S. 1. This law shall govern the organisation, the
powers and the activities of the People's Defender and the civic
S. 2. The People's Defender and the civic mediators
shall guarantee respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens and
legal persons by proposing measures to discontinue the interference
with rights, to compensate for the damage suffered, and to create
conditions for a unimpeded and effective exercising of the rights
Election, Qualifications and Term of Office of
the People’s Defender
S. 3. Shall be elected People's Defender a Bulgarian
national who has reached the age of 40, but is not older than 65
years, possessing a university degree and knowledge in the field of
national and international law and revealing high integrity and
devotion to the ideas of humanism and democracy.
S. 4. (1) The People's Defender shall be elected by
the National Assembly for a term of five years. The People's
Defender shall carry out his duties until a newly-elected People's
Defender takes office.
(2) No one may be elected People's Defender more
S. 5. (1) During his term of office, the People's
Defender may not occupy a civil service, nor may he receive
remuneration for work, except for teaching and for scientific
publications, or fulfil any other public function.
(2) The People's Defender may not be member of a
political party or trade union.
(3) After the expiration of his term of office the
People's Defender shall have the right to resume his former work,
unless legal obstacles exist to that effect.
S. 6. (1) Proposals for the election of a People's
Defender may be made: the President of the Republic, the President
of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Judicial Council, as well
as twenty thousand Bulgarian nationals who have come of age.
(2) The proposal must be presented to the National
Assembly at least six months before the expiry of the term of
office of the active People's Defender. Where the term of office of
the People's Defender ends earlier, the proposal must be presented
to the National Assembly within six months after the term of office
S. 7. The National Assembly shall elect the People's
Defender by a simple majority.
(version: The National Assembly shall elect
the People's Defender by a majority of two-thirds of the Members of
Parliament present and voting).
S. 8. The election shall take place three months
before the expiry of the term of office of the active People's
Defender at the latest, simultaneously for all nominations and with
a single secret voting.
S. 9. (1) If none of the candidates proposed is
elected, one month before the expiry of the term of office of the
active People's Defender at the latest a second voting shall take
place under the conditions set out in the foregoing section.
(2) If none of the candidates receives the required
majority, shall be deemed elected the candidate who has received
the greatest number of votes at the second voting.
S. 10. Upon taking office the People's Defender
shall take the following oath: I swear that I would abide by the
Constitution, the laws, the international treaties and agreements
to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party, and I would serve the
people by make every effort to contribute to the recognition of
citizens' rights and freedoms.
S. 11. (1) The People's Defender shall be removed
from office in case of:
2. expiration of the term for which he was
3. death or loss of legal capacity;
4. removal for failure to carry out his duties;
5. sentencing by virtue of an effective verdict for
an intentional crime prosecuted on indictment.
(2) In case of removal of the People’s Defender from
office because of expiration of the term for which he was elected,
he shall continue to carry out his powers until the next People’s
Defender takes office.
S. 12. (1) The People's Defender may be removed for
failure to carry out his duties on a proposal from any of the
bodies or persons entitled to propose a nominee.
(2) A decision on the removal shall be made by a
simple majority, with a single secret voting, after the People's
Defender has been heard. The time for hearing may not be
(version: A decision on the removal shall be
made by a majority of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament
present and voting.)
Fundamental Principles of the Activities of
Independence and Immunity
S. 13. In the carrying out of his functions the
People's Defender shall only obey the Constitution, the laws, the
international treaties and agreements to which the Republic of
Bulgaria is a party, and shall be governed by his own conscience
S. 14. In his activities the People's Defender shall
be guided by the following principles:
1. assessment, on the basis of his inner conviction,
as to whether the institutions exercising public authority or
functions work in compliance with the requirements for just and
2. determination of the measures to be undertaken in
accordance with the principles of the rule of law and justice;
3. independence of any political party, and
S. 15. The People's Defender shall enjoy the same
immunity as a Member of Parliament.
