Criminal Investigation /
Origins, Development and
The purpose of the article is to present the origins, development and trends of the science of criminal investigation/criminalistics in Slovenia and to evaluate scientific and professional literature from this field, as well as to analyse empirical and theoretical research and its role in the practical investigation of crime. We want to stress the lack of attention given to criminalistics in comparison to criminology, criminal law and other criminal justice sub-disciplines and possible consequences of such a situation upon the effectiveness of practical criminal investigation. Design/Methodology/Approach:
The article is based on a review and analysis of professional literature on criminal investigation, published in Slovene books and periodicals and on the analysis of research studies carried out by the Institute of Criminology and the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security. A review of doctoral and master’s theses was also undertaken as was ananalysis of university study programmes.
Far less research has been done in the field of criminalistics in Slovenia than in criminology, criminal law and other fields of criminal justice. Few have carried out empirical research projects and there are few theoretical works. Those that have been conducted are predominantly master’s and doctoral thesesand there exist few scientific and professional articles and handbooks. The reasons for this are, on the one hand, a lack of interest by the police in such research and, on the other hand, methodological issues which deter some researchers from tackling this topic. This state of affairs may have a negative impactupon the practice of criminal investigation which is considered as ineffective and inefficient.. Recent years, however, have seen a slight improvement due to the impact of the work undertaken by the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security. Some Slovene criminalists have been innovative in certain scientific fields but have failed to impact at an international level due to a failure to publish in any language other than Slovenian.
1 We use terms “criminal investigation” and “criminalistics” synonymously for the science of criminal investigation (as in the German use of the term ‘Kriminalistik’) and the term ‘criminalist’ to denote a crime scene investigator and forensic specialist as well as an academic or lecturer in criminal investigation.
Justice and Security year 11 no. 4 pp. 493-519
The paper is the first systematic overview of the history and development of criminalistics in Slovenia and a call for further research.
Keywords: policing, criminal investigation, criminalistics, forensics, investigative effectiveness, history, research;
In recent years, less effective police practice in terms of detection and investigation of serious economic and organized criminal offences has been noted in Slovenia and preparations are in place to establish a National Bureau of Investigation to more efficiently suppress more serious forms of crime. It is also an appropriate time to question the progress Slovenia has made in regards of the development of criminal investigation, a discipline that provides criminal investigators with the knowledge necessary for successful execution of their duties. Have we paid enough professional and scholarly attention to criminal investigation, has practice been sufficiently developed, has it followed the trajectory of other associated disciplines? More knowledge is required about the methods of operation of criminal offenders, the forms of criminal offences and criminal offender typologies, and about the tactics and methods of detection and investigation of criminal offences. Similarly, more expertise is required in the application of scientific methods, the use of evidence, and our understanding of the errors committed in the course of crime investigation practice. These issues require a substantial knowledge base which would constitute a basic condition for more effective criminal investigation.
A brief review of professional literature indicates that these issues have received relatively little attention in Slovenia. There are some brief notes on the history of Slovene criminal investigation in various textbooks, and some diploma theses (e.g. Zarič, 2003; Kelmenovič, 2007), but no comprehensive analysis of the development or significance of, criminal investigation in Slovenia has been carried out. Although a small number of scientific papers have already addressed the critical situation of the field of criminal investigation (e.g. Pečar, 1969; 1973; Maver, 2002a), it seems appropriate now to revisitthis situation.Has the state of criminal investigation improved since then, remained unchanged or deteriorated? What theoretical or practical developments of criminal investigation in Slovenia remain possible? Who were the key scholars in this area, what did they research and which individuals are concerned with this discipline today? How best can we integrate it with the field of science? These are only some of the questions which will be answered in this paper. Our premise is that criminal investigation is a complex science of detection and investigation of criminal offences which includes topics like introduction to criminal investigation, investigative tactics, use of natural sciences (forensics) and methodologies of investigation (Maver et al., 2004).
Issues of criminal investigation have been addressed in this paper from various angles: from the research aspect (how many empirical and theoretical research
495projects have been carried out), from the publishing aspect (how many books,
textbooks and professional articles have been written and published), from the applicative aspect (how knowledge and advances from abroad have been applied to practice in Slovenia) and finally from the pedagogical aspect (how education and training are organized). This paper draws on a limited selection of scholars and publications from the COBISS system (Co-operative Online Bibliographic System & Services). For the purpose of this paper, we examined research studies carried out by the Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, analyzed publications and papers published in Revija za kriminalistiko in kriminologijo (Review of Criminal Investigation and Criminology), Varstvoslovje (Journal of Criminal Justice and Security), Varnost – Strokovni bilten (Security – A Professional Bulletin), Policija (The Police) and drew upon research published in non-Slovenian professional periodicals. In addition, we have considered academic programmes of criminal investigation delivered at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana and the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, University of Maribor.
The following hypotheses have been proposed:
Criminal investigation has failed to attract the same degree of research 1.
and professional attention as criminology and this has impacted upon its development. The number of research studies and published papers clearly indicate this situation. In spite of these issues, it cannot be denied that the field has witnessed considerable progress in certain areas.
Research in criminal investigation has mostly been undertaken by individuals 2.
engaged in theoretical post-graduate or doctoral work. Apart from them, some practitioners have successfully published articles in the subject area. Despite this, anthropological criminal investigation has been particularly neglected in terms of systematic research.
Empirical research in the field of criminal investigation is particularly difficult 3.
and requires institutional support, especially from the police as its principal user and from academic institutions as leads in the area of pedagogic process. Unfortunately, it can be stated that both forms of support have been lacking in the Slovene context.
For the purpose of this study, the following methods were used: an analysis of the available literature, an analysis of completed research projects, comparative method, historical method, statistical method, and, finally, an analysis of study programmes and interviews. A review of the development of criminal investigation in Slovenia has been divided into two periods, 1920 to 1990, and 1991 to 2009. This review is followed by a comprehensive assessment of the current state of the field of criminalistics and concluded by the presentation of answers to the proposed hypotheses.
2 CRIMINALISTICS IN PRE-INDEPENDENT SLOVENIA
The history of Slovene criminal investigation precedes the period prior to the First World War and is closely connected with the work of dr. Metod Dolenc, a
lawyer, who developed his interest for criminal investigation under the influence of Hanns Gross between 1904 and 1914. During this period he wrote his first professional articles about the psychology of confession and the “development of auxiliary criminal science disciplines” and published them in a periodical “Slovenski pravnik” (Slovene Lawyer) (Skaberne, 1961: 235). Following the Gross’ model, he founded in 1921, at the University of Ljubljana, the Institute of Criminal Investigation that he directed until his death in 1941. In 1925, a special assistant was appointed at the Institute, dr. Hinko Lučovnik, who intended to specialize in criminal investigation, but due to financial difficulties this post was abolished in 1927 leaving the Institute in a state of disarray (ibid.). Professor Dolenc was a lecturer at the Faculty of Law teaching, among other subjects, subjective and objective aspects of criminal investigation, thus making a legitimate claim to be the first Slovene theoretical expert in criminal investigation.
