Home Site map Contact us Switch to Bulgarian
www.csd.bg
Quick search
 
CSD.bg
 
 
LAW ON THE PEOPLE'S DEFENDER AND THE CIVIC MEDIATORS
 

DRAFT

Chapter One

General Provisions

S. 1. This law shall govern the organisation, the powers and the activities of the People's Defender and the civic mediators.

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 and freedoms.

Chapter Two

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 than twice.

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 has ended.

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:

1. resignation;

2. expiration of the term for which he was elected;

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 limited.

(version: A decision on the removal shall be made by a majority of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament present and voting.)

Chapter Three

Fundamental Principles of the Activities of People's Defender.
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 and moral.

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 good governance;

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 institutional independence.

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.

Chapter Four

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 and freedoms;

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 anti-constitutional;

5. give opinions on cases pending before the Constitutional Court;

6. mediate between the institutions exercising public authority or function and the persons concerned in view of overcoming the violations committed, and reconcile their positions;

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 respect therefor;

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 National Assembly;

12. inform the National Assembly of particularly grave cases of interference with and disrespect of rights and freedoms;

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 persons.

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 confiscation.

(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.

 

Chapter Five

Procedure and Organisation of People's Defender

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 administrative office.

(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 administrative secretary.

(4) The officers in the administrative office shall have the status of civil servants.

Chapter Six

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 offender.

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.

Chapter Seven

Consideration of Complaints and Signals. Procedures

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 taken.

Chapter Eight

Annual Report

S. 37. The annual report of the People's Defender shall contain:

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 terminated;

4. information as to the proposals and recommendations made and whether these have been taken into consideration;

5. information about the activities of the civic mediators;

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 year.

(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.

Chapter Nine

Financial Conditions

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.

Chapter Ten

Civic Mediator

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 People’s Defender.

(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 discussion.

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 admissible.

S. 48. (1) The civic mediator shall work in cooperation with and under the methodological guidance of the People’s Defender.

(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 year.

(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 Chapter.

Concluding Provision

§1. This Law shall come into force one year after its promulgation in State Gazette.

 
CSD.bg
 
E-mail this page to a friend Home | Site map | Send a link | Privacy policy | Calls | RSS feed Page top     
   © Center for the Study of Democracy. © designed by NZ