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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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Irfan was brought to Slovenia by his parents when he was one year old. His parents moved to Slovenia from Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1969 when both republics were still part of the same state – the Yugoslav federation. All members of the family had Yugoslav citizenship, as well as the local citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When they moved to Slovenia they did not need to change their citizenship, they just registered their permanent address in Slovenia and were – as citizens of the federal state – entitled to the same rights as those with the local citizenship of Slovenia. Irfan grew up in Slovenia: he went to school, found a job, got married and raised two children. In 1990, when he was 22 years old, he was in a car accident that forced him to be in and out of hospital for a time. In the meantime the country he lived in fell apart: on 25 June 1991 Slovenia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. He went to the local government office to file a citizenship application within the time limit set by the authorities, but the state official refused to take his application, as some documents were missing.

He continued to focus on his recovery and had started to look for a new job when he received an invitation to report to the local government office concerning his citizenship. There the clerk asked him if he had an identity card. When he presented his identity card the...

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