Although the first courses in criminal investigation took place at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana prior to World War II and some articles on criminal investigation had been published in the periodical Zbornik znanstvenih razprav Pravne fakultete v Ljubljani (Collection of Scientific Papers of the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana), more systematic publishing activity began only in 1950, when a new periodical was launched, Kriminalistična služba (Criminal Investigation Service). This periodical, published by the State Secretariat for Internal Affairs, began as an internal professional gazette and was labelled as a highly confidential document. In 1959 it was renamed Revija za kriminalistiko in kriminologijo (Review of Criminal Investigation and Criminology) and has been published continuously until the present day. For a long time it was the only specialized scientific periodical for the field of criminal investigation and criminology in Slovenia. In the same year, the State Secretariat for Internal Affairs established its first criminal investigation and technical laboratory(Golja, 2006), and in the following year, the first criminal investigation textbook was published, and, finally, in 1954 the Institute of Criminology was founded within the Faculty of Law.
2.1 Pioneers of Slovene Criminal Investigation
The first Slovene textbook “Introduction to Criminal Investigation” was published in 1951 by Avgust Munda. It was written as a handbook for Faculty of Law students, “yet it might serve also to criminal investigation professionals” (Munda, 1951: 3). The book was divided into a general section and a specialised section. The general section included the following entries: introduction to criminal investigation and crime investigation tactics and forensics, while the specialised section dealt with methods of investigating for particular types of crime. In his writing, the author was inspired by German authors (H. Gross, Hellwig, Jeserich, Meinert, Schneikert, Weingert), Russian authors (Tregubov, Šaver-Vinberg) and by some German translations of other European criminal investigation experts of the time (Bischoff, Locard) (ibid.: 268-269). Professor Munda laid, with his textbook, the foundations of a classical structure for criminal investigation textbooks in Slovenia by focussing upon an introduction to criminal investigation (for example, concepts, history,
497methods and crime investigation institutions), some criminalistic or forensic
methods (for example, dactyloscopy, blood traces and shoeprints), methods of crime investigation (for example, the psychology of interrogation and crime scene investigation) and those methods of investigation used with the most frequent criminal offences. The last chapter was devoted to miscarriages of justice and, with the intention of warning investigators and criminal justice system agencies in terms of such issues, he described the tragic case of a miscarriage of justice against Franc Bratuša (ibid.: 250-267). Professor Munda was teaching procedural criminal law and criminal investigation at the Faculty of Law until his retirement in 1956 and advocated the idea of making criminal investigation a regular subject at the Faculty of Law (Lučovnik, 1959: 17). He also published three professional articles related to criminal investigation (Munda, 1944; 1945/46; 1948).
Munda’s academic work at the Faculty of Law was in 1956 assumed by Hinko Lučovnik who was teaching criminal investigation until his death in 1960 (Vodopivec, 1960a). Hinko Lučovnik was appointed assistant of criminal law and criminal investigation in 1925, but remained in this position for only two years, before returning again to the Faculty of Law. Lučovnik was succeeded by Janez Pečar who taught criminal investigation until 1987. Both Lučovnik and Pečar wrote only a small number of articles within the field of criminal investigation paying most attention to criminal law and criminology. Despite this, they can be considered pioneers of Slovene criminal investigation in the academic sphere. Lučovnik published an interesting scientific paper about the significance of psychology for criminal investigation (Lučovnik, 1956). It is of crucial importance to mention two contributions by Janez Pečar, published in Revija za kriminalistiko in kriminologijo in 1969 and1973. Both papers point to a rather critical situation of criminal investigation in Slovenia and also to a need of research work in this field (Pečar, 1969; 1973). In his first article (“For More Expedient Development of Criminal Investigation”) Pečar states that “the situation of criminal investigation is unsatisfactory and that its progress is rather slow, if we can speak at all about any progress”. According to Pečar, it would be necessary to take some necessary measures, among them: the creation of a scientifically trained body of staff and the development of research activity within the field of criminal investigation; the promotion of publishing activity; appropriate professional training and teaching of criminal investigation at the academic level; transmission of foreign knowledge and experiences; international cooperation in professional training, and finally, the foundation of a professional association of criminal investigators (Pečar, 1969: 70). In his second article (“Research Work in Criminal Investigation”) the author draws attention to delays in the progress of criminal investigations in Slovenia in comparison to other countries. He makes an appeal to agencies of social control to promote the development of criminal investigation and its application to the practical investigation of crimes – if not within educational institutions, then at least within a framework of affiliation with university institutions (Pečar, 1973).
In spite of criticisms concerning scientific research and publishing in the field of criminal investigation, the situation regarding practical investigation of crime was not one of quite so much concern. Although we can agree with the opinion that “in every discipline it has been probably done much more than it is known to the
professional public” (Pečar, 1973: 238), the printed word is nevertheless a criterion for measuring progress and for this reason it has been taken into account within this study. In our overview of professional literature it was established that the majority of publications in this period were written by practitioners from the field of criminalistics. Among them we should mention, above all, the head of a crime investigation laboratory, Vlado Vidic, who published in Revija za kriminalistiko in kriminologijo (Kriminalistična služba) between the years of 1950 and1960. He published over 20 articles that dealt with a variety of investigative issues, including ballistics, dactyloscopy, tool prints, foot prints and polygraphs (e.g. Vidic, 1951; 1952; 1957; 1960). Vidic, who underwent training at the Institute for Scientific Police and Criminology at the University of Lausanne in the years 1953/54 (Golja, 2006), published, in 1973, ‘Criminalistics’ the first specialized textbook of criminalistics (Vidic, 1973). Although this textbook was an internal publication (rather than a widely available one), designed basically for the education and training of police officers and criminal investigators, it was nevertheless used also by lawyers. Vidic ceased publishing in Revija za kriminalistiko in kriminologijo after 1960 and after that for 20 years there were no major domestic articles published in the area of criminal investigation. In 1972 one of the few works related to crime investigation methods was published by Jože Predanič (1972). At this time, the only other notable authors dealing with crime investigation tactics, and in particular with issues of interrogation, were Katja Vodopivec (Vodopivec 1960b; Vodopivec, Kobal, Bavcon, Skalar, 1966) and Teodor Košir (Košir, 1959; 1962). Beside these key works, little else was published within this field in Slovenia at this time.
In general, it could be said that the majority of publications written between the years of 1950 and 1980, were in the area of criminalistics (forensics), although these publications did not result from research but rather from the transmission of international knowledge and from domestic practice-based experiences. This is important, because the Slovene professional audience was thus informed about the most recent discoveries and findings which had been made in other countries, and which enabled criminal investigation technicians to adopt new practices. Another factor that contributed to progress within criminal investigation, was the training of Slovene professionals in foreign countries, their participation on foreign conferences and their visits to internationally-recognized forensic institutions. Apart from Vidic, also of note was the influence of Janez Golja who trained at the University of Lausanne between 1972 and 1973 and was afterwards, for many years, head of the Centre for Forensic Examinations (Golja, 2006). In this way, a Western European doctrine of forensic science was adopted by the Slovene national forensic laboratory. This laboratory obtained most of its instruments and equipment between the years of 1976 and 1982 under the direction of Ciril Žerjav and managed, during this period, to recruit a more highly trained body of staff (ibid.). It can therefore be established that the state of criminalistic practice was, at this time relatively satisfactory, when compared to developments in the rest of the world, although still lacking its own body of empirical research.
The second major textbook of criminal investigation was also written by a criminal investigation practitioner and the head of the Centre for Forensic Examinations, Ciril Žerjav. His ‘Criminal Investigation‘ was published in 1983
499(Žerjav, 1983) and represented a continuation of the internal police handbook
’The fundamentals of crime investigation tactics‘, that was originally published in 1969 (Žerjav, 1969). Its content mainly focused upon crime investigation tactics with some attention to methodics. In this book, the author brought together the knowledge acquired from articles, published in Slovene periodicals, and integrated them into a comprehensive textbook. The book was revised in 1994 and modified into a broader and more contemporary textbook, becoming the next edition of his ’Criminal Investigation‘ (Žerjav, 1994). In this book all three fields of criminal investigation were included: crime investigation tactics, forensics and methodologies. Themes are presented in logical sequences, following the logic of detection and investigation of criminal offences. Žerjav has been one of the rare criminal investigation specialists in our country to undertake the writing of a criminal investigation textbook, which makes his work of such importance. In the foreword to his book, Janez Pečar wrote the following words: “Mister Žerjav, a criminal investigator and official in the criminal investigation department, was one of the rare persons in Slovenia, if not the only one, who actively joined as a practitioner and a teacher the world of researchers and authors and transmitted his criminal investigation knowledge to others; by accomplishing this lifelong task, he erected himself an eternal monument in the Slovene criminal investigation.” (Žerjav, 1994: 11). This textbook was mainly designed for the training of police officers in the former cadet school, while students at the Faculty of Law mostly used Yugoslav textbooks, written by professors Vlado Vodinelić, Tomislav Marković and Živojin Aleksić, because no suitable Slovene criminal investigation university textbook existed at that time.
2.2 Research Work at the Institute of Criminology
A step forward was made in academic and research terms when the Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljanaemployed, in 1976, a graduate of the Faculty of Law, who specialized in criminal investigation research. His employment was financed by the Republic Secretariat for Internal Affairs and this decision (coupled with Pečar’s efforts) led to a period of more systematic and specialized Slovene research of criminal investigation. The author of this contribution, Darko Maver, created through his diploma thesis at the Faculty of Law, an entirely new branch of criminal investigation, odorology, i.e. the use of odours in the investigation of criminal offences. He pointed to the possibility of identification of criminal offenders by the means of odours left on a victim, crime scene or on objects. The police showed some interest in this thesis which was also published in the professional periodical Varnost (Maver, 1976), yet no further developments have occurred since then.
The first empirical research study of crime investigation methodics was also carried out by Maver during the course of his master’s thesis at the Faculty of Law. His empirical research explored shoplifting and was published in the book ’Shoplifting in Self-Service Stores‘(Pečar, Maver, Zobec, 1981). On the basis of this research, a number of lectures and seminars were organized by the Institute of
Criminology for shopkeepers and store personnel, which contributed to better and more efficient detection and investigation of shoplifting in stores. Empirical research of this type has not been carried out for some time.
During his doctoral research, the author of this paper undertook extensive theoretical research about the characteristics of the truth-finding process in criminal investigation. As knowledge about epistemological and psychological aspects of criminal investigation were rather scarce in Slovenia, as well as in Central Europe, the author focused his attention upon literature from the former Soviet Union and undertook a three month study visit to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Under the mentorship of professor Krylov, he collected at the Leningrad Faculty of Law relevant materials for his dissertation and became acquainted with numerous new areas of criminal investigation, which were more or less unknown in the Occident. A doctoral dissertation ’Collecting and Establishing Facts about a Criminal Offence and its Perpetrator as a Truth-Finding Process in Criminal Investigation‘ was written under the mentorship of professor Živojin Aleksić from the Belgrade Faculty of Law and it remains the only research work of this kind in Slovenia. The dissertation was published under the title ’Criminal Investigation Fact-Finding Process‘(Maver, 1988a, 1990) and has become a mandatory textbook for students of the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana. Through this research, an entirely new approach was taken in the theory of criminal investigation, comprising gnoseological (epistemological), fact-finding, psychological, cognitive and intuitive spheres of criminal investigation work. This theme was mainly tackled from the theoretical point of view and by incorporating the findings of other scientific disciplines (psychology, philosophy and law) and case studies. He combined all these sources of knowledge and used them to solve actual criminal investigation problems. This dissertation gave rise to a series of articles on gnoseological process in criminal investigation (Maver, 1985b, 1988b), the role of logic and creative thinking (Maver, 1984a, 1985a) and investigative situations (Maver, 1984b). The author of this paper also explored some new areas of criminal investigation, but these still require extensive research and empirical verification. He also completed a number of empirical research studies concerning criminal investigation, including work on legal and investigative aspects of a suspect interview (Maver, 1988a) and with Edo Posega a study on missing persons (Maver, 1983) and burglary(Maver, Posega, 1989). After having obtained his LL.D. degree and being appointed assistant professor for criminal investigation at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana (this was the first position in Slovenia for the exclusive teaching of this subject), Maver began lecturing on this subject, a role which he undertakes to this day (as full professor).
