in response A.1.

In obtaining information the media usually refer to the Media Act, which in Article 45 provides:
Access to public information

Article 45
(1) State bodies, bodies of local communities, individuals who perform public functions, public institutes and public companies, and other legal or physical entities which perform public services (hereinafter: public officials), must give true, complete and timely information about questions from their field of work for issuing via the media.

(2) For issuing via the media, information can be gathered pursuant to this article by editors, journalists and other authors of programme contents.

(3) Public officials shall regulate the dissemination of information to the public through legal acts, and appoint an authorized person who ensures that their work is made public.

(4) Persons from the second paragraph of this article shall have the right to access to information under the same conditions.

(5) A public official who does not provide requested information must explain in writing the reason for his refusal at the latest by the end of the next work day, if this is demanded by the editor of a medium.

(6) A public official may request the compensation of the actual costs of the copy of the requested information.

(7) The author of programme contents who received information from the authorized person from the third paragraph of this article and the editor shall not be materially and criminally responsible for the accuracy of the contents in the issuing of said information. The public official who provides the information shall be responsible for the truth and accuracy of such information.

The Act on Access to Information of Public Character provides in Article 5:

(principle of free access)

(1) Legal or physical entities (hereinafter: petitioners) shall have free access to information of public character.

(2) Each petitioner shall have on their demand the right to receive from a body information of public character such that they shall receive it for review, or obtain a copy, photocopy or electronic copy thereof.

Information of public character shall include (Article 4):
Information of public character is information which originates in the field of work of the body, and is found in the form of documents, cases, files, registers, records or documentary materials (hereinafter: documents), which the body produced itself, in cooperation with another body, or obtained from another entity.

As mentioned, only two courts in the country – the Circuit Court in Ljubljana and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia – have organized public relations departments or media relations representatives. In both of the cases in question the media relations representative (spokesperson) is not a judge, but a graduate lawyer who has passed the Bar Exam.
According to the provisions of the Court Rules a judge may participate in the oral transmission of information, but never the judge who is hearing the case. Usually the court chairman or one of the representatives of the judicial administration (e.g. a department head) participates in the provision of information.

C.7.
Article 20 of the Court Rules regulates the question of recording visual images of main hearings:

The Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia may in exceptional cases allow the recording of individual main hearings in criminal proceedings. He shall decide on this with a written approval, with which the judge who is hearing the main hearing must be acquainted at least one day before the beginning of the main hearing.

The Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia may with a written approval limit the recording to the beginning of the main hearing or to the announcing of the verdict in individual criminal proceedings and limit the use of visual materials or recordings of the main hearing only to a one-time issuing or transmission in the public media in connection with information which the public media are transmitting to the public in said criminal proceeding.

Visual recording of the judge or members of the senate shall require their permission.

Despite the issuing of permission judges shall permit such recording only to the extent necessary for the proper informing of the public and in a manner which obstructs the course of the main hearing to the least possible extent.

C.8.
The Penal Code of the Republic of Slovenia regulates the most frequent criminal offences connected with honour and reputation (insult, defamation, offensive accusation and disparagement) in Articles 169 to 172. The range of foreseen penalties reaches from monetary fines to prison sentences of up to three years. The prosecution of such criminal actions begins with a personal lawsuit.

Penal Code
CRIMINAL OFFENCES AGAINST HONOUR AND REPUTATION
Insult
Article 169
(1) Whosoever shall insult someone shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to three months in prison.

(2) If the action from the previous paragraph is carried out in print, by radio, television or other means of public information or in a public assembly, the perpetrator shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to six months in prison.

(3) Whosoever shall make an insulting statement about someone in a scientific, literary or artistic work, in serious criticism, when performing their official duties, as part of journalistic work, political or other social activity, in the defence of any kind of rights or in the protection of justified benefits, shall not be punished if it can be seen from the manner of expression or from other circumstances that they did not do so with malicious intent.

(4) If the offended party returns the insult, the court may punish both parties or one of them, or waive punishment.

