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Is racial discrimination defined in national law?

Key Area:
Anti-discrimination Legislation & Implementation
Racism, Discrimination
12/12/2011 - 13:30
Short Answer

Yes. Racial discrimination is defined in the Constitution as well as in the Act Implementing the Principle of Equal Treatment, Employment Relationship Act and Penal Code. 

Qualitative Info

Article 14 of the Constitution of Slovenia guarantees to everyone equal human rights and fundamental freedoms irrespective of national origin, race, gender,
language, religion, political or other beliefs, financial status, birth, education, social status, disability or any other personal circumstance.


Article 63 of the Constitution of Slovenia defines as unconstitutional any incitement to ethnic, racial, religious or other inequality as well as any incitement to ethnic, racial, religious or other hatred and intolerance.  


Article 2 of the Act Implementing the Principle of Equal Treatment guarantees equal treatment irrespective of personal circumstances such as gender,
ethnicity, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, or other personal circumstance, in all areas of social life. If equal treatment is not guaranteed, this is considered discrimination which is prohibited by article 3 of this act.


In accordance with the provisions of Article 131, §1 of the Penal Code, whoever prevents or restricts another person’s enjoyment of any human right or fundamental freedom recognized by the international community or laid down by the Constitution or legislation, or grants another person a special privilege or advantage on the grounds of ethnicity, race, colour, religion, ethnic roots, gender, language, political or other belief, sexual orientation, social status, birth, education, social position or any other circumstance, shall be punished by a fine or sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum of one year. The notion of special privilege or advantage is interpreted by the court. Special privilege or advantage means unjustified more favourable treatment comparing to other persons, which can result in financial gains, rights, permissions etc. that are not available to other persons. This does not mean that persons implementing positive measures for e.g. ethnic groups commit a crime. However, should such argument be invoked the decision will be in the competence of the court. Article 131, § 2 of the Penal Code prescribes the same punishment for one that persecutes an individual or organization due to their standing for equal treatment of people. If the act from § 1 or 2 is committed by an official with the abuse of official position or official competencies, he or she is punished with imprisonment up to three years. The provision of Article 116 of the Penal Code specifically defines criminal act of murder committed due to violation of the equality and prescribes a sentence of imprisonment of at least 15 years. In the field of torture, the Penal Code in Article 265 states that one who intentionally causes severe pain or suffering based on violation of equality, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment from one to ten years. If this is caused by a person in official capacity, the sanction foreseen is imprisonment from three to twelve years. These articles have not yet been used in practice, not even in relation to police forces.


Hate speech is defined in Article 297 of the Penal Code, stating that one who publicly encourages or incites ethnic, racial, religious or other hatred or intolerance,
or incites to another type of intolerance due to physical or intellectual deficiencies or sexual orientation, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment up to two years (in 2010
three people have been convicted of this crime, each was sanctioned to 1,5 years of prison sentence; see above case law; the judgment is not final yet). The same
punishment is foreseen for those who publicly spread ideas of prevalence of one race over another or cooperate at any racist activity, or deny, diminish the meaning of,
approve of, ridicule or advocate for genocide, holocaust, crime against humanity, war crime, aggression or other criminal acts against humanity. If these acts are published
in public media, the editor or his deputy are also punished, except in case of a live transmission and the lack of possibility to prevent these acts. The Penal Code also
stipulates two aggravated forms of these crimes – if they were committed in official capacity or with coercion, threat etc. 

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, Majority, Asylum seekers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Persons with disability
Type (R/D) Extremism - organised Racist Violence, Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, Arabophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Religious intolerance, Inter-ethnic, Intra-ethnic, Nationalism, Homophobia, On grounds of disability, On grounds of other belief
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Employment - labour market, Housing, Health and social protection, Education, Culture, Media, Internet, Sport, Political discourse -parties - orgs, Political participation, Anti-discrimination, Anti-racism, Integration - social cohesion, Daily life, Religion
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