• Katja FilipčičEmail author
  • Mojca M. Plesničar


The Slovenian juvenile justice system has for the most part resisted modern punitive trends in dealing with juvenile offenders. The welfarist tradition remains strong, even though dealing with adult offenders has taken a more punitive route. Slovenia has experienced a steady decline of recorded juvenile crime. Most offences (about 60 %) fall into the category of property crimes, and the proportion of violent crimes have been dropping steadily and now amount to about 6 % of all juvenile crime. The age of criminal responsibility is set at 14 years of age. There are no separate courts for juvenile offenders; they are tried at regular courts by specialized juvenile judges. In practice, generally less than a third of juvenile cases, reported to the police, end up with a court-imposed sanction. The reason for the stark difference is the options that the prosecutors and juvenile judges may dismiss the case because of the expediency principle or to refer it to mediation or other forms of diversion. The court cannot apply the procedure for adult offenders and cannot impose the sanctions for adults, notwithstanding the severity of the committed crime. In about 98 % of all juvenile cases, an educational measure is chosen as the appropriate sanction. When deciding on which of the six educational measures to apply, the only criterion for the court is the juvenile offender’s resocialization and in no way the seriousness of the offence. Imprisonment is extremely rare for juveniles; less than 2 % of offenders are sentenced to juvenile imprisonment.


