June 2023 | Law on management of public broadcaster passes constitutional review
The Constitutional Court approved the passing of amendments to the law on public broadcaster Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO) after reviewing contested parts of the law. In May, the Court lifted a temporary suspension which had blocked the implementation of amendments to restructure the management of RTV SLO. That amendment transferred management to a council appointed by civil society representatives and RTV SLO employees, whereas the previous supervisory board members were appointed by the National Assembly. Media freedom groups lauded the ruling as enabling the public broadcaster to “rebuild its editorial independence and carry out its public service mission free from political interference,” while noting remaining challenges including a staffing crisis, funding problems, and public distrust.
January 2023 | Harsher sentencing for hate crimes
The National Assembly passed amendments to the criminal code, providing latitude for hate crimes to be sentenced more harshly, and strengthening Slovenia’s legal framework for protecting minority rights. The amendments allow the victims’ nationality, race, sex, religion, or disability to be considered when sentences are decided.
November 2022 | Musar becomes first female President after run-off
On 13 November Nataša Pirc Musar became Slovenia’s first female head of state. Musar is an independent candidate, and a former journalist and lawyer who famously represented former United States First Lady Melania Trump in a libel case. Although the role of president is largely ceremonial, Musar’s victory gives her gatekeeping authority. She will appoint members of the anti-corruption commission and nominate the Prime Minister and members of the Constitutional Court (who are then elected by Parliament). Voter turnout was 51 per cent, a considerable improvement compared to the 42 per cent turnout in the 2012 presidential election. Independent candidates also performed well in local elections held on 20 November. The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) was the biggest winner of the established parties in local councils and mayoral positions.
October 2022 | Parliament amends law on same-sex marriage
On 4 October the Parliament passed amendments to the Family Code consistent with landmark decisions of the Constitutional Court reached in July 2022. The amendments passed by 48 MPs, with 29 against and one abstention. In July, the Constitutional Court had found distinguishing between same-sex and heterosexual couples discriminatory, and suspended regulations preventing same-sex couples from entering into marriage and from being included in the list of candidates for joint adoption. The Parliament was given six months to bring legislation in line with the ruling.