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Developing Judicial Anti-Corruption Program
 

Background

The Judicial Reform Initiative (JRI) consolidates the efforts of leading not-for-profit organizations, representatives of government institutions and experts from foreign and international organizations for developing a program for assistance and successful implementation of the judicial reform in Bulgaria. The Initiative was launched in early 1999. The main objective of the Initiative - a Program for Judicial Reform (PJR) in Bulgaria, based on a set of political and legislative measures - was successfully achieved. As a result of the established public-private partnership the main priorities of the PJR in Bulgaria have been incorporated and further improved in the Strategy in order to Reform the Judiciary in Bulgaria adopted by the Government in October 2001 and many reform efforts for implementing the Strategy have been launched. The UNDP has been involved in this process through the Project Comprehensive Review of the Administrative Justice System in Bulgaria aiming to facilitate the establishment of a modern and effective system of administrative justice.

Objectives

Taking into consideration the experience accumulated in the process of its implementation as well as the established public-private partnership with the Ministry of Justice the CSD Law Program as a Secretariat of JRI is going to initiate elaboration of a Judicial Anti-corruption Program (JACP) based on the updated PJR. The JACP will focus on the role of the Judiciary for preventing and combating corruption. The main objective of the JACP will be to identify the most important reform areas and to formulate a set of recommendations and mechanisms for achieving legal stability and confidence in the Judiciary.

Activities

The process of preparation of the Judicial Anti-corruption Program will consist of the following steps:

1. Forming Task forces for the elaboration of JACP

Task forces each focusing on main action lines of the reform will be formed as follows:

  • Constitutional Reform
  • Improving the legal basis for the anti-corruption actions:

    Penal Law and Penal Procedure Law
    Administrative Law and Administrative Procedure Law
    Civil Law (incl. Commercial Law) and Civil Procedure Law

  • Court Administration Reform. Training of Magistrates and of Judicial Administration Employees
  • Awareness and Confidence Building Measures

Experts involved in PJR development, distinguished lawyers, judges, civil society representatives will be invited as members of the task forces. A coordinator who will provide overall guidance and will coordinate the work of the Task forces will be appointed.

2. Preparing draft JACP by task forces experts

JACP will be designed as a background consensus document that will follow the main action lines as described under section 1. Special attention will be given on the constitutional reform debate as well as on the ongoing reform process of administrative law and administrative justice. In their work the Task forces experts will rely on the expertize of the main stakeholders as well as on the capacity of the UNDP in anti-corruption and its recent involvement in the judicial reform process in Bulgaria.

3. Policy Workshop

The initial version of the JACP will be presented and discussed with experts, representatives of governmental and non-governmental institutions, international organizations at a Policy Workshop. The conclusions and recommendations made will be summarized and incorporated in the final version of the JACP by the Task forces and their coordinator.

4. Policy Forum

Preparing the final version of the JACP as a document based on the consensus of organizations concerned regarding actions that have to be undertaken for encouragement and development of anti-corruption judicial reform. The JACP will be presented at a Policy Forum, a highly representative event of 100+ participants - members of the Parliament, the Executive, and the Judiciary, the Supreme Judicial Council, legal experts, representatives of the international organizations, civil society and business community.

5. Publication

The Judicial Anti-corruption Program will be published in Bulgarian and English in 1000 copies each.

 
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