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The Courts

There are no separate courts for juvenile offenders in Slovenia. Juvenile offenders are tried at regular first instance Local and District Courts, while Higher Courts and the Supreme Court decide on legal remedies (Plesnicar et al. 2006).

However, some level of specialization is achieved by having semispecialized juvenile judges, who preside over adult matters as well, depending on the case load, but are always assigned juvenile cases. At the level of District Courts, who hold jurisdiction over more serious criminal offenses punishable by 3 years imprisonment and more, a panel of judges, composed by one professional and two lay judges typically decides. Lay judges cooperate with a professional judge on equal terms in deciding on the verdict as well as on the sentence. In the case of juvenile offenders, the professional judge is semispecialized as earlier and the lay judges are elected among professors, teachers, educators, and other persons experienced in the education of juveniles (Filipcic 2006).

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