Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Sentencing policy for sexual crimes

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.07.00  Social sciences  Criminology and social work   

Code Science Field
5.05  Social Sciences  Law 
Punishment, sentencing, sexual crime, rape, sexual assault
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22662  PhD Matjaž Ambrož  Law  Researcher  2021 - 2023  664 
2.  54925  Ana Babnik  Law  Technical associate  2021  11 
3.  53535  PhD Lora Briški  Law  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023  79 
4.  13778  PhD Katja Filipčič  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2021 - 2023  612 
5.  29615  PhD Mojca Mihelj Plesničar  Criminology and social work  Head  2021 - 2023  298 
6.  55956  Manja Skočir  Law  Technical associate  2021 - 2023  26 
7.  55062  Nesa Vrečer  Historiography  Technical associate  2021 - 2022  21 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0504  Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law  Ljubljana  5051525000  4,575 
The Slovenian system is moving from a model of coercion to a model of consent in sexual offences. The change coincides with similar trends in our European and wider environment, where issues of dealing with sexual crime are less and less based on an outdated model that criminalizes the use of force and threats, and increasingly tend to take into account (dis)consent to sexual behaviour. With the change of the model, new, previously unknown incriminations were introduced, which had to be placed in existing sentencing ranges. In doing this, the legislator has a demanding role within the three-stage concept of individualization of criminal sanctions. At the systemic level, it must create a sentencing system and sentencing ranges and place individual incriminations in them at the abstract level. In order to be able to do this properly, it is necessary to understand the current situation: not only on a theoretical, but also on a practical level: that is, a good understanding of existing case law. In the Slovenian system, the key problem with this notion is the lack of relevant information. Statistics kept by various bodies in relation to criminal proceedings: the police, the prosecutor's office, the courts, the MoJ and consequently SORS do not give a clear picture of what the penal policy is. Only aggregate data on groups of sanctions are available to the general and professional public, only a detailed analysis of individual databases (prosecutorial and judicial) provides more information, but no one systematically performs such analyses. However, even if the statistics were consistently collected and presented, they do not give a comprehensive picture of penal policy otherwise. The Slovenian sentencing system allows the court a large field of discretion: sentencing ranges are wide, we have an open list of mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the possibility of imposing alternative sanctions, the possibility of deciding outside the (sub) prescribed range in case of special mitigating circumstances. Statistics, therefore, cannot outline in sufficient detail the specific offenses and their characteristics which, by their nature, co-shape a criminal sanction. Thus, it is not possible to deduce from the statistics what the general gravity of the criminal offenses or the perpetrator's guilt was, much less what circumstances the court took into account when deciding on the sanction. However, only the consideration of all these aspects can give a more complete picture of what punishment is in any field of crime at all - always limited by what the court writes in the judgment. The approach therefore needed in determining penal policy is the use of mixed methods. On the one hand, existing statistics need to be thoroughly examined and analysed, and data on frequency, treatment, underlying characteristics, etc. need to be deduced from them. On the other hand, due to the above-described specifics of the Slovenian regulation and also due to the relatively low number of such crimes, it is necessary to use a qualitative approach - so that we can better understand sentencing policy as well as the nature of crimes in the field of sexual offences. Given the described characteristics, the basic goal of the project is to determine the sentencing policy of Slovenian courts in the case of sexual offenses. In this context, we have created several sub-goals related to individual work packages: The aim of WP2 is to understand how the sexual crime is placed in the Slovenian criminal justice system, especially from the point of view of legal penalties. The goal of WP3 is to understand the general characteristics of dealing with sexual crime in Slovenia, especially in terms of placement in the penal system and to determine how sentencing fares within the statutory sentencing ranges. The aim of WP4 is to find out what circumstances and and how the courts take into account when imposing sanctions and to evaluate how they affect the final sanction.
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