The criminal law has always treated juvenile offenders differently from adults. In 2008, Slovenia adopted a new Criminal Code. Although several years have passed since its entry into force and there has been a considerable need for a regulated treatment of juvenile offenders (regardless of whether they committed a criminal or minor offence), Slovenia has not yet passed any autonomous, special law on juvenile offenders that would govern them separately from the criminal legislation and Minor Offences Act.
The new Criminal Code adopted in 1994 introduced brand new possibilities for punishing minors. In order to avoid »classical« punishment in juvenile proceedings, the legislator enacted 11 new sanctioning options, following the trend from abroad. The new punishment possibilities were, however, introduced without conducting any relevant research or analysis. The legislator stipulated that »financial penalty« and »juvenile detention« should only be imposed in exceptional cases, thus representing an extreme method of punishment.
The purpose of the master’s thesis was to provide an analysis of the situation of alternative sanctions for minors in Slovenia in the last five years. Based on the analysis of the period between 1995 and 2009 carried out in 2010, it can be estimated that the juvenile crime rate in Slovenia is in general not increasing and is even declining.
Since Slovenia is characterized by the introduction of alternative methods of treatment aimed at avoiding the imposition of a sanction, the purpose of the master’s thesis was also to explore the alternative sanctions for juvenile offenders.