Ljubljana – Ljubo Bavcon, professor emeritus of penal law at the Ljubljana Faculty of Law, died aged 97, the newspaper Delo reported online. Bavcon is considered one of the most prominent legal experts of the second half of the 20th century, according to Delo.
He was born in Ljubljana in 1924. During the Second World War, he joined the National Liberation Movement (NOB) and was a Partisan for a few months before he was arrested and put to Italian and German prisons.
After the war, he obtained a PhD from the Ljubljana Faculty of Law. He also graduated at the Institute for Social Studies in Belgrade.
In the post-war period, he was editor of the Slovenski Poročevalec magazine and also worked for the Naši Razgledi journal.
He worked at the Institute of Criminology of the Faculty of Law and later started lecturing at the faculty. He was dean of the faculty in 1969-1971.
In the 1970s, he was involved in the creation of the Yugoslav and Slovenian criminal legislation. In the early 1990s he was the head of a task force drawing up the Slovenian penal code.
In 1988, he was elected head of the the council for the protection of human rights and basic freedoms, a predecessor of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s office operating until 1990 under the wing of the socialist SZDL outfit.
Bavcon, who was a prominent human rights activist during Slovenia’s independence efforts, received the Golden Badge of Honour of Freedom in 1993 for his efforts. The University of Ljubljana bestowed him the title of professor emeritus of penal law in 1995.
Bavcon was one of the founding members of the leftist group Forum 21 and became an honorary citizen of Ljubljana in 2014.