During this period, another expert became involved in criminal investigation research, Anton Dvoršek, a lawyer and former criminal investigator, who devoted most of his attention to the problems of detection and investigation of economic crime. With his master’s thesis he laid the foundations of the study of the investigation of economic crime(Dvoršek, 1988) and published the findings of his study in one of the scientific journals (Dvoršek, 1989). Dvoršek published until 1990, including scientific papers in domestic and foreign periodicals, addressing issues as varied as the role of the mass media in the detection of crimes (Dvoršek, 1986) and economic crime (Dvoršek, 1989). The majority of his subsequent research
501was focussed, amongst other areas, on his doctoral dissertation (Dvoršek, 2000a).
Beside the aforementioned experts, there were no other notable researchers in Slovenia undertaking criminal investigation research during this time.
3 PERIOD 1991 – 2009
After the first elections of the new independent state and personnel changes at the highest levels of the Police (militia) and the Ministry of the Interior (former Republic Secretariat for Internal Affairs), some important changes took place. These include a reorganization of police training, more support for research work, more openness towards foreign countries, and closer international cooperation in the field of criminal investigation. These developments enhanced the possibility of acquiring internationally-generated knowledge. The accumulation of knowledge and expertise regarding criminal investigation was further enabled through various other developments, including the integration of Slovenia to Interpol (1992); Europol (2001); the Middle European Police Academy (MEPA); the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI), the signing of bilateral agreements pledging cooperation in regard to action against organized crime and drugs and the beginning of cooperation with the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, BKA and other crime investigation bureaus. During this period the Association of Criminal Investigators of Slovenia was established, and, crucially, the College of Police and Security Studies was founded in 1996 by the Ministry of the Interior. The College also obtained the status of affiliate member of the University of Ljubljana, but in 2003 was reorganized and renamed the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security and became integrated into the University of Maribor. This enhanced possibilities for the development of criminal investigation and related sciences at university level and finally enabled the realization of efforts and proposals made by professor Pečar at the end of the 1960s. This resulted in the end of criminal investigation research at the Institute of Criminology. Current research at the Institute has been mainly concerned with research into fields such as criminology, penology, victimology, criminal law and social control. The absence of criminal investigation experts has left a considerable gap in the research and publishing activities of the Institute, because, with the exception of one piece of work, no extensive empirical or theoretical crime investigation research has been undertaken since then.
3.1 Research and Publishing Activity
In terms of postgraduate study activities (in particular, at the College of Police and Security Studies, subsequently the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security) a number of monographs have been produced, dealing with theoretical work into individual criminal investigation topics. They have brought new knowledge to light and represent an important contribution to pedagogic activity. Anton Dvoršek, who spent a couple of years as director of the Criminal Police Administration, continued with research into the investigation of economic crime and obtained
his doctoral degree at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana following the submission of “Crime Investigation Strategy of Reduction of Economic Crime” (Dvoršek, 2000a). With this research, he laid the foundations for a new branch of criminal investigation and became a pioneer of crime investigation strategy in Slovenia. He published his findings in a textbook ’Crime Investigation Strategy‘(Dvoršek, 2001a), created a new university study subject and taught on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Soon afterwards, he published another textbook ’Crime Investigation Methodics‘, which has been, with Predanič’s book, one of only two public textbooks of this kind in Slovenia (Dvoršek, 2003).
Dvoršek also carried out during this period some empirical research projects addressing the investigation of property crimes, in particular burglaries and robberies. Articles, resulting from this research, deal with burglaries in apartments and residential houses (Dvoršek, 1991), the investigation and prevention of robberies in Slovenia (Dvoršek, Meško, Bučar-Ručman, 2005) and also with the police and investigative aspects of work with victims of crime (Dvoršek, Maver, Meško, 2007). Yet, Dvoršek’s principal research interest in this period was focused on crime investigation strategies (Dvoršek, 2001b; 2002) and on the ethics of investigation (Dvoršek, 2000b). He also developed a new subject for postgraduate study at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, entitled “Crime Investigation Strategies of Crime Reduction” which later became “Crime Investigation Intelligence Activity”. This area continues to be his primary research focus.
At the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security at the University in Maribor (formerly, the College of Police and Security Studies), another expert engaged in research and teaching in the area of criminal investigation is Bojan Dobovšek. In his master’s thesis he addressed questions of organized crime (Dobovšek, 1997) and, in his doctoral dissertation, he looked at corruption in public administration (Dobovšek, 2003). Although these research studies have been more concerned with criminological rather than criminal investigation issues, he nevertheless paid some attention to issues of criminal investigation. In his scientific papers he has addressed some contemporary issues of criminal investigation (e.g. Petrović, Dobovšek, 2006; Dvoršek, Dobovšek, 1996; Dobovšek, Meško, 2005) and in some others, he touches indirectly upon the criminal investigation aspects of predominantly criminological themes such as organized crime, corruption and informal connections (e.g, Dobovšek, 2008; Dobovšek, Pirnat, 2008; Meško, Mitar, Dobovšek, 2008, Dobovšek, Eman, 2008). As an experienced lecturer of criminal investigation, he can certainly be considered as one of the co-founders of the study Slovene criminal investigation. In terms of postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, he has prepared new study programmes, is responsible for the study subject ’Detection of Selected Forms of Transnational Crime‘ at postgraduate level, and has joint responsibility for the subject ’Criminal Investigation Aspects of Response to the Contemporary Forms of Crime‘ on the doctoral programme.
Research into psychological aspects of crime investigation, and in particular of the psychophysiological examination of deception has been undertaken by Polona Selič. As a doctor of psychology and a criminal investigator, she directed most of her attention to polygraph examinations and, with Andrej Juratovec, laid the foundations of the Slovene polygraph school. They were both trained in Zagreb
503and in the United States and became the first Slovene members of the American
Polygraph Association. Their research and practical experiences resulted in a series of scientific papers, presenting not only various methods of polygraph examinations, but also the most recent research findings from abroad (Selič, 2001; 2003; 2005; 2006; Selič and Juratovec, 2004a; 2004b). Selič also wrote papers about interview tactics for criminal offenders by a mixed gender pairing of criminalists (Selič, 1999), about interrogation of suspects who have committed serious criminal offences (Selič, 2000) and about non-verbal communication (Selič, 2007). She has also dealt with offender profiling and operative case analysis (Maver, Selič, 2001), and directed a unit that provides investigative support to Criminal Police Administration. At the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security she has taught ’Violence and Criminal Offences with Elements of Violence‘ and, at the European Faculty of Law in Nova Gorica, the subject ’Criminal Investigation’.
Investigative psychology has also been taught at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security by Peter Umek and Igor Areh. Areh directed most of his research attention to bystander witnesses of criminal offences and treated this subject in his master’s thesis ’Reliability of Testimony‘(Areh, 2003) and, later, in his doctoral dissertation ’The Impact of Personality Characteristics on the Reliability of Testimony‘(Areh, 2007). These are some of the rare empirical research studies from the field of criminal investigation (investigative psychology) which have been published in scientific papers (Areh, 2004a, 2004b, 2008). Umek, too, tackled the same theme in the 1990s (Umek, 1993, 1995, 1996) and later on published some articles together with Areh (Areh, Umek, 2004; 2007; Umek, Areh, 2007). Both of them were also concerned with the practical and theoretical aspects of the psychological profiling of criminal offenders. Both psychologists are leaders of study subjects at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security and teach these subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Peter Umek teaches ’Profiling in Criminal Investigation‘ and Igor Areh teaches ’Police and Forensic Psychology’.
The only empirical crime investigation research that was completed during this period was a study carried out by the Institute of Criminology. Jager and collaborators undertook an analysis of statistical data for all criminal offences committed in the period 2000 – 2002 and examined a selected sample of court files (Jager, Gorkič, Mozetič, Čibej, Brvar, 2006). This research project entitled’Analysis of the Effectiveness of Police Investigation of Crimes in Terms of the Development of Criminal Investigation and Standards of Evidence in Criminal Procedure‘ is one of the rare domestic research projects dealing with the efficiency of criminal investigation. In spite of the extensive work that was carried out (or because of it), this research nevertheless gives us only some preliminary foundations for further study.
The author of this contribution also participated in this research , although he has not been involved in empirical criminal investigation research since his departure from the Institute in 1990. After leaving the Institute, he headed a section of criminal police (having been a director of Criminal Investigation Administration at the Ministry of the Interior from 1990 to 1993), where he acquired knowledge about police practice and participated in international police activity. Afterwards he was Dean of the College of Police and Security Studies (he was its dean from
1998 to 2001) and finally focused his major interest on pedagogic processes in the field of criminal investigation. During this period he published scientific papers about typical defence strategies and strategies of investigation (Maver, 2000a) about ethics in criminal investigation (Maver, 2000b), criminalistic classification of criminal offences (Maver, 2002b), operative criminal investigation analysis (Maver, Selič, 2001), deception as a tactic of criminal investigation work(Maver, 2008) and the investigation of war crimes (Maver, 1997b). In this period he also published two important university textbooks, namely ’Criminal Investigation‘ (Maver, 1997a) and, together with co-authors, the most comprehensive criminal investigation textbook which has ever been published in Slovenia ’Criminal Investigation: Introduction, Tactics and Technics‘ (Maver et al., 2004). This textbook has been used as a basic textbook at all three law faculties in Slovenia as well as at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security and at the Police Academy.
Among the rare anthropologically oriented criminalists we should mention Bećir Kečanović, who has developed his interest in criminal investigation gnoseological process and ethics, and developed Maver’s work from the 1990s. He has also written a number of articles, among them a paper on police discretion (Kečanović, 2007) in which he addressed certain epistemological questions, and a paper on the multiple dimension of suspicionin criminal investigation (Kečanović, 2001).
Katja Drobnič was an expert who was particularly active in the area of forensic sciences/ criminalistics. She focused her interest on biological traces and, in particular, on blood traces and DNA identification. Besides a number of articles on DNA, published in domestic and foreign periodicals and other publications, we shall mention only those which are relevant to criminal investigation. Among them are some papers on the identification of persons and traces by DNA examination (Drobnič, 1999; 2001a; 2001b; 2002a; 2003) and on blood traces (Drobnič, 2002b). Besides Drobnič, other experts from the Centre for Forensic Examinations carried out empirical research studies. One of them is Matej Trapečar (Trapečar, Balažic, Drobnič, 2007; Trapečar, Balažic, 2007; Trapečar, Kern Vinkovič, 2008) who wrote about different methods of fingerprint recovery (e.g. from human skin and from fruit) and who tried to combine fingerprint examination with DNA analyses. These are quite interesting studies, yet require more extensive testing and verification. The area of forensic chemistry has been covered by Sonja Klemenc, who obtained her Ph. D. for research into forensic examination of heroin (Klemenc, 2003) and who has published some papers in this area with her colleagues (Budič, Klemenc, 2000; Gostič, Klemenc, Štefane, 2009).
A series of articles related to forensic sciences, in particular ballistics, has been written by Janez Golja, a long-term head of the Centre for Forensic Examinations. Similar to his colleague Janez Vidic from the previous period, Golja closely followed international progress in forensic science and attempted to integrate it into the forensic work undertaken in Slovenia. He also wrote reports on and made assessments of the activities of the Centre for Forensic Examinations, performed of the role of a forensic expert, undertook pedagogic activities and was deeply engaged in international cooperation. He was also one of the founding members of ENFSI (European Network of Forensic Science Institutes) and the initiator of
505the integration of Slovenia to ASCLD (American Society of Crime Laboratory
Directors). Unfortunately, his proposals for more active criminalistic-technical research work within the Centre have not been accepted and, consequently, this institution has never been significantly or systematically involved in research activity. Some papers on criminalistics were published also by Andrej Gerjevič who was engaged in the pedagogic process after completing his specialization study (Gerjevič, 2006).
Recently, the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security has engaged a new assistant for criminal investigation, Danijela Frangež, who received her master’s degree by conducting research in burglaries (Frangež, 2008a) and who has already published some articles in this area (e.g. Frangež, 2008b).
3.2 Pedagogic Activity
In spite of the relatively modest research activity in criminal investigation, it is nevertheless interesting to note that the situation regarding teaching has considerably improved over time, in particular at the university level of education. The number of academic hours dedicated to criminal investigation, criminalistics, forensic sciences, crime investigation methodics and investigative psychology has considerably increased in recent years. This especially applies to the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, where up to 1,325 academic hours are devoted to criminal investigationcourses, seminars and practical work at undergraduate and post-graduate level. It is also worth mentioning that the specialist study of criminal investigationwas introduced to the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security as it enabled police personnel to acquire specialised knowledge and expertise, in such areas as methods of criminal investigation and ‘investigative strategy’ amongst others. Some of the top officials in the Slovene police completed this study and obtained the title of ‘criminal investigation specialist’. With the onset of the Bologna reform, this programme was unfortunately abolished.
A more detailed disposition of subjects and academic hours is indicated in Table 1.
