At its 7th session held on 19 November 1997, at which it deliberated the Annual Report of the Human Rights Ombudsman for 1995 and the Second Annual Report of the Human Rights Ombudsman for 1996, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, pursuant to Article 173 of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly, adopted the following
1. The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia has familiarised itself with the first regular annual report of the Human Rights Ombudsman for 1995 and the second regular annual report of the Human Rights Ombudsman for 1996.
2. The National Assembly found that in the two years it has been active the institution of the Human Rights Ombudsman has established its position to a considerable extent in accordance with the powers it has under the constitution and the law and has justified its existence.
3. The National Assembly supports the Human Rights Ombudsman in his efforts to encourage a general awareness, through his decisive measures and activities within the framework of his powers, that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is among the basic values of any democratic society.
4. The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia supports the assertion of the Human Rights Ombudsman that the functioning of the rule of law is unsatisfactory and that with regard to the shortcomings established in 1996 no appreciable progress has been made. Most of the problems connected with human rights, such as the excessive duration and ineffectiveness of numerous proceedings before state bodies, the incomplete legislation, the inadequate and complex possibilities for appeal against the actions of certain bodies, the social hardship of a considerable number of inhabitants of our country, and problems connected with Slovene independence, still exist and have even been intensifying of late.
5. The National Assembly will devote priority attention to dealing with legislation which the Human Rights Ombudsman has found not to provide a suitable basis for the work of the competent state bodies because it is not fully in accordance with the constitution or with ratified international agreements and with the new circumstances now prevailing in our society.
6. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia should analyse the assessments, findings, opinions and proposals of the Human Rights Ombudsman and, in its position of responsibility for the implementation of laws and other regulations and for the overall functioning of the state administration, adopt measures to remove the irregularities and shortcomings which the Human Rights Ombudsman has highlighted in his report.
7. In order to enhance legal certainty there is an urgent need to adopt measures and a programme to improve the effectiveness of the courts. As a measure in the normative field the National Assembly and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia must devote special attention and priority to dealing with regulations to bring about a reduction of matters resolved by the judiciary and a simplification of judicial proceedings. Those responsible for the administration of justice must contribute their share by taking a modern management approach and applying contemporary methods to ensure effectiveness, which must not, however, encroach upon the independence of judges.
8. Improving the effectiveness of and completing the new administrative system in the process of approximation to the European Union is one of the essential tasks in the area of the protection of the rights of individuals in their relations with the administration. The lengthy and ineffective procedures of the administrative bodies require consistent implementation of the tasks which are incorporated within the project to reform the public administration in the Republic of Slovenia.
9. The work of public officials needs to be oriented towards the user and, taking account of the recommendations of the Human Rights Ombudsman, in procedures for the exercise of their rights or justified interests clients must not only be guaranteed high quality services but also dealt with in a proper manner.
10. With the signing of international agreements and with incorporation into the European Union, our country has assumed the standards and criteria which apply in European Union countries to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Therefore in their activities in the field of the protection of rights and fundamental freedoms the state bodies must do everything to avoid the need for citizens to resort to international institutions and their supervisory bodies.
11. The Commission for Petitions of the National Assembly should examine both of the regular reports by the Human Rights Ombudsman and propose to the National Assembly, having regard also for its own role, experience and assessments, the priority tasks in the adoption and supplementation of the legislation which most concerns the position of individuals and their rights.
12. The Commission of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia with the responsibility for examining final judgements in respect of the eviction of tenants from military housing allocated in the period between 25 June 1991 and 18 October 1991 under the legislation then in force should start work as soon as possible. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia should report to the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on what has been accomplished in this area since the Commission was set up and report on the criteria which it applies in its work. At its next session this problem should be one of the matters dealt with by the Commission for Petitions of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia.
Janez Podobnik MD