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Round table: Ethics and Standards in Legal Professions
A round table on ethics and standards in legal professions was held at the Conference Hall of the Union of Bulgarian Jurists on June 6, 2003. The discussion was attended by judges, prosecutors, investigators, attorneys, court clerks, and other legal experts. The event was organized by the Union of Bulgarian Jurists, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), the American Bar Association / Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The participants were addressed by Mr. Vladislav Slavov, Chairman of the Supreme Administrative Court and of the Union of Bulgarian Jurists, Dr. Maria Yordanova, Director of the CSD Law Program, Mr. Duglas Francis, Liaison, ABA/CEELI, and Mr. Gene Gibson, Senior Advisor at the USAID.

In the first part of the discussion, the codes of ethics of the judges, the investigators and the court clerks and draft codes of ethics of the public prosecutors, notaries, lawyers and legal advisors were presented. Ass. Prof. Stefka Naumova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Mr. Yossif Geron, Union of Bulgarian Jurists, Ms. Kapka Kostova, Chair of the Sofia Regional Court and of the Union of Bulgarian Judges, Ms. Anna Bankova, Union of Bulgarian Public Prosecutors, Mr. Kamen Michov, Association of Public Prosecutors, Mr. Roumen Georgiev, Chair of the Chamber of Investigators and Deputy Director of the National Investigation Service, Ms. Natalia Stoeva, Member of the Board of the Union of Notary Chamber, Mr. Valentin Terziev, Supreme Council of the Attorneys-at-Law, Ms. Maria Strandzhanska, Chair of the Union of Legal Advisors, Ms. Zoja Marinova, Court Clerks' Association, and Mr. Dimitar Chatalbashev, Sofia Council of Attorneys-at-Law took part in the discussion.

The following topics were outlined during the discussion:
  • Mechanisms for application of codes of ethics;
  • Who adopts codes of ethics and what is the mandate of the adopting institution;
  • Obligatory character of rules of ethics;
  • Imposing sanctions for not complying with rules of ethics;
  • The risk of mechanical transformation of rules of ethics from other legal systems (English, American, European).

In the second part of the discussion, Mr. Kenneth Stuart, Chief of Party, USAID, presented the American experience in the elaboration and application of different codes of ethics for the legal professions. Statements and concrete proposals were made by Prof. Baycho Panev, Mr. Manyo Manev, Mr. Georgi Samsurov, Mr. Zdravko Daskalov, Ms. Roumjana Siderova, Mr. Kalin Michov and Ms. Deshka Rachevatz.

At the end of the event Mr. Yossif Geron from the Union of Bulgarian Jurists summarized the discussion. Participants approved and endorsed a Closing Document of the Round Table, containing a number of specific proposals.

Agenda of the round table
Closing Document of the Round Table

Available only in Bulgarian
Full records of the discussion in PDF (491 kb)
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