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Citizenship, Residence Rights and the Constitution in Slovenia

Neža Kogovšek Šalamon

This book is about the «erasure», a process by which the Republic of Slovenia unlawfully deprived 25 671 of its residents of their legal status following the country’s secession from the former Yugoslavia in 1992. After losing their status, these individuals were left without any rights on the territory of Slovenia. Since the Slovenian state refused to remedy the problem for many years, the European Court of Human Rights took up the case. In the 2012 Kuric and Others v. Slovenia decision, the Grand Chamber found that Slovenia had violated human rights. This book describes the full background of this case and examines its constitutional implications.
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Part I: The Legal Framework of Citizenship


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Part I:  The Legal Framework of Citizenship

In front of the Law there is a doorkeeper. A man from the countryside comes up to the door and asks for entry. But the doorkeeper says he can’t let him in to the Law right now. The man thinks about this, and then he asks if he’ll be able to go in later on. “That’s possible”, says the doorkeeper, “but not now”.

Franz Kafka, The Trial

1.  The Legal Acts of the SFRY and the Socialist Republic of Slovenia on Citizenship and Residence

To understand how and why names were erased from the register of permanent residents, some familiarity with the legal history of citizenship in Slovenia is required. The relevant historical period began when the territory of present-day Slovenia came under the jurisdiction of the Austro-Hungarian Common Civil Code in 1811, and continued until the National Assembly of Slovenia passed its independence-related legislation, including the Citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia Act, in 1991. This law, which I analyse in detail, established the citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia, which it based on the principle of continuity with citizenship of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia (hereafter: SR Slovenia). The key question is thus who was considered a citizen of SR Slovenia in 1991.

Slovenian citizenship was therefore primarily determined in the period between 1945 and 1991, when the country was one of the six socialist republics of...

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