Conclusions and Recommendations of the Committee against Torture : Slovenia. 05/16/2000.
A/55/44,paras.189-212. (Concluding Observations/Comments)

Convention Abbreviation: CAT
COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
24th Session
1-19 May 2000

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE CONVENTION


Conclusions and Recommendations of the Committee against Torture


Slovenia


189. The Committee considered the initial report of Slovenia (CAT/C/24/Add.5) at its 428th, 431st and 435th meetings, on 12, 15 and 17 May 2000 (CAT/C/SR.428, 431 and 435), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.

1. Introduction

190. The Committee welcomes the initial report of the Republic of Slovenia, which, although overdue since 1994, was prepared in accordance with the general guidelines of the Committee.

191. The Committee welcomes the initiation of a constructive dialogue with the State party and thanks the delegation for the additional oral information provided.

2. Positive aspects

192. The Committee notes that, when ratifying the Convention on 15 April 1993, the State party did not make a reservation under article 20 and made the declarations under articles 21 and 22 of the Convention.

193. The Committee expresses its appreciation of the fact that the preparation of the initial report of the State party was done with the assistance of a specialized non-governmental institution.

194. The Committee notes as positive that the Constitution of the State party provides a broad range of norms protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the prohibition of torture.

195. The Committee notes with satisfaction that it has received no information about alleged perpetration of torture, as defined in article 1 of the Convention, in the State party.

196. The Committee welcomes the establishment of the special institution of the Ombudsman for the protection of human rights and notes with interest its effective and responsible work.

197. The Committee notes with satisfaction that legislative provisions guarantee the exclusion of evidence from the record in cases where it was obtained in violation of human rights and basic freedoms.

198. The Committee welcomes the amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act which provides for the provision of mandatory legal assistance to the suspect throughout the period of detention. The Committee further notes as positive the introduction of a number of alternative measures to detention during the preliminary investigation.

199. The Committee welcomes the adoption of the Code of Police Practice.

200. The Committee notes as positive the adoption of rules for the construction, renovation and maintenance of the police detention quarters.

201. The Committee welcomes the establishment of the Bureau for Management and Supervision of the Police, and the Unit for Complaint Investigations in the General Police Directorate.

3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention

202. After gaining independence in 1991, the State party underwent a profound social, economic and political transition, successfully building a democratic State, which demanded great efforts and which may explain the late submission of the initial report.

4. Subjects of concern

203. The Committee notes the information provided in the report that in order to allow for the sanctioning of crimes of torture, special transfer into Slovenia's positive criminal law of the definition of torture contained in article 1 of the Convention is needed. The Committee further notes that the new Law on the Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions, introducing a new definition of torture, came into force on 23 March 2000. However, the Committee is concerned that such a definition has not been introduced into a criminal code and that substantive criminal law does not yet contain a specific corpus delicti torture and therefore is not an instrument for the direct incrimination and appropriate punishment of persons guilty of torture.

204. The Committee expresses its concern with regard to allegations about instances of police ill-treatment of and excessive use of force against members of the Roma population, which has reportedly resulted in severe injuries in some instances.

205. Concern is also expressed regarding allegations about the excessive use of force by the police in connection with arrests.

206. The Committee notes that the Aliens Act as a general rule precludes the expulsion of an alien to a country where he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture. However, the Committee expresses its concern that article 51, paragraph 2, of the Act, which allows for the derogation from the general rule in cases where a person constitutes a threat to public security, does not respect the State party's obligations under article 3 of the Convention.

207. The Committee is concerned about the sub-standard conditions in which asylum-seekers are housed in the State party.

5. Recommendations

208. Although the Committee welcomes the incorporation of a definition of torture, in accordance with article 1 of the Convention, in domestic law relating to the enforcement of criminal sanctions, the Committee recommends that the State party incorporate the definition also in substantive criminal law.

209. The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary steps to prevent the misuse of force by the police against members of the Roma population and other minorities, particularly, in connection with arrests and detention.

210. The Committee recommends that the State party consider amending the legislation which permits the expulsion of an alien to a country where he or she would be in danger of being tortured, i.e. expulsion justified by the individual being a threat to public security, so that it meets the conditions required by article 3 of the Convention.

211. As a matter of priority, the Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to ensure that asylum-seekers are housed in conditions that comply with the requirements of article 16 of the Convention.

212. The State party is invited to submit its second periodic report by 14 August 2001.

1996-2001
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland