International Treaties

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Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Slovenia

Article 70: Right to Drinking Water. Water resources shall be a public good managed by the state. As a priority and in a sustainable manner, water resources shall be used to supply the population with drinking water and water for household use and in this respect shall not be a market commodity. The supply of the population with drinking water and water for household use shall be ensured by the state directly through self-governing local communities and on a not-for-profit basis. Article 71: Protection of Land. The law shall establish special conditions for land utilization in order to ensure its proper use. Special protection of agricultural land shall be provided by law. The state shall promote the economic, cultural and social advancement of the population living in mountain and hill areas. Article 72: Healthy Living Environment. Everyone has the right in accordance with the law to a healthy living environment. The state shall promote a healthy living environment. To this end, the conditions and manner in which economic and other activities are pursued shall be established by law. The law shall establish under which conditions and to what extent a person who has damaged the living environment is obliged to provide compensation.The protection of animals from cruelty shall be regulated by law.

Featured Legislation

1993: The Forest Law of the Republic of Slovenia was passed. This Law provides the forest management basic principles and rules. The Law closely regulates the protection (also fire protection), cultivation, construction and maintenance of forest infrastructure, timber issues, exploitation and use of forests and the disposal of forests and forest land as important natural resource, with the aim of ensuring sustainable and multi-functional approach and management, in accordance with the principles of environmental protection and protection of natural values, and sustainable and optimal functioning of forests as ecosystem. These rules are meant for both type of owners of forests (legal and/or natural persons). The ownership of forests shall be exercised in such way as to ensure their ecological, social and production functions. Forest owners have the right to participate in the process of preparing and adopting forest management plans. Their needs, proposals and requirements shall be respected as far as possible in accordance with ecosystem and legal constraints. The basis for forest management are national forest programme and forest management plans. The forest management plans shall also lay down the necessary measures for maintaining the favorable status of the special protection areas, determined in accordance with the regulations governing nature conservation.

1999: The Nature Conservation Act was signed. This Act sets out measures for the conservation of biodiversity and sets a system for the general protection of natural values, in order to contribute to the nature conservation objective. Biodiversity conservation measures are measures meant to regulate the effective protection of wild plant varieties and wild animal species, of their genetic material and habitats and ecosystems, and allows for sustainable use of components of biodiversity and ensures the preservation of the natural balance. The system of protection of natural values is a system that determines all necessary procedures and methods designated for the purpose of granting the status of natural values and implementing their protection. This Act transposes four European Union thematic Directives into the legal order of the Republic of Slovenia (Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conservation of wild birds; Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora; Council Directive 83/129/EEC concerning the importation into Member States of skins of certain seal pups and products derived therefrom; Council Directive 1999/22/EC relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos).

2004: The Game and Hunting Act was promulgated. This Act regulates management of game and wildlife, which includes planning, conservation, sustainable management and monitoring of wildlife. The management of wildlife relates to ecological, social and economic functions of wildlife and includes: (1) conservation and protection of wildlife and natural resources; (2) maintenance of biological and landscape diversity and stability of biological communities; (3) prevention and compensation relating to wildlife; (4) sustainable management of wildlife. This Act is composed of the following Sections: General provisions (Sec. 1); Spatial planning and management of wildlife (Sec. 2); Planning of wildlife management (Sec. 3); Public service for wildlife and hunting and activities in the public interest (Sec. 4); Sustainable management of wildlife (Sec. 5); Restrictions on wildlife environmental intervention (Sec. 6); Methods of sustainable management of wildlife (Sec. 7); Wildlife in captivity (Sec. 8); Prevention and recovery from injury (Sec. 9); Hunting participation (Sec. 10); Organization of hunting (Sec. 11); Hunting service (Sec. 12); Hunting inspection (Sec. 13); Penalty provisions (Sec. 14); Transitional and final provisions (Sec. 15).

2004: The Environmental Protection Act was approved. This Act regulates the system of environmental protection based on sustainable development principles and within this framework sets out the fundamental principles of environmental protection, environmental protection measures, environmental monitoring and information about environmental, economic and financial instruments of environmental protection, public services and other issues related to environmental protection. The Act consists of 58 articles divided into 12 parts as following: Basic Provisions (1); Environmental Protection Measures (2); Programmes and Plans of Environmental Protection (3); Affecting the environment (4); Environmental Monitoring and Information System (5); Economic and Financial Instruments for Environmental Protection (6); Public and State Organization (7); Environmental Protection Organization (8); Inspection and Control (9); Penalties (10); Special Provisions (11) and Transitional and Final Provisions (12).

2013: The Decree on environmental tax on carbon dioxide emissions was legislated. This Decree of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia establishes the obligation to pay the environmental tax on air pollution related to the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from fuel combustion and the emission of fluorinated greenhouse gasses, the basis for calculating this tax and the way of charging, assessment and payment. The present Decree is composed of the following Sections: General provisions (Sec. 1); Environmental tax from fuel combustion (Sec. 2); Environmental tax on fluorinated greenhouse gasses (Sec. 3); Record keeping (Sec. 4); Inspection (Sec. 5); Penalty provisions (Sec. 6); Transitional and final provisions (Sec. 7).

2016: The Law on the management of forests owned by the Republic of Slovenia was ratified. This Law determines the manner and related issues as regards forest management, here aimed only for forests and forest land owned by the Republic of Slovenia. These rules are stipulated in order to achieve economic and development goals and to implement the targeted public interest objectives in such forest management, also in order to create the necessary conditions for the sustainable development of state owned forests, and to offer the possibility to restore such state forests. The management of state forests must be handled economically, efficiently and in such a way that the objectives and other regulations governing forests, environmental protection and nature conservation are respected and achieved.

2021: The Decree on packaging and packaging waste was instituted. This Decree, based on the provisions of the Slovenian Environmental Protection Act, has the objective to comply with the terms of European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (including its related amending legislation). This Decree lays down rules and conditions for the production of packaging, its use, placing on the market in the Republic of Slovenia and distribution, and rules for packaging waste management, including rules and conditions for the re-use of packaging, collection, recycling and other recovery procedures for packaging waste in order to minimize the disposal of packaging waste, thus contributing to the transition to a circular economy. This Decree shall apply to all packaging, regardless of the packaging material used, which is placed on the market in the Republic of Slovenia and used in industry, crafts, trade, services and other activities, households or elsewhere, unless regulations regulate the quality of packaging, do not set different requirements for each type of packaging, for example regarding the safety, health and hygiene of packaged products, or unless the regulations governing the transport of goods provide otherwise. This Decree shall apply to all packaging waste, regardless of the packaging material generated in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia in industry, crafts, trade, services and other activities, households or elsewhere, unless regulations governing hazardous waste the type of packaging waste or the individual handling of packaging waste is not determined differently.

Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • A 2021 article entitled “Water Crimes and Governance: The Slovenian Perspective” by Katja Eman and Gorazd Meško reveals the demand for water is increasing due to water-dependency across the globe. This has created what the authors refer to as water crimes – that is, a range of offenses from the pilfering of water from pipelines, to water pollution, to the illegal trafficking of water. Eman and Meško argue that said crimes are challenging to detect, investigate, and prosecute. Despite being one of the smallest countries in Europe, it is one of the richest regarding water resources. Green and rural criminology offer new perspectives on the constitutionalization of “water rights” vis-a-vis the right of people to have access to water and water resources.  Alleged greed of politicians, corporations and individuals who treat water as an attractive target for profit by illegal means threaten these constitutional rights, necessitating new measures for water protection and prevention of water crimes.

References and Further Reading


Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planning: