On 14 April 2022, the EU-CoE Joint Project “Improving the juvenile justice system and strengthening the education and training of penitentiary staff in Slovenia” held its first roundtable to launch the development of a Research and Gap Analysis report which aims to identify the challenges and gaps in the existing national legal and policy framework for juvenile justice in Slovenia - with a focus on sanctions for juvenile offenders – to update the 2010 “Study on the treatment of juvenile delinquents in Slovenia”.
The first part of the meeting was led by international experts, who framed the project in the context of international and European standards highlighting relevant good practices of juvenile justice reforms in the region. The second part was led by local experts from the Institute of Criminology who presented the methodology for undertaking the Research and Gap Analysis report and then turned to a dynamic discussion with the stakeholders who shared their views on the features and main issues currently characterising the Slovenian system.
The discussion was structured according to the four main points addressed by the report: current trends in juvenile delinquency, criminal sanctions, criminal procedures and enforcement of criminal sanctions. The stakeholders emphasized, inter alia, the need for a more individualised approach to children in conflict with the law, the importance of shortening legal and administrative procedures, as well as taking into account the impact of new forms of crime on the system. Finally, all participants agreed that adequate human and financial resources are needed to fully achieve such objectives.
This dynamic exchange of views greatly helped to set a solid basis for the Research and Gap Analysis report. The Institute of Criminology is currently in the process of scheduling bilateral interviews with the stakeholders to gather further information that will feed into the first draft of the report which shall be submitted for review at the next Roundtable at the end of June 2022 (date TBC).