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Public discussion: The Ombudsman Institution in Bulgaria
On April 9, 2002, a public discussion on The Ombudsman Institution in Bulgaria took place in the National Assembly. It was organized jointly by the Union of Jurists in Bulgaria, the Center for the Study of Democracy, the Parliamentary Information Center and the American Bar Association - Central and East European Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI). The event was attended by representatives of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, the local mediators of Veliko Turnovo and Stara Zagora, non-governmental organizations, and the media.

Mr. Anton Stankov, Minister of