NAME: Barbara Brezigar
BACKGROUND: University education
POSITION: Supreme State Prosecutor Councilor
ORGANISATION: State Prosecutor General Office of Republic of Slovenia
My Background and Career
I graduated at the Faculty of Law in 1977. After a two-year internship in court I passed the bar exam in 1979 and in 1980 I was appointed as a District Prosecutor in Ljubljana. In 1994, I became Deputy Head of the Prosecutor's Office and in 1995, I also conducted the prosecutor's office. In 1996 I became the first leader of the Group of State Prosecutors for the Prosecution of Organized Crime and remained in office until June 1999. In May 1998, I was appointed a Supreme State Prosecutor.
In 2000, I was the Minister of Justice in the transitional government and after six months, I continued to work as the Supreme State Prosecutor.
In the presidential elections in 2002, I was the first female President candidate by the proposal of Slovenian intellectuals. As an independent candidate and as a political beginner I got into the second round and got 43.48 percent of votes.
In spring of 2004, National Assembly appointed me as the first Slovenian representative at Eurojust in Haag.
After a year, I returned from Haag, because the National Assembly elected me as the Prosecutor General of Slovenia. Form May 4th 2005 to May 3rd 2011, I held the post of State Prosecutor General and after the expiry of the six-year mandate I continued to work as the Supreme State Prosecutor Councilor.
In 2012 and 2013, I held the post of Secretary of State at the Ministry of the Interior and in March 2013, I returned to the State Prosecutor General Office.
My philosophy has always been to seriously and responsibly perform my work for the common good and to make the Public Prosecutor's Office in their work as a whole is successful, where sovereign people with the knowledge and human integrity operate. At the same time I was surprised that the society was not in sympathy for such ambitions, and the obstacles that have been placed on my path were represented by prejudice and opposition to any kind of change, accompanied by a large media support. A person cannot sustain such an objection by him- or herself. Therefore, the support of my husband and our two children was always very important and of a great help. In business environment, I was lucky that I had a small team of close collaborators. We had a common goal and trusted one another. At the beginning of the functioning in independent Slovenia, I had support from the first Attorney General in independent Slovenia, Mr. Anton Drobnič.
I think the most important thing for a good coordination between business and family life is the understanding of the family and the fact that my children were already independent when I performed the most complex and responsible functions.
I believe that only serious work, good team, an honest attitude to employees and adequate social climate can lead to success.
The combination of knowledge and experience, courage and will and feeling for people and the awareness that together we can do more, with appropriate external environment leads to good results. Just theoretical knowledge is not enough, but for the leading positions, also prior experiences are necessary.
Hints & Tips
It is good first to gather experiences and then take the challenge of leadership. I believe that applies to both men and women. It is my firm belief that for women who have families, it is particularly important to have support of their families.
When I think back, I could say that my motto at work was always: a fair and responsible attitude to work and the staff and functioning for the common good.