Although other faculties are not so favourable to the teaching of criminal investigation, the number of academic hours devoted to criminal investigation is nevertheless amazing, especially with regard to the relatively modest research and publishing activity carried out at these faculties. At the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, criminal investigation is still a one semester subject with 30 academic hours; with the Bologna reform, the number of hours increased to 45, but it became an optional subject. At the Faculty of Law in Maribor, it is also an autonomous subject with 45 hours, but with the introduction of a new programme, it was abolished as a non-legal subject. At the European Faculty of Law in Nova Gorica it is an optional subject with 45 hours. Where do the teachers of these faculties then get their knowledge? It can be supposed that it mostly comes from abroad. Consequently, there is a need for a more systematic development of criminal investigation and more extensive research work. This would at least enable us to keep pace with foreign achievements and findings, if it is not possible for us to overtake them in
some fields. The situation is a particularly concern for the faculties of law, where criminal investigation has recently become generally an optional subject or has even been abolished. This means that the future prosecutors, judges and attorneys will be without the appropriate knowledge required for their work.
Study programme Subject hours
Superior School programme crime investigation 120 forensic psychology 60 organized crime 60 economic crime 60 University programme criminal investigation 90 strategy of criminal investigation 75 methodology of criminal investigation 75 basics of forensic sciences 75 investigative and forensic psychology 75
profiling in criminal investigation 75
forensic sciences 75
detection of selected forms of transnational crime 75 criminal intelligence 75 criminal investigation gnoseological process 110 crime investigation strategy of crime reduction 110
computer forensics 75
Doctoral study modern trends of crime investigation strategy criminal investigative aspects of responses to 20 contemporary forms of criminality 20
The number of teachers of criminal investigation has increased over time; from one assistant professor in 1991 to more than ten teachers. As of 2009, the teaching staff area as follows: full professors are: dr. Darko Maver (criminal investigation), dr. Peter Umek (investigative psychology); associate professors: dr. Anton Dvoršek (criminal investigation), dr. Katja Drobnič (criminal investigation) and dr. Bojan Dobovšek (criminal investigation); assistant professors: dr. Polona Selič (criminal investigation) and dr. Igor Areh (forensic psychology); senior lecturers: spec. Andrej Gerjevič (criminalistics) and Igor Lamberger, M.A. (economic crime); lecturers: Janez Golja (criminalistics), Jaka Demšar (economic crime) and three assistants, Saša Vučko (criminalistics), Danijela Frangež, M.A. (special forms of criminality) and Jure Škrbec (criminalistics). It is possible that these academic posts are not well balanced, yet they indicate areas of interest to individual teachers. Some of them are also involved in the organization of a criminal investigation course which is conducted by the police to develop future criminalists.
Table 1: The disposition of subjects and academic hours
4 GENERAL REVIEW AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Some General Remarks on Research and Publishing Activity
in the Field of Criminal Investigation
The present review clearly indicates that publishing activity in criminal investigation was intense between 1950 and 1960. It was followed by a period of inactivity and was again resurrected in the 1980s, when the Institute of Criminology engaged and trained a researcher in criminal investigation. Although his research work was financed by the former Republic Secretariat for Internal Affairs, which supported the development of criminal investigation at an academic level, it must nevertheless be admitted that there was no major interest for the integration of his research findings into crime investigation practice. With the departure of this researcher from the Institute in 1990, the Institute’s activity in this area ceased completely, resulting in an absence of research studies. During this time, developments in Slovene criminal investigation came with the influence of professor Vlado Vodinelić and some Russian authors. This lent criminal investigation a more theoretical focus that enabled the exploration of new and interesting themes which had not previously been dealt with by Western criminal investigation research. In general, access to Russian sources has always been somewhat limited, due to a lack of available literature and an ignorance of language and Cyrillic alphabet; in this regard we held a certain advantage over Western countries.
From 1990, research activity into criminal investigation, although still not particularly developed, was taken over by the College of Police and Security Studies, and later reorganized into the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security of the University of Maribor. The research work of its academic staff was carried out mainly in the context of postgraduate and doctoral programmes at other faculties, in particular the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social Sciences. It can be stated that practically no research work has been conducted outside of academia. Similarly, there has been a lack of support directed at research activity by its users (in particular, the police), as a result of various personal conflicts arising between the management of police and the head of the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security. A growing tension between these two institutions also arose due to an increasing isolation of the police and their growing distrust of empirical research conducted by outsiders. Research into criminal investigation must be based on the study of practical procedures and on empirically established problems and the pursuit of appropriate solutions, which is a rather difficult task in itself. It requires a direct follow-up of investigative procedures, observation of decision-making processes, criminal investigation theorising by criminalists and measurement of the efficiency of criminal investigation procedures. Needless to say, this kind of research is difficult to carry out without substantial degree of cooperation of the involved parties. It is not surprising therefore, that the focus of researchers has concentrated on criminological and security issues, which are easier to study. Such attitudes resulted in a diminished role and significance of criminal investigation at the academic level. This trend is clearly indicated by the number of research studies and published articles from criminal investigation, especially in comparison with
publications from criminology and criminal justice as well as by the general status of criminal investigation as a science and university subject (see Table 2).
Institution Total number Criminology investigationCriminal
Institute of Criminology
1954 - 2009 160 90 4 (+ 2)*
Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security
1996 – 2001 - VPVŠ 40 6 2
2001 – 2005 - FVV 50 11 1
2006 - 2009 5 (31) 5 0 (+6)* Total (1954 – 2009): 255 (286) 112 7 (15)* = 3% * research studies of internal character
From the total number of completed research studies, only 3% focused on criminal investigation. There were also some internal studies carried out, and that were financed by other sources, yet this fact does not considerably change the situation. It is evident that there was much more research being undertaken in the fields of criminology, police sciences and penology than in the field of criminal investigation and this clearly indicates that research in this area has become neglected.
Periodical Total investigationCriminal %
Revija za kriminalistiko in kriminologijo (1950-2009) 960 135 14% Varstvoslovje (1999-2009) 298 21 7% Zbornik VŠNZ (1991-1996) 117 7 6% Varnost (1981-1992) 296 36 12%
Policija (1993-1995) 37 5 13%
Total 1.708 204 12%
A similar situation can be noticed in the publication of articles in scientific periodicals and collections of papers. For the purpose of this paper, we analysed the periodicals which published articles from the area of criminal investigation: Revija za kriminalistiko in kriminologijo, Varstvoslovje, Varnost, Policija and Zbornik znanstvenih razprav VŠNZ (Collection of Scientific Papers of the College of Police and Security Studies) (see Table 3). In this analysis we examined all volumes of the aforementioned periodicals and divided the articles into two categories (‘criminal investigation’ and ‘others’). We focused our attention solely upon criminal investigation articles and therefore did not analyse the content of other articles, because it was not important for the purpose of this overview. Although Table 2: Comparison of the number of research studies from criminal justice, criminology and criminal investigation in Slovenia (Source: Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana; Meško, 2002; 2006) Table 3: Articles published in professional and scientific periodicals
509the number of papers from criminal investigation looks rather impressive, it
nevertheless constitutes only 12 % of published papers.
