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Forthcoming Amendments to the Law on the Judiciary

A Task Force with the Ministry of Justice to draft the Law on Amendments to the Law on the Judiciary was set up in the beginning of last September. Representatives of the executive, legislative and Judiciary, as well as NGOs including the Center for the Study of Democracy were involved in its activities.

Substantial consensus on the need to amend the Law on the Judiciary has been achieved in the process of developing the Program for Judicial Reform in Bulgaria within the framework of the Judicial Reform Initiative. The main priorities of the further judicial reform development were identified in the Program. It was endorsed at a Policy Forum on May 18, 2000. The major part of these priorities was included in the Ministry of Justice' Concept Paper on the amendments needed to the Law on the Judiciary as a basis for furthering the judicial reform.

The amendments' scope and major directions include:

  • A more accurate selection of candidates and introducing contests as a major principle when appointing magistrates (especially newly appointed ones).
  • Improving the existing regulatory framework of the one-year internship of the court candidates.
  • Regulating and specifying the status of court administration.
  • Setting up with the Ministry of Justice a specialized unit (Court Police) to provide security and assistance to the judicial system's separate units.
  • Specifying the obligations for the various units of the Judiciary to accurately maintain court statistics and Uniform information system to combat criminality.
  • Improving mechanisms and procedures to ascertain/find out disciplinary violation cases and instituting disciplinary liability of all magistrates.
  • Assessment of the possibility to establish Specialized prisons.

The Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Judiciary (Available only in Bulgarian) and its Explanatory Notes (available only in Bulgarian) were finalized by the end of October 2000 and were discussed on a public hearing on November 17, 2000. The public hearing was organized by the Center for the Study of Democracy jointly with the Ministry of Justice and the Legal Interaction Alliance and took place in the Union of Jurists in Bulgaria.

See full records of the discussion (Available only in Bulgarian)

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