Too Many Cooks Spoiling the Broth: Parallel Administrative/Criminal Law Enforcement against ‘Hard Core’ Cartels in Slovenia

Published date01 September 2011
Date01 September 2011
DOI10.1177/203228441100200307
New Journal of Eur opean Crimina l Law, Vol. 2, Issue 3, 2011 287
TOO MANY COOKS SPOILING THE BROTH:
PARALLEL ADMINISTRATIVE/CRIMINAL
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGAINST
‘HARD CORE’ CARTELS IN SLOVENIA
M J*
ABSTRACT
In Slovenia the paralle l administ rative/criminal law enforcement against hard core
cartels has e xisted since the mid -1970s. But this du al regime existed in statute only;
practice ignored the legally dema nded priority of criminal procedure and enforced only
the administrative law governi ng illegal cartels. Even the legisl ator silently paid tribute
to this unwritten law of praxis and recently t ransplanted an Ame rican-style lenienc y
programme into administrative procedure only. Realizing the problem, it is now proposed
to introduce l eniency into criminal procedure as well. But this criminal leniency is
worded too vaguely and does not o er s ucient guarantees. We end up with two
uncoordinated schemes where the less struc tured and predictable ought to have priority
over the much more elaborate one introduced in adminis trative law. For the sake of
clarity, consistency and predictability the be st solution is to decriminalize hard core
cartels. In this way the legislator would resolve all problems crea ted by the parallel
regime and at least in theory mak es the leniency programme more attractive and thus
more eective.
Keywords: administrative sanctions; competition law; crime policy; illegal cartels;
Slovenia
1. INTRODUCTION
Cartel agreements may have some limited benecial consequences in cla ssical
organized crime areas such as the illega l drugs trade. ey raise the price of the illegal
product and reduce the qu antity provided – a result perfec tly in line with law
* Dr. Matjaž Jager, Senior Researcher at and Direc tor of the Institute of Crimino logy at the Faculty of
Law Ljubljana, Assoc iate Professor, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (matja z.jager@pf.uni-lj.si,
www.inst-k rim.si). I than k my colleag ues participat ing in the “ Tuesday lecture” at the Institut e of
Criminolog y at the Faculty of Law Ljublja na and John Stubbs for thei r valuable comments.

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