Slovenian parliament: Covid decrees unconstitutional and refunds fines (20/09/2023)

Good  news from Slovenia!

via Scarlet Francini Press Group Member
Government cancels and refunds all fines for Covid era :
“restrictions were unfair, it was abuse against citizens”
The government of Slovenia has decided, to cancel and refund all 62,000 fines imposed on citizens in the two years of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In other words, previously reported intentions and promises have now been turned into actual actions and facts.

Translation from the italian source (artificial, and Human-checked to best knowledge):

Slovenian parliament apologizes for Covid restrictions, declares decrees unconstitutional and refunds fines

The parliamentarians have approved the law on the reimbursement of fines resulting from Covid decrees that were declared unconstitutional. “With this law, the government has fulfilled one of the coalition’s most important obligations,” the Ministry of Justice announced.

Parliament’s measure eliminates procedures for pending violations, procedures regarding the performance of community service, procedures regarding the application of alternative detention and procedures for the compulsory collection of fines and costs of procedures for violations from the period of the Covid-19 outbreak, which were introduced at the time for legal reasons but were found to be unconstitutional, will be halted and fines and costs related to the procedures will be refunded.

Information on violations will be removed from the records.

The beneficiaries of this law, formerly called violators, do not have to do anything, informative calculations are sent to them ex officio. “The relevant authority itself will therefore prepare an informative calculation on the payment of fines and costs and send it to the beneficiary. The beneficiary has the possibility to object to the informative calculation, and beneficiaries and beneficiaries will also be guaranteed administrative appeal to the relevant ministry.”

The violations during the period from March 7, 2020 to May 30, 2022 for which fines were issued were as follows:

  • According to part 10 of the first paragraph of article 54 of the Infectious Diseases Act (ZNB), which states:
    A natural person shall be punished with a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 tolars for an offense and with a fine of 100,000 to 10,000,000 tolars against a legal entity for an offense if he violates Article 39, first paragraph, of the ZNB (restriction or prohibition of trade in individual types of goods and products).
  • According to paragraph 14 of Article 57(1) of the ZNB, which states:
    Anyone who acts in violation of Article 39, paragraph 1 of the ZNB will be punished with a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 tolar for a violation.
    (If this law cannot prevent the entry and spread of certain infectious diseases into the Republic of Slovenia, the Minister of Health may also order the following measures:
    1. determining the conditions for travel to a country where contamination with a dangerous infectious disease may occur and for arrival from such countries;
    2. prohibiting or restricting the movement of the population in infected or directly threatened areas;
    3. prohibiting the gathering of people in schools, cinemas, public cafes and other public places until the danger of spreading a contagious disease ceases;
    4. restricting or prohibiting the movement of certain types of goods and products).
  • According to the third paragraph of Article 57 ZNB, which states:
    If, in the event of a crime as referred to in section 14 of the first paragraph of this article, for which the person who organizes a gathering of persons in a public place, in violation of the provision that determines the measure prohibiting or limiting the gathering, is punished on the basis of Article 39, first paragraph, part 3, of this law, the nature of the crime is of a particularly serious nature in the sense that it endangers the health of a large number of persons at a time when the gathering is prohibited is due to the risk of spreading a contagious disease, a fine of 1,200 to 12,000 euros.
  • According to Article 48 of the Act on Intervention Measures in Preparation for the Second Wave of Covid-19, which states: A fine of EUR 2,000 shall be imposed on any person who does not leave the Republic of Slovenia at the designated border crossing point of exit or does not exit the Republic of Slovenia no later than 12 hours after entering the Republic of Slovenia (Article 34, second paragraph).
  • Article 18 of the Act on Temporary Measures to Mitigate and Eliminate the Consequences of Covid-19, which states: Without prejudice to Article 54(1)(10) of the ZNB, a legal entity is liable for a fine between EUR 4,000 and EUR 100,000 for an offense if he acts contrary to 1., 2., Article 39, paragraph 1, point 3 or 4, of the ZNB.

The provision also concerns violations committed in the period from March 7, 2020 to May 30, 2022 as a result of violations of measures to prevent the spread of the infectious disease Covid-19:

  • Point 3 of the first paragraph of Article 37 of the Public Meetings Act (ZJZ), which states:
    An organizer who organizes a meeting or event that is prohibited by decision of the competent authority will be punished with a fine of 700 to 4,000 euros for an infringement (Article 20).
  • Point 4 of the first paragraph of Article 38 of the ZJZ, which states:
    The organizer who organizes a meeting or event without first registering it (Article 11) or obtaining a permit to hold it is punishable by a fine of between 250 and 1,500 euros. (Article 13).
  • Point 1 of paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the ZJZ, which states:
    The organizer who violates the period referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 11 of this law or does not submit the registration of the meeting or event in accordance with the measure shall be liable to a fine of between EUR 150 and EUR 300. Article 14 of this law.

The law will enter into force on the 30th day after publication in the Official Gazette and the Ministry of Justice estimates that distributing the informative calculations can start in early 2024.

From March 7, 2020 to May 30, 2022, more than 62,000 procedures for minor violations were issued.
The total amount of fines imposed in these procedures is 5,754,540.63 euros, but not all of them have been paid in full (the so-called payment of half of the fines).
Thirty percent of the fines (a total of 1,765,592.58 euros) have already been paid or voluntarily collected.
Seventy percent of the fines imposed (a total of EUR 3,988,948.05) are still subject to a mandatory collection process.
According to the new law, a maximum of 5.7 million euros is provided for the reimbursement of fines, and approximately 100,000 euros for payment costs (adaptation of computer systems, costs of parcels and postage, etc.)

The law currently does not address the elimination of personal injuries caused by the termination of employment relationships due to violations of the unconstitutional and illegal decrees. The law also does not regulate the reimbursement of legal costs in proceedings involving a claim for judicial protection.

The original Slovenian source (Ljubljana, 20.09.2023, 18:50) begins:
Recovery of unlawful fines: to whom, when, how?
Deputies approved the law on the reimbursement of fines resulting from unconstitutional covid decrees. More than 62,000 criminal proceedings were initiated and fines were issued for a total amount of approximately 5.75 million euros. About this much is planned for the correction of injustice, although only 1.77 million euros in fines have actually been recovered. The Ministry of Justice now explains how fines can be repaid.

How do you rate this article?

Easy to understand?
Credible / Trustworthy?
Inspiring or feasabile?
Like / Agree?