It can be said that more than 200 scientific and professional papers in the area of criminal investigation is not a large body of work if it represents only 12 % of all papers, published over a 60 year period. In order to establish how many scientific and professional papers in the area of criminal investigation have been produced by individual authors, we also analysed the COBISS system. However, we were faced with a number of methodological problems and obstacles and ultimately abandoned a more detailed analysis of the number of articles and authors dealing with criminal investigation. It is nevertheless obvious from the review of research and professional activity related to criminal investigation in Slovenia, that only a small number of researchers have been concerned with this subject area. These researchers have mostly selected one theme and developed it in the frame of their postgraduate studies. Only a few conducted empirical research in order to verify their theoretical hypotheses. The majority of authors are affiliated to the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security and are mostly lawyers, psychologists or criminal justice experts, while some others work at the Centre for Forensic Examinations and have degrees within the natural or technical sciences.
It seems that criminal investigation as a scientific and practical discipline has undergone a crisis both in Slovenia and further afield. It has gradually lost its autonomy and been integrated into criminology, police sciences and criminal justice. Although it is still possible to gain an academic appointment in criminal investigation and it is still adequately represented in study programmes, it is nevertheless impossible to obtain a university degree in criminal investigation nor to obtain a respective M.A. or Ph. D. degree. Criminal investigation is classified as a research discipline in Slovenia within the category ′criminology and social work′ and criminalists are very often classified with criminologists (e.g. Meško, Tičar, 2008: 288-289). At the same time, there is an increasing split between anthropologically-oriented criminal investigation (e.g. tactics and methodics) and criminalistics, which is becoming, as a forensic science, increasingly autonomous. On the one hand, this is understandable, because natural and technical sciences have developed in a way that makes it incredibly hard for a non-expert to follow. Criminalists, prosecutors, attorneys and judges are no longer in a position to have a knowledge and expertise of this large field of science and for this reason they leave it to experts and focus their attention on its practical application (for example, on crime scene investigation). In order to be efficient in their work, investigators are supposed to know about criminalistics as much as it is necessary for a practical search, detection and protection of traces at crime scene, while the laboratory and expert work should be left to forensic experts. It is particularly important to know the procedures, methods and standards of the search for and protection of traces and thus to avoid errors that might compromise the prosecution. The value of the integrity of physical evidence has also become increasingly important, i.e. the chain of custody. What is still unclear, is a distinction between criminal investigation and investigative psychology as many of themes are duplicated (for example, interrogation, collection of information, polygraph examination, hypnosis, non-verbal communication, lying and deception). In any case, criminal investigation
definitely requires a fresh impetus as well as a renewed degree of endeavour for the consolidation of its status of an autonomous science. It would also be necessary to make a clear delimitation between criminal investigation and related disciplines. If we want to meet all these objectives, there will be enough work for all researchers working within the discipline of criminal investigation.
4.2 Achievements and Plans for the Future
In spite of all what has been said, it can nevertheless be stated that experts in Slovenia have been involved in some quite innovative fields of criminal investigation, although their findings and published articles have failed to have much impact at an international level. We wrote about some criminal investigation issues which have only recently been addressed abroad (in particular in Western countries). The aforementioned authors (Maver, for example) addressed issues such as criminal investigation thinking, the role of logic in criminal investigation, the role of intuition and creative thinking in solving crime investigation problems and criminal investigation gnoseological process in the 1980s, and we can see that these topics have only recently been considered within Anglo-American literature (see e.g. Rossmo, 2009). These questions have already been dealt with in literature by some German and Swiss criminalists (for example Hans Walder, William Pfister, Reiner Magulski) and in particular by authors from the former Soviet Union, yet this does not reduce the importance of their contribution to the development of criminal investigation in Slovenia.
In a similar way, we developed a new area of investigative strategy (Dvoršek) which was, to some extent, modelled upon the work conducted by German criminalists. Dvoršek has also written about subjects that are not very frequently encountered in Anglo-American literature (for example, strategies of Sun Cu in the fight against economic and other crime, links between investigative strategy and criminal policy and criminal intelligence activities)
Although Slovene authors have not published to a great extent in foreign scientific periodicals, we must not disregard some important contributions published in the prominent German periodical Kriminalistik (Dvoršek, Meško, Bučar-Ručman, 2005; Dvoršek, Maver, Meško, 2007; Trapečar, Balažic, Drobnič, 2007) and in collections of papers from international criminal investigation conferences (Maver, 1997a; Dobovšek, Meško, Umek, 2000; Maver, 2001; etc. ) and symposia (for example, at the NA FBI conference in Ljubljana; Maver, 2003, Drobnič, 2003). Polona Selič attracted considerable attention at the meeting of the American Polygraph Association with her paper on tactics of interview with criminal offender by a pair of male-female criminalists (Selič, 1999).
In spite of the individual achievements of Slovene criminalists, the problem of empirical research has remained due to an absence of these studies. This situation has not changed considerably in the last ten years. On the one hand, there is a lack of researchers who are motivated to engage in such research, and, on the other, there is also a lack of institutional support and interest in these studies. Although empirical research studies certainly require a lot of work and
511patience and arouse suspicion amongst research subjects, they are nevertheless
important for the improvement of crime investigation work in the detection and investigation of crimes and the collection of evidence. They contribute to reducing the number of failures in the investigation of crimes. It is not surprising that the attention of researchers from abroad (in particular from Great Britain and the USA) has recently focused on the examination of failures in criminal investigation and sentencing (see e.g. Rossmo, 2009) and on the efficiency of crime investigation (e.g. Newburn, Williamson, Wright, 2007). Such research studies are practically non-existent in Slovenia. It seems that we are mostly satisfied with ad hoc findings and with the dissemination of their findings to the professional public at conferences and symposia or by publishing them in professional papers. This is also useful, of course, but still not enough. At this moment, there are only two research studies in criminal investigation being undertaken and even these are of an internal character. Daniela Frangež has been preparing, in the context of her doctoral dissertation, empirical research on detection, investigation and evidential issues associated with sexual abuse of children, while Darko Maver is currently carrying out an internal project on police interrogation.
Yet, the situation is not so bad at it might look. New negotiations, undertaken with the Ministry of the Interior and the General Police Administration, have been promising and give hope for better possibilities of empirical research in the field of criminal investigation as well as in pre-trial and criminal proceedings. In this regard, it would be especially important to analyse reasons for the dismissal of charges and to establish where possible miscarriages of justice occur. It would be interesting and useful to investigate failures and errors committed in the pre-trial period and those criminal proceedings that resulting in acquittals. Further, it would be also necessary to find out by whom these errors have been committed and for what reason, the role of legal regulation and what should be done to avoid these failures in the future. The important question is what criminal investigation and additional special knowledge would be necessary to make investigators more efficient in the exercise of their powers and how to acquire this knowledge. This particularly applies to complex cases of the investigation of economic and financial crime, international organized crime, corruption and the most serious violent criminal offences. Transmission of foreign knowledge and experiences is certainly helpful yet it is also necessary to develop a domestic knowledge and to examine the Slovene context. If the foundation of the new National Bureau of Investigation and the reorganisation of the police are not accompanied by changes to education and training, based on the results of robust research work, we cannot realistically hope to expect more optimistic results in the detection and investigation of the more serious criminal offences. The establishment of this Bureau provides therefore an excellent opportunity for a fresh impetus to systematic research work in the field of criminal investigation. Users have exhibited an interest and motivation for this research, yet it will be still necessary to find financial means and to set up a long term research programme.
It is possible to expect some responses to the forthcoming opportunities within the academic sphere. In the context of post-graduate and master’s studies at the Faculty Criminal Justice and Security, some new possibilities for individual research
projects within the field of criminal investigation are emerging and they might provide new knowledge to investigators as well as to prosecutors and judges. It would be also necessary to overcome the current fragmentation and individualistic orientation of individual researchers and teachers and integrate them into major collaborative research projects. It is also necessary to address the training of new researchers and direct them to the field of criminal investigation. The management of the Faculty and heads of the Faculty chairs play an important role in motivating teachers and enabling them to participate more intensively in research work. So far, positive results are limited in this respect due to the overloading of teachers with pedagogic work. The large number of subjects with criminal investigation content at the undergraduate and postgraduate level is certainly encouraging, yet needs to be supported by appropriate new findings that can be obtained only through research activity.
In conclusion, we shall try to provide answers to the hypotheses proposed in the introduction of this paper:
In spite of apparently extensive literature, the field of criminal investigation as a −
discipline and science focussing upon the detection and investigation of criminal offences is not particularly healthy in Slovenia. As established previously, the number of completed research studies and published scientific and professional papers – in particular in comparison with criminological articles – is relatively small. This is particularly true of empirical research studies which would show the situation in practice and also provide results and findings and which are useful for improving the efficiency of investigation. The status of criminal investigation as an autonomous university subject is not questionable, yet criminal investigation is allocated to the group ′criminology and social work′ and criminalists combined, inappropriately, with criminologists. Another problem concerns the fact that the subject matter of criminal investigation is not clearly defined, especially in relation to forensic science and investigative psychology. In spite of all this, it is nevertheless important to emphasise that Slovenes have been creative in some areas of criminal investigation and have consistently followed international developments in the field (in particular in criminalistics and forensic sciences) and applied them to their own criminal investigation practice. For this reason the first hypothesis can be confirmed.
Research, publishing and pedagogic activities have mostly been carried out −
by individuals in the context of their postgraduate studies (in law, psychology, political sciences, criminal justice and natural and technical sciences) and their regular pedagogic work, but also by some practitioners from criminalistics and forensics. In this way, theory and practice were interconnected, because some of the theoreticians were also practitioners (in particular lecturers at the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security) and some of the practitioners were also teachers (at the same faculty), yet this was not combined sufficiently to effectively transmit knowledge. Anthropological (man-oriented) criminal
513theoretical research and the authors were mostly influenced by German and
Russian criminalists and the late Yugoslav professor Vlado Vodinelić. In the last decade, authors have mainly been engaged in publishing study literature for the subjects they are teaching and have produced a small number of relevant criminal investigation textbooks. In this regard, our hypothesis has been partially confirmed.
Research work in the field of criminal investigation has specific challenge that −
makes empirical research particularly difficult. Establishing practical problems without direct observation turned out to be unreliable and not sufficiently objective. On the other hand, the possibilities of direct observation of criminal investigators’ work and their results are somehow limited, due to the specific nature of criminal investigation work and methodological problems. In addition, there is also a certain mistrust and aversion by investigators and their institutions towards research conducted by outsiders. Simultaneously, we are faced with a lack of both interest and proposals by researchers and a certain disinterest on the side of possible users of such knowledge. A vicious circle thus occurs. Systematic research work was carried out at the Institute of Criminology only during the period when a regular researcher, specialised in this field of research, was working there. With his departure, the Institute’s activity in this area ceased and was left to the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security. Although the Faculty devoted many of its efforts to the introduction and development of individual criminal investigation programmes, it has nevertheless paid far less attention to systematic framework of research activity. In spite of that, the engagement of a new researcher in the field of criminal investigation and a more favourable attitude by the new leadership of the Police and the Ministry of the Interior give hope that the situation will get improved with time. The hypothesis has been partially confirmed.
What can be actually expected in the future? Will it be possible to report in a few years time about a successful breakthrough of criminal investigation and its knowledge in Slovenia, or shall we have to repeat the pessimistic estimations of the past? Will criminal investigation keep, forty years after the warnings of professor Pečar, an appropriate position in university study programmes or will it possibly decrease further in status? Will it generate more interest in research projects and the development of new knowledge? Shall we have more and more highly trained teachers and researchers, or shall we lose even those that we currently have?
These are only some of the questions which should be answered by the future strategic direction of the Ministry of the Interior, the Police Department and other crime control agencies, as well as by the management of respective academic institutions (such as the Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security and Faculties of law). If there is sufficient institutional support, financial means and other resources, we should not be worried about the development of criminal investigation. If this is not the case, its future does not seem very encouraging. There are many research themes which are sufficiently topical, interesting and applicable to be worth researching, and there are also enough researchers to undertake them. It would therefore only be necessary to show a willingness of researchers to combine their efforts and acquire the support of users (in particular the police, prosecution
agencies and courts), and to secure the cooperation of academic institutions in terms of providing financial resources for empirical research in this field. This would definitely also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal investigation in Slovenia. And to conclude, this is certainly a wish of the Slovene police and the foundation of the National Bureau of Investigation. These final events give hope that these objectives will be met in the future.
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