Defamation
Article 170
(1) Whosoever shall make a false statement or spread a false rumour about someone which could damage their honour or reputation, even though they know that what they are stating or rumouring is not true, shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to six months in prison.

(2) If the action from the previous paragraph is carried out in print, by radio, television or other means of public information or in a public assembly, the perpetrator shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to one year in prison.

(3) If that which is falsely said or rumoured is of such nature that it has serious consequences for the wronged party, the perpetrator shall be punished with up to two years in prison.

Offensive Accusation
Article 171
(1) Whosoever shall make a statement about someone or spread a false rumour which could damage their honour or reputation shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to three months in prison.

(2) If the action from the previous paragraph is carried out in print, by radio, television or other means of public information or in a public assembly, the perpetrator shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to six months in prison.

(3) If that which is said or rumoured is of such nature that it has serious consequences for the wronged party, the perpetrator shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to one year in prison.

(4) If they prove the truth of their statement or if they demonstrate that they had a justifiable reason for believing in the veracity of what they stated or rumoured, the perpetrator shall not be punished for offensive accusation, but may be punished for insult (Article 169) or for accusing of committing a criminal offence with malicious intent (Article 173).

(5) Whosoever shall make a statement or spread a rumour that someone committed a criminal offence, for which the perpetrator is prosecuted pursuant to official duties, the truth that the wronged party committed a criminal offence may be proved only with a legally binding judgement, and with other proof only when prosecution or passing judgement are not possible or not permitted.

(6) If the offensive accusation that the wronged party committed a criminal offence for which the perpetrator is prosecuted pursuant to official duty was made in the circumstances from the third paragraph of Article 169 of this code, the perpetrator shall not be punished for offensive accusation, even though there is no legally binding judgement, if they prove that they had a justifiable reason for believing in the veracity of what they stated or rumoured.

Disparagement

Article 172
(1) Whosoever shall make a statement or spread a rumour about the personal or family life of any person which could damage their reputation shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to three months in prison.

(2) If the action from the previous paragraph is carried out in print, by radio, television or other means of public information or in a public assembly, the perpetrator shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to six months in prison.

(3) If that which is said or rumoured is of such nature that it has serious consequences for the wronged party, the perpetrator shall be punished with a monetary fine or up to one year in prison.

(4) The truth or falsehood of that which is stated or rumoured about the personal or family life of someone else shall not be able to be proved except in cases from the fifth paragraph of this article.

(5) Whosoever shall make a statement or spread a rumour about the personal or family life of another during the performance of official duties, political or other social activity, in the defence of any kind of rights or in the protection of justified benefits, shall not be punished if they prove the truth of their statements or demonstrate that they had a justifiable reason for believing in the veracity of that which they stated or rumoured.

Stricter criteria are applied for the judgement of the responsibility of journalists in cases of persons who are not public officials. For public officials it is considered that by consenting to a public function they consent to a greater possibility of a review of their private life.

The Code of Obligations regulates these issues in the chapter on compensation for damages. Especially in the chapter on Compensation for Non-Property Damage in Article 178 the issuing of judgements or corrections is regulated:
In cases of violation of personal rights, the court may order the issuing of a judgement or correction at the expense of the violator, or order that the violator must retract the statement with which they committed the violation, or do something else by which it is possible to achieve the purpose achieved through compensation.
In addition, in Article 179 the Code also regulates monetary compensation:
(1) For suffering bodily pain, for suffering psychological pain due to the reduction of life activities, deformation, insult to reputation and honour etc., if the circumstances of the case, especially the level of pain and fear and their duration so justify, the equitable monetary compensation shall be independent of the restitution of non-property damages, even if there are no damages to property.

(2) The amount of compensation for non-property damage shall depend on the importance of the affected good and the purpose of the compensation, but shall not support tendencies which are not consistent with its nature and purpose.

C.9.
The issue of the professional ethics of the work of journalists are regulated by the Code of Journalists of the Republic of Slovenia adopted in 1991, which provides that the journalist’s fundamental obligation is to inform the public truthfully and not fictitiously.
The Media Act distinguishes between correcting incorrect and false statements and responding to statements about facts and information. The law thus separately regulates the right to the issuing of a correction1 (Article 28 and following) and the right to a response2 (Articles 42 and 43).

