The legislation was introduced into Parliament in the spring by the Liberal government of Prime Minister Robert Golob. Anyone who is penalized will get back all the fines paid or collected. All ongoing proceedings regarding Covid violations will be stopped. Entries in the criminal record are automatically removed.
Between March 2020 and May 2022, approximately 62,000 cases were opened for breaches of COVID-19 regulations, with fines totaling more than 5.7 million euros. Funds for these refunds are provided from the state budget.
Justice Minister Dominica Swark Pippen stressed that the government was taking moral responsibility with the move. It aims to amend the injustice inflicted on citizens through misuse of criminal law and unconstitutional interference with human rights. She said: “Let this be a lesson to all of us so that something like this never happens again.”
The previous right-wing conservative government under Prime Minister Janez Janša issued regulations during the pandemic that were later classified as unconstitutional by the Slovenian Constitutional Court. This affected several provisions of the Infection Protection Act and the Legislative Assembly Act, on which controversial measures such as bans on gatherings, movement restrictions and curfews were based. The anger of many Slovenians over Janša’s corona policy significantly contributed to his de-selection in parliamentary elections last year. He was accused of excessively restricting civil liberties, including banning demonstrations.
The amnesty law passed in the Slovenian Parliament by 49 votes to 20. The two conservative opposition parties voted against it. The former ruling parties argued that the measures taken at the time were aimed at “protecting public health and people’s lives”.