Natisni vsebino

Justice Ministry proposes abolishing life imprisonment

08.09.2016 12:00
Category: work and news

The Justice Ministry has drawn up a legislative proposal abolishing life imprisonment. The main argument for the move is that the sentence has never been used.

The proposed changes to the penal code follow the principles of humanity and proportionality of punishment and are in line with the ban on torture while meeting international commitments, according to the ministry.

If the changes are passed, the maximum penalty under the Slovenian law will be a 30-year prison sentence.

Life in prison was signed into law during the first term of the Janez Janša government in November 2008.

The crimes punishable with this maximum sentence include genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes and aggression.

Life in prison can also be the punishment for those committing two or more acts of terrorism or murder, killing the Slovenian president, taking hostage or endangering persons under international protection, and for the worst types of crimes against Slovenia's sovereignty and its democratic and constitutional system.

The ministry believes that the introduction of life imprisonment had not been based on any solid arguments or need. The prison system has not been adjusted to the possibility of such a punishment either.

The ministry also argues that strict punishments are not what prevents crime but fast discovery of crime, efficient prosecution and trial.

The proposal has been welcomed by the Human Rights Ombudsman Office
and the Institute for Criminology. The State Prosecutor's Office and the Association of Slovenian State Prosecutors do not oppose the changes.

Four Supreme Court judges also presented their opinions. One judge supports the proposal while three judges oppose it, arguing that the reasons for the change has not been sufficiently clarified.

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