The Slovenia Times

Problematic Changes to Penal Code


The councillors rejected the penal code changes in a 20:6 vote, arguing that they envisaged stricter penalising of file sharing and were a substantial step back compared to the latest trends in internet copyright provisions.

They decided for the veto despite of the new file sharing rules being watered down significantly during the adoption process in parliament - MP eventually rejected the initial idea of criminalising file sharing in a similar vein that the old penal code did for the sale of downloaded copyrighted content.

The veto means that parliament, which was dissolved in the meantime, will need to meet again to try to secure at least 46 votes, an absolute majority of all votes, to pass the changes, which are far more extensive than the files haring rules widely covered by the media.

Outgoing Justice Minister Ales Zalar had urged the councillors against voting no, stressing they would also reject effective measures against white collar crime, as well as better protection of children against sex offenders.

Another novelty is the criminal offence of causing damage to public funds, which can affect officials, public servants, while also protecting public funds given to companies or private individuals - the councillors argued this did little to punish past abusers.

Also vetoed today were changes to the companies act which prevents shareholders, managers or supervisors of insolvent companies to incorporate new companies or act as supervisors or board members, as well as an act allowing confiscation of assets of crime suspects when they fail prove they have acquired the assets lawfully.

The veto on the former was proposed by the employers' interest group, which noted that the changes interfered with the right to private property and to freely chose one's profession, and were disproportionate to the goals laid out.

Reservations related to the confiscation act included the fact that the lowest possible standard, a suspicion triggered by an anonymous report, could suffice to introduce a financial investigation. This is disproportionate and is based on the assumption that all assets obtained were the result of criminal actions, the councillors argued.


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