Juvenile justice Slovenia Welfarism Rehabilitation Educational measures 


  1. Ambrož, M., & Plesničar, M. M. (2009). Slovenia. In A. Weyembergh & V. Santamaria (Eds.), The evaluation of European criminal law: The example of the framework decision on combating trafficking in human beings (pp. 301–313). Brussels: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles.Google Scholar
  2. Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). (2008). Report to the Slovenian Government on the visit to Slovenia carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). Strasbourg. Retrieved from
  3. Dünkel, F., Grzywa, J., & Pruin, I. (Eds.). (2009). Juvenile justice systems in Europe—Current situation, reform, developments and good practices. Mönchengladbach: Forum Verlag Godesberg.Google Scholar
  4. Enzmann, D., Marshall, I. H., Killias, M., Junger-Tas, J., Steketee, M., & Gruszczynska, B. (2010). Self-reported youth delinquency in Europe and beyond: First results of the Second International Self-Report Delinquency Study in the context of police and victimization data. European Journal of Criminology, 7(2), 159–183. doi: 10.1177/1477370809358018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Filipčič, K. (2006). Welfare versus neo-liberalism: Juvenile justice in Slovenia. In J. Junger-Tas & S. H. Decker (Eds.), International handbook of juvenile justice (pp. 397–414). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Filipčič, K. (2010a). Slovenia. In F. Dünkel, J. Grzywa, P. Horsfield, & I. Pruin (Eds.), Juvenile justice systems in Europe: Current situation and reform developments (pp. 1263–1286). Mönchengladbach: Forum Verlag.Google Scholar
  7. Filipčič, K. (2010b). Slovenia. In F. Bailleau & Y. Cartuyvels (Eds.), The criminalisation of youth: Juvenile justice in Europe, Turkey and Canada (pp. 211–229). Brussels: VUBPress.Google Scholar
  8. Filipčič, K. (2015). Slovenia. In F. Dünkel, J. Grzywa-Holten, & P. Horsfield (Eds.), Restorative justice and mediation in penal matters: A stock-tacking of legal issues, implementation strategies and outcomes in 36 European countries (Vol. 2, pp. 847–874). Mönchengladbach: Forum Verlag Godesberg.Google Scholar
  9. Filipčič, K., & Prelić, D. (2011). Deprivation of liberty of juvenile offenders in Slovenia. The Prison Journal, 91(4), 448–466. doi: 10.1177/0032885511424393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Flander, B., & Meško, G. (2016). Penal and prison policy on the “Sunny Side of the Alps”: The swan song of Slovenian exceptionalism? European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 1–27. doi: 10.1007/s10610-015-9299-1
  11. Leskošek, V. (2015). Revščina otrok—izziv za zaščito ekonomskih pravic otrok. In K. Filipčič & A. Šelih (Eds.), Otrokove pravice v Sloveniji: Sedanje stanje in izzivi za prihodnost. Ljubljana: Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti.Google Scholar
  12. Meško, G., & Bertok, E. (2013). Mladoletniška kriminaliteta in mladoletniško nasilje: Ugotovitve evropske študije o prestopništvu in preventivnih dejavnostih: Priporočila za prakso. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za varnostne vede.Google Scholar
  13. Perrodet, A. (2002). The public prosecutor. In M. Delmas-Marty & J. R. Spencer (Eds.), European criminal procedures (pp. 415–458). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Petrovec, D., & Muršič, M. (2011). Science fiction: Opening prison institutions (The Slovenian penological heritage). The Prison Journal, 91(4), 425–447. doi: 10.1177/0032885511424394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Petrovec, D., & Plesničar, M. M. (2009). Perception of female criminality through sentencing. In G. Meško & Kury (Eds.), Crime policy, crime control and crime prevention—Slovenian perspectives. Ljubljana: Tipografija.Google Scholar
  16. Petrovec, D., & Plesničar, M. M. (2014). The societal impact and role of imprisonment: An example from Slovenia. In E. Carroll & K. Warner (Eds.), Re-imagining imprisonment in Europe: Effects, failures and the future (pp. 71–89). Dublin: Liffey Press.Google Scholar
  17. Plesničar, M. M. (2012a). Slovenska ureditev pogojnega odpusta v luči sodobnih razvojnih trendov. Revija Za Kriminalistiko in Kriminologijo, 63(2), 136–148.Google Scholar
  18. Plesničar, M. M. (2012b). How to deal with overcrowding? Presented at the Re-imagining Imprisonment in Europe (Scribani conference), Dublin.Google Scholar
  19. Plesničar, M. M. (2013). The individualization of punishment: Sentencing in Slovenia. European Journal of Criminology, 10(4), 462–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Plesničar, M. M., Tepina, P., & Vrtačnik, U. (2006). The Slovenian judiciary: A guide through Slovenian courts. Slovenian Law Review, 3(1/2), 209–239.Google Scholar
  21. Strban, G. (2015). Socialne pravice v dobrobit otroka: Povečanje ali zmanjšanje njihovega obsega v času recesije? In K. Filipčič & A. Šelih (Eds.), Otrokove pravice v Sloveniji: Sedanje stanje in izzivi za prihodnost. Ljubljana: Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti.Google Scholar
  22. Stropnik, N. (2013). Investing in children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage—A study of national policies: Slovenia. Brussels: European Commission. Retrieved from
  23. Šugman Stubbs, K. (2008). Criminal procedure in Slovenia. In R. Vogler & B. Huber (Eds.), Criminal procedure in Europe (pp. 483–539). Berlin: Duncker & Humbolt.Google Scholar
  24. UIKS (Prison Administration). (2014). Letno poročilo 2013. Ljubljana. Retrieved from
  25. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. (2013). Concluding observations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Slovenia adopted by the Committee at its sixty-third session (27 May–14 June 2013). New York. Retrieved from
  26. Van Kalmthout, A. M., Knapen, M. M., & Morgenstern, C. (Eds.). (2009). Pre-trial detention in the European Union: An analysis of minimum standards in pre-trial detention and the grounds for regular review in the member states of the EU. Nijmegen: Wolf Legal.Google Scholar
  27. Varuh človekovih pravic RS (Human Rights Ombudsman). (2000). Letno poročilo varuha človekovih pravic. Ljubljana. Retrieved from
  28. Varuh človekovih pravic RS (Human Rights Ombudsman). (2008). Letno poročilo varuha človekovih pravic. Ljubljana. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of Ljubljana, and Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

Personalised recommendations