Judicial cooperation in criminal matters between member states of the European Union is regulated by Cooperation in Criminal Matters with the Member States of the European Union Act of 4.6.2013 (Official Gazette, No. 48/13, ZSKZDČEU-1), that entered into force on September 13, 2013 and implemented 16 EU framework decisions in the field of judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The Act was amended, with the Act Amending the Cooperation in Criminal Matters with the Member States of the European Union Act of 29.5.2015 (Official Gazette, No. 37/15, ZSKZDČEU-1A), that entered into force on September 18, 2015. With this amendment, the Republic of Slovenia implemented theDirective 2011/99/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the European protection order.
Slovenia has ratified the Convention established by the Council in accordance with Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union, on the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union of 29 May, 2000 and the 2001 Protocol thereto, which are directly applicable.
With the EU member states, that have implemented the above mentioned EU MLA Convention, all communication between the competent judicial authorities within MLA cases is mostly direct. Request for extracts from judicial records should still be transmitted to the MOJ. Furthermore the latter still provides help to practitioners (courts and prosecutor offices) with establishing the competent authorities, recommendation for the legal basis, if some problems in communications occur, in cases of emergency, with providing the information on the legal requirements (language, documentation to be submitted) of other counties when applying the particular framework decision, and similar.
Judicial cooperation in criminal matters with third countries is mostly regulated with Criminal Procedure Act of the Republic of Slovenia (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 32/12 - officially consolidated text, 47/13 and 87/14). The other acts that are also applicable in the MLA procedures are: - Criminal Code (Official Gazette, No. 55/2008 of 4.6.2008), - Minor Offences Act (Official Gazette, No. 29/11 – official consolidated text, 21/13, 111/13, 74/14 – dec. CC and 92/14 – dec. CC), - Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia; - General administrative procedures Act (Official Gazette, No. 24/09 – official consolidated text, 105/06-ZUS-1, 126/07, 65/08, 8/10 and 82/13);
- Courts Act (Official Gazette No. 94/07 – official consolidated text, 45/08, 96/09, 86/10 – ZJNepS, 33/11, 75/12 – ZSPDSLS-A, 63/13 in 17/15); - Court Rules (Official Gazette, No. 17/95, 35/98, 91/98, 22/00, 113/00, 62/01, 88/01, 102/01, 22/02, 15/03, 75/04, 138/04, 74/05, 5/07, 82/07, 16/08, 93/08, 110/08, 117/08, 22/10, 48/11 in 15/15); - Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions Act (Official Gazette, No. 110/06 – official consolidated text, 76/08, 40/09, 9/11 – ZP-1G, 96/12 – ZPIZ-2, 109/12 in 54/15); - Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime Act (Official Gazette, No. 91/11 and 25/14).
Competent Authorities for Judicial Co-operation
With reference to Article 50 of the Cooperation in Criminal Matters with the Member States of the European Union Act the competent issuing authorities are courts, State Prosecutor’s Offices or administrative authorities, againstthe decisions of which judicial protection before a court having jurisdiction also in criminal matters is permitted, as well as authorities competent for the execution of criminal sanctions.
The competent executing authorities for MLA are district courts in the area of which the act or measure is to be executed. If several courts have jurisdiction, territorial jurisdiction shall be vested in the court having jurisdiction to perform the first act or measure indicated in the request. If the court having territorial jurisdiction cannot be determined, the District Court of Ljubljana shall have jurisdiction.
If the request for legal assistance refers to the proceedings for minor offences, the local court in the territory of which the act or measure is to be executed shall have jurisdiction over legal assistance, even when a request is issued by an administrative authority of the requesting State.
If the request for legal assistance relates to ordering measures or the execution of acts for which various authorities are competent under the law of the Republic of Slovenia, the request shall be forwarded to the State Prosecutor’s Office having territorial jurisdiction, which shall order the measure or execute acts for which it has jurisdiction under the law of the Republic of Slovenia, and propose the ordering of the measure or execution of acts to a competent court.
In cooperation with third countries, the competent authorities with reference to Article 515 of the Criminal Procedure Act are as follows:
Petitions of domestic courts for legal aid in criminal matters shall be transmitted to foreign bodies through diplomatic channels. Foreign petitions for legal aid from domestic courts shall be transmitted in the same manner. In practice requests for MLA are mostly transmitted through MOJ as a designated central authority to the relevant multilateral instruments. If reciprocity applies or if so determined by an international treaty, international legal aid in criminal matters may be exchanged directly between the domestic and foreign bodies participating in the pre-trial procedure and criminal proceedings. In this, modern technical facilities, in particular computer networks and devices for the transmission of picture, voice and electronic impulses, may be used.
In emergency cases and on condition of reciprocity, requests for legal assistance may be sent through the ministry responsible for internal affairs, or in instances of criminal offences of money laundering or criminal offences connected to the criminal offence of money laundering, also to the body responsible for the prevention of money laundering.