Tuesday 02 September, 3pm, Taylor C16
Jernej Letnar Cernic, 'The Prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity committed in Slovenia after the Second World War - The Prosecutor v. Mitja Ribičič case before the Slovenian Courts'
This presentation examines the recent decision by the Slovenian Courts in the case of Prosecutor v. Mitja Ribičič concerning alleged commission of crimes against humanity in the Slovenian territory in the months following the end of the Second World War. As many as one hundred thirty thousands person are estimated to have been extra-judicially killed in the months following the end of the Second World War by Secret Police controlled by Yugoslav Communist Party. Mass grave sites numbering between four and five hundred have been so far found on the Slovenian territory. In August 2006, the Slovenian courts refused to open an investigation and start criminal proceedings against Mitja Ribičič on charges of crimes against humanity. This presentation presents the decision of the Slovenian courts and attempts to analyse its reasoning. A commentary of Prosecutor v. Ribičič constitutes the centrepiece of this article.
Based on these findings this presentation argues that there are strong legal and moral grounds for prosecuting crimes against humanity committed in Slovenia after the Second World War. The presentation analyses these issues with reference to the decision in Ribičič v. Prosecutor. It argues that there are several obstacles against domestic prosecution in Slovenia relating to factors beyond formal and substantive dimension of concept of law. In other words, the presentation argues that the problem in Slovenia is not that it does not have constitutionally (formally) independent judiciary and normative safe-guards protecting right to a fair trail. The real and far deeper, structural problem is that it does not have people and individuals who could avail themselves normative safeguards rights and ideals mainly due continuing influence of invisible forces of former totalitarian regime.
The presentation is in preparation for Jernej's paper at the Biennial Conference of the European Society of International Law, which will be held in Heidelberg. The Conference programme can be found here.