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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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The book you hold in your hands was instrumental in the process by which the European Court of Human Rights decided the question of possible violations concerning the “erasure” of individuals, non-citizens and residents in Slovenia, from the Slovenian residence register.

Legal and political background

Certain members of the Slovenian Government of the time, who had an insidious and stealthy modus operandi, were directly responsible for this “erasure”, which was carried out secretly in most, if not all, of the “administrative units” [upravne enote] of the Republic of Slovenia. Who, apart from the prime minister, the minister of the interior and the state secretary in the ministry of the interior, was also responsible is still not known. Criminal trials against these individuals have not been initiated despite the fact that I, among others, have in my concurring opinion of the judgment of the European Court of Human rights (infra) entreated the authorities and subsequent governments to do so. The criminal liability of the conniving members of subsequent governments is similarly still not clear.

The story in short is as follows.

In the decades before the disintegration of the federal state of Yugoslavia, Slovenia was the most developed of the “federal republics”, as they were called. Obviously, there were no borders between these quasi-states; there was among them a free flow of goods and also of workers. The economy in Slovenia called for more workers than it was able to supply....

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