S. 16. The People's Defender shall receive the
remuneration of a Member of the Constitutional Court.
Powers of People's Defender
S. 17. The People's Defender shall:
1. examine complaints and signals against
institutions exercising public authority or function which
interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals or which fail
to create the necessary conditions for the respect for these rights
2. make inquiries and checks in relation to
complaints and signals received;
3. make proposals and recommendations to
institutions exercising public authority or function in view of
respecting the rights and freedoms, overcoming the consequences of
interference with certain rights and freedoms, as well as
eliminating the reasons therefor;
4. seize the authorities listed in s. 150, subs. 1
of the Constitution where he is of the opinion that it is necessary
to interpret the Constitution or to declare a law
5. give opinions on cases pending before the
6. mediate between the institutions exercising
public authority or function and the persons concerned in view of
overcoming the violations committed, and reconcile their
7. have the right to request and receive timely,
comprehensive and accurate information from the institutions
exercising public authority or functions;
8. have the right to access to the institutions
exercising public authority or functions, including presence to
discussions and decision-making;
9. have the right to publicly express opinions on
the interference with rights and freedoms of individuals and the
10. notify the public prosecution office of the
results of his inquiries and checks where data exist that a crime
has been committed;
11. draft an annual report and present it to the
12. inform the National Assembly of particularly
grave cases of interference with and disrespect of rights and
13. publish a bulletin.
S. 18. The People's Defender may act on his own
initiative where he finds that the necessary conditions are not
created to respect the rights and freedoms of citizens and legal
S. 19. (1) The powers of the People's Defender shall
not extend to:
1. the National Assembly, the President, the
Constitutional Court and the Supreme Judicial Council;
2. the exercising of judicial power by the courts,
the public prosecution offices and the investigation services;
3. the relations pertaining to the field of national
security and foreign policy.
(2) The People's Defender may not bring actions on
behalf of the persons who have addressed him, nor may he represent
these persons before a court or any other institution exercising
public authority or power.
S. 20. The institutions exercising public authority
or function may not refuse to provide information or deny access to
the People's Defender on the ground that a State, official or
commercial secret is affected.
S. 21. (1) The People's Defender must refrain from
disclosing any circumstances constituting State, official or
commercial secret, as well as any personal secrets of which he has
become aware in relation to the exercising of his powers.
(2) The documents of the People’s Defender shall be
inviolable and shall not be subject to examination and
(3) The correspondence between the People’s Defender
and the persons that address him with complaints and signals shall
be inviolable, shall not be subject to examination and may not be
used as an evidence.
S.22. The People’s Defender cooperates with similar
institutions in other countries.
Procedure and Organisation of People's
S. 23. The People's Defender shall lay down the
procedure and the organisation of his activities.
S. 24. (1) In the exercising of his powers the
People's Defender shall be assisted by secretaries and by an
(2) The administrative office of the People's
Defender shall be an independent legal person funded through the
budget and having its seat in Sofia.
(3) The administrative office shall be managed by an
(4) The officers in the administrative office shall
have the status of civil servants.
Lodging of Complaints and Signals
S. 25. All Bulgarian and foreign nationals, and
stateless persons, all legal persons, irrespective of their
nationality, as well as non-formal organisations, may address the
People's Defender by means of complaints and signals.
S. 26. The complaint or the signal, accordingly,
must contain particulars about the sender, the way in which a
contact could be established with him, the violation and the
S. 27. For complaints made orally a protocol shall
be drawn up.
S. 28. The identity of the sender, at the request of
the latter, shall be kept in secret.
S. 29. No fees shall be charged for complaints and
signals lodged with the People's Defender.
S. 30. A complaint or signal may be lodged with the
People's Defender irrespective of the fact that other remedies also
exist to solve the issue raised.
Consideration of Complaints and Signals.
S. 31. Upon receipt of a complaint or signal, the
People's Defender must reply within one month whether he would
admit the issue to consideration, without any duty to state reasons
for his reply. The admissibility of a complaint or signal may be
reconsidered by the People's Defender even after it has been
accepted for consideration.
