SANCTIONS AND REMEDIES
In September the Ombudsman held a three-day seminar entitled “Legal Remedies and Sanctions”. This was designed above all for the inspection services, who have a particularly important role to play in efforts to eliminate discrimination.
The first part of the seminar was devoted to activities designed to help recognise discrimination and confront prejudices, stereotypes and other forms and mechanisms of discrimination. In the second part, the participants deepened their understanding of key concepts and definitions, deriving from Community law and the relevant directives of the European Council. The third part focused on Slovenia's legal system, and in particular on certain open questions relating to practice in this area. These include the limits of the competences of individual bodies, the need for coordination among them, and the application (or otherwise) of the principle of shared burden of proof in individual procedures. We also considered the legal position of the victim of discrimination and of those who offer them (legal) aid.
The evaluation at the end of the seminar confirmed that the participants were satisfied with how the seminar was run, since its interactive approach contributed to greater awareness of the extent of discrimination. It also revealed a need for further education in this area. When actively addressing real cases of discrimination, participants expressed the need for more effective legislation, more clearly defined competences for inspectorates and increased powers for the Advocate for Equal Opportunities, which would contribute to the more effective elimination of discrimination in practice rather than merely on paper.