Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Legitimacy and legality of policing, criminal justice and execution of penal sanctions

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.07.00  Social sciences  Criminology and social work   

Code Science Field
S160  Social sciences  Criminology 

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
police, criminal justice, prisons, legitimacy, legality, integrity
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  30934  PhD Katja Eman  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2013 - 2016  632 
2.  20512  PhD Benjamin Flander  Law  Researcher  2013 - 2016  336 
3.  37531  PhD Rok Hacin  Criminology and social work  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  235 
4.  17048  PhD Branko Lobnikar  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2016  1,246 
5.  14289  PhD Gorazd Meško  Criminology and social work  Head  2013 - 2016  1,865 
6.  17049  PhD Andrej Sotlar  Political science  Researcher  2013 - 2016  611 
7.  29662  MSc Jerneja Šifrer  Mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2015  69 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  2131  University of Maribor Faculty of Criminal Justice  Ljubljana  5089638047  9,299 
We are focusing on the factors that shape judgments about the legitimacy, the impact of legitimacy on cooperation with the police and justice administration, and the different perspectives of legitimacy, legality and integrity of social supervisors. We plan to carry out surveys, structured interviews, and focused group interviews among police officers, prosecutors, judges, prison personnel, and on the other hand with parties in the proceedings of the police, judicial authorities and prisons. Our goal is also to conduct a comparative study with other countries (USA, UK, Russia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia). With regard to the work Trust in justice: Why it is important for criminal policy, and how it can be measured (Hough & Sato, 2011) the studying of legitimacy of policing and judicial authorities is of key importance in the field of contemporary criminology and criminal justice studies. The main research problems of this study are confidence in repressive institutions, conception of justice and fairness, perception of integrity, and beliefs about the effectiveness of these institutions in dealing with crime and disorder in society. Elements of legitimacy taken from Tyler’s studies include the perceived procedural justice, the perceived legitimate and fair treatment of representatives of all parts of society (distributive justice), the belief that it is necessary to respect the laws and authority of law (moral identification), the efficiency of formal social control, integrity and belief that institutions of formal social control do not act only in the interests of the country, but in the interests of all residents. In examining the legitimacy of institutions of formal social control we shall study the residents’ views of the police, prosecutors, criminal courts, prisons, and selected supervisory institutions in the field of plural policing. Moreover, the project includes an analysis of response to specific forms of crime, where we chose property crime, violent crime, cyber-crime and environmental crime. The selection of these types of crime was based on the contrast between the statistically most present forms of crime (violent and property crime), and sophisticated forms of cyber-crime and environmental crime, which require high specialization of social supervisors in order to understand it and react accordingly. The research project consists of several sub-projects that are related to each other with regard to their content. - Theory of legitimacy, legality and integrity of criminal justice, policing and enforcement of criminal sanctions; - Legitimacy, legality and integrity of policing and plural policing (private security, investigative activities) in a democratic society; - Legitimacy, legality and integrity of criminal justice in modern society; - Legitimacy, legality and integrity of the enforcement of criminal sanctions in a democratic society; - Legitimacy, legality and integrity of social supervisors in detecting specific types of criminal offences (violent and property crime, cyber-crime and environmental crime). We are planning a project that will last for 3 years. In the first year, we will conduct a literature review and prepare research instrumentation. In the second year, we will collect and analyse the available data. In the third year, we plan intense publishing of the results and presentation of these results at national and international conferences, and to the professional public.
Significance for science
In addition to this national research project conducted in Slovenia, we broadened our research activities with partnerships with researchers from the University of Cambridge, Michigan State University, Moscow State University - Lomonosov, University of Belgrade, and other institutions. We presented research findings in Slovenia at the European and international scientific conferences, which have resulted in publications in international scientific journals and monographs by international publishers. It is necessary to emphasise that we organised an international conference on Criminal Justice and Security and Central and Eastern Europe (2014), to which we invited the world's leading researchers of legitimacy of formal social control in the field of criminology and criminal justice. We tested models of legitimacy in different areas of operations of the formal social control and contextualization of the findings, and the preparation and implementation of national and international scientific conferences to present the results of our research. A young researcher was included in the work of in research group. He has been testing models of the self-legitimacy of the prison officers and the perceptions of inmates. His doctoral dissertation will be written in English (co-supervisor from EKU, USA). Members of the research group have been members of doctoral dissertation defence commissions at doctoral programmes of foreign universities on legitimacy and procedural justice (Faculty of Law, University of Ghent) profiling sex offender and police work (School of Criminal Justice, UNISA - South Africa) and the abuse of police powers (Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade). Continuation of research and publications from the project: After completion of the project, we were invited to present the findings of the survey at a conference of the American Criminology Association (ASC) in November 2017. Moderator will be Wesley Skogan, University of Chicago, USA (Tankebe and Meško). Penal (punitive) populism (a critical look at the response of the criminal justice to public opinion and pressure for harsher punitive reactions on crime and criminals) - a chapter in a book (Publisher Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland), 2017 (in press) (Flander and Meško). Social justice and criminal justice and Slovenia (a book chapter in an edited monograph Social justice and criminal justice - Global Perspectives), Taylor and Francis, planned publication in 2018. Editor Cliff Robertson (Meško, Flander and Ambrož). We are contributing the Editorial on police cooperation in Europe during the times of new security risks in the European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (2017/1), in press (Meško). Police reform and the legitimacy of policing in Slovenia contribution to the journal Policing. Publication is scheduled for the end of 2017 (Meško, Lobnikar). Peer reviews in international journals: In the time of the project, we also contributed peer-reviews of articles submitted to international scientific journals (SSCI), which relate to the content of the project (e.g. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Crime, Law and Social Change, Criminology & Criminal Justice, European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, the European Journal of Criminology, International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, the Journal of Experimental Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Policing & Society Policing, Punishment & Society, Security Journal and Social Indicators Research).
Significance for the country
Our research project on the legitimacy and legality of police activities, criminal justice and enforcement of penal sanctions is the first research project of this kind in Slovenia. In the study, which comprised a literature review and empirical research, we examined the ideas and concepts related to legitimacy and legality and empirically tested them in the Slovenian environment. Organisation of national conferences and inclusion of the research findings in educational programmes at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, UM represent a significant advancement in the presentation of research findings for future professionals in the field of security, policing and enforcement of criminal sanctions. We also have demonstrated our capability for conducting research at approximately the same level as leading criminological research institutions around the world. Excellent cooperation with the Slovenian Police and the Prison Administration of the Republic of Slovenia in the implementation of the research activities is also a good sign of the benefits of our research results in practice. Besides, we organised national conferences attended by researchers, policy makers, practitioners and representatives of civil society, where we presented the results to the target audiences and discussed the results of our research and their implications for policy making and practice of social control.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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