On Friday 28 October, CILC marked the closing of the project “Improving consistency of sentencing in criminal proceedings in Slovenia”, supported by the State Prosecution’s Office in cooperation with the Center for International Legal Cooperation and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support – DG REFORM.
In Ljubljana, professionals from the Slovenian and Dutch prosecution services spoke at this event and celebrated the project’s achievements. Head of European Commission Representation in Slovenia, Ms Jerneja Jug expressed words of appreciation for the joint work, but also mentioned that “the event of today is not a closure, but just the beginning!”. Ms Jerneja also highlighted the importance of prosecutors playing a role in communicating with the public, as a means of encouraging the understanding of the important work that they do.
This project started in November 2020 and lasted for two years. During this time the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Center for International Legal Cooperation worked together successfully on reform of the justice system and the fight against corruption. Key topics for Slovenia, as the country is aiming to (a) improve the quality and efficiency of the judicial system and (b) gain public trust and confidence in its judicial institutions. The public legitimacy of judicial institutions like the State Prosecutor Office (SPO) are dependent on people’s perception of whether due process is followed. This project was designed to address specifically this: increasing consistency in the approach of proposing criminal sentencing at the SPO, and thereby increasing public awareness about the work and mandate of the SPO. All involved experts agreed that integrating fairness more systematically into criminal proceedings and communicating with the public are likely to improve the public perception of the legitimacy of the SPO.
CILC is proud to be given the opportunity to cooperate these past years with its Slovenian partners in conducting surveys, organising workshops, and drafting recommendations. Having engaged the right professionals to help increase public awareness about the work and mandate of the SPO is where CILC feels it made a valuable contribution. This EU funded project has ended, but CILC stays committed to assist Slovenia in improving its judicial system and to foster public trust and confidence in its judicial institutions.