Yes, the police and public prosecutors (e.g. the heads of special prosecution groups occasionally hold press conferences). C.10 - no special statistics on the amount of compensation are kept, but the average amount of compensation in such cases is around SIT 3,000,000 (ca. EUR 12,500)

- the criteria for awarding the amount of compensation are the level and duration of psychological pain, the importance of the affected good, the purpose of the monetary compensation, the limitation that the compensation would not support tendencies which are not consistent with its nature and social purpose. According to foreign judicial practice, in cases of intentional violation with the express purpose of attracting a large number of buyers (obtaining a profit) such circumstances shall also be taken into consideration in determining the proper amount of monetary compensation
- the social status of the wronged party shall not be a criterion for determining compensation

Courts Act
Article 109
The Supreme Court shall ensure uniform judicial practice.

Each year, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia publishes a public report on the work of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia in the previous year, in which it assesses the execution of judicial authority.

C.11.
Legal protection for incorrect information is regulated by the Media Act in Articles 28 to 43. The effect of spontaneous rectification is not known, the consequence is probably lower (demanded/awarded) compensations.
In criminal law, Article 177 of the Criminal Code provides: If the perpetrator of a criminal offence from Articles 169 to 173 of this code is provoked by the indecent or crude behaviour of the wronged party or apologizes to the wronged party before the court, or retracts before the court that which was stated or rumoured, the court may waive punishment.

C.12.
In criminal law, possible punishments are determined in the already cited articles of the Criminal Code; Article 179 further provides: In sentencing for criminal offences from Articles 169 to 176 of this code, committed in print, on radio, television or other form of public information, the court may at the request of the wronged party decide that the judgement be issued at the convicted party’s expense in the same manner that the action was committed, in full or in excerpt.
It is also possible to seize the publication or forbid distribution.
It would perhaps be possible to consider as a form of preventative censorship temporary decrees in which e.g. a book is confiscated before its sale, or an article before publication.
The executive branch has no special role in supervision of the media.

C.13.
Even in the event of media campaigns against them, judges are bound by the rules of confidentiality and discretion.

Basic protection of judges in such cases is regulated by Article 14 of the Court Rules, which states:
If it is determined that information issued in a public medium is not in accordance with the announcement submitted by the court, or that the information issued in the public medium does not objectively show the work of the court, the court chairman must demand the issuing of a response or correction in the same or equivalent part or broadcast of the public medium in the same manner that the information was issued.
If the court assesses that a response regarding legal principles is necessary in connection with the reporting of public media, it notifies the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia of this and proposes that the latter should submit the response.

In certain cases of attacks on judges, a professional organization such as the Slovenian Judges Association (SSD) could also respond.
Article 4 of the Rules of the Slovenian Judges Association provide:
The purpose and tasks of the Association are above all:
- strengthening and protection of the independence of judges in executing judicial functions
- protecting the reputation, professional and other interests of its members

The Executive Commission of the SJS manages the operations of the Society, whereby it also:
- reviews proposals and accepts viewpoints at the request of members in cases where their independence in performing judicial functions is threatened or their rights and reputations are otherwise affected

Among the competencies of the Judicial Council, Article 28 of the Courts Act provides that the Judicial Council: - shall review and decide on the justification of complaints by judges who believe that their legal rights, their independent position or the independence of the judiciary have been violated.

D.1.
In Slovenia, judges feel obliged and are obliged by the law to adequately explain (in writing) all the criteria used and calculations adopted. In the case that an individual fact is not adequately explained, according to Slovene legislation that fact can be claimed in an appeal procedure and can represent an absolute substantial violation of the provisions of the procedure, due to which the higher court will overturn the judgement.

D.2.
I am not acquainted with any theoretical studies in this field.

Prepared by:
Maša Kociper, Media Relations Consultant, Slovenian Judges Association

1 For a definition of correction, see enclosure, paragraph 4, Article 28.
2 For a definition of response, see enclosure, Article 42.

 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Other documents