S. 32. Violations committed before more than two
years shall not be admitted to consideration.
S. 33. There shall be no obstacle to the same
complaint or signal being lodged again.
S. 34. The institutions exercising public authority
or function to which the People's Defender has made recommendations
or proposals must state, within one month, whether they accept
these or not, notify the People's Defender of the measures they
have taken and of the time limits within which they intend to take
any such measures.
S. 35. The People's Defender may also require an
administrative body to pronounce explicitly in the cases where the
time limit to appeal against a silent refusal has expired.
S. 36. The People's Defender shall inform the
senders of complaints and signals about the results of the measures
S. 37. The annual report of the People's Defender
1. information about the cases solved;
2. information about the cases where his
intervention has had no consequences and the reasons for that;
3. general information about those complaints and
signals lodged, the checks in relation to which have not been
4. information as to the proposals and
recommendations made and whether these have been taken into
5. information about the activities of the civic
6. an opinion on the degree of respect for the
rights and freedoms of the individuals;
7. a statement of expenditure;
8. an executive summary.
S. 38. (1) The report shall be presented to the
National Assembly for discussion until 31 March of the next
(2) The full text of the report shall remain at the
administrative office of the People's Defender at the disposal of
any interested parties.
S. 39. A summary of the annual report shall be
published in the State Gazette together with the decision of the
National Assembly on the report.
S. 40. The unabridged text of the annual report
shall be published in the bulletin of the People's Defender.
S. 41. The expenses relating to the activities of
the People's Defender shall form the subject of a separate section
of the State budget.
S. 42. The Municipal Councils may elect civic
mediators for a term of three years.
S. 43. Shall be elected civic mediator a Bulgarian
national, who has reached the age of 35, revealing high integrity
and devotion to the ideas of humanism and democracy.
S. 44. (1) Proposals for the election of a civic
mediator may be made by each resident of the municipality and the
(2) The Municipal Council shall form an interim
commission for discussing the proposals, which shall consist of
Members of the Municipal Council, representatives of not-for-profit
organizations and distinguished citizens.
(3) The interim commission shall propose to the
Municipal Council the three most appropriate proposals for
S. 45. The Municipal Council shall elect the civic
mediator by a majority of two-thirds of the Members of the
Municipal Council present and voting.
S. 46. (1) The civic mediator may be removed in case
of failure to carry out his duties upon a proposal by the interim
commission under S. 44 (2) and the People’s Defender.
(2) A decision on the removal shall be made by a
majority of two-thirds of the Members of the Municipal Council
present and voting.
S. 47. (1) The expenses relating to the activities
of the civic mediator shall be provided by the municipal budget
and/or the budget of the People’s Defender.
(2) Financing from anonymous sources shall not be
S. 48. (1) The civic mediator shall work in
cooperation with and under the methodological guidance of the
(2) The People’s Defender may assign the civic
mediators to perform examinations and to take measures in relation
to cases considered by him.
(3) In the exercising of his powers the civic
mediator shall be assisted by a technical office and/or by the
offices of the municipal administration.
S. 49. (1) The civic mediator shall have the status
of a civil servant and shall enjoy no immunity.
(2) The remuneration of the civic mediator may not
be less than the one of a judge in a regional court and shall be
specified by the authorities under S. 47 (1).
S. 50. (1) The annual report of the civic mediator
shall be presented to the People’s Defender and shall be submitted
for discussion to the Municipal Council until 31 January next
(2) The unabridged text of the report of the civic
mediator shall be left in the municipality at disposal of everyone
who is interested in it.
(3) The Municipal Council shall send its decision on
the report to the People’s Defender.
S. 51. In reference to the civic mediator shall be
respectively applied the provisions of Chapters II, III, IV, VI,
VII and VIII as far as anything else is not provided in this
§1. This Law shall come into force one year after
its promulgation in State Gazette.