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Round table: Spanish Experience in Reforming the Judiciary
On May 29, 2003, the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a round table on Spanish Experience in Reforming the Judiciary, featuring Mr. Alberto Dorrego, Director on Modernization of the Judiciary in the Spanish Ministry of Justice.

Mr. Dorrego introduced the general stages and the most significant prerequisites for the reform of the judiciary in Spain and underlined that the basis of this reform was the achievement of political consensus, manifested in a State Pact on the Judicial Reform. He pointed out the three basic elements of the Spanish model which guarantee independence and efficiency of the judiciary: legislative amendments, organizational reforms and reform in the administration and infrastructure of the judiciary.

Ms. Nelly Koutzkova, Chair of the Sofia District Court and Member of the Supreme Judicial Council, compared the processes of reforming the judiciary in Bulgaria and in Spain and addressed some criticism towards the contents and speed of the reform in Bulgaria.

Dr. Silvy Chernev, Chair of the Court of Arbitration with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shared his opinion on the long efforts for reforming the judiciary in Bulgaria and presented some of the main problems in this field.

Mr. Vladislav Slavov, Chair of the Supreme Administrative Court and of the Union of Bulgarian Jurists, Mr. Sevdalin Bozhikov, Deputy Minister of Justice and Ms. Ekaterina Mihailova, Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Group of the United Democratic Forces, who underlined the necessity of achieving a genuine and operative consensus between the political forces, presented their questions to Mr. Dorrego and their views on the problems in the reform of the Bulgarian judiciary.

Mr. Joaquin Delgado, Head of Department in the General Judicial Council in Spain, introduced some more of the specifics of the Spanish model of judiciary, saying that unlike Bulgarian, Spanish judges have no immunity against prosecution and that professional career in the judiciary is the essence of the Spanish contemporary system.

The round table participants expressed their unanimous determination for continuing the reform of the judiciary in Bulgaria despite the inevitable obstacles accompanying this process.

Agenda of the round table
Discussion: Spanish Experience in Reforming Judiciary: Lessons for Bulgarian Transition

Available in Bulgarian
Full records of the discussion in PDF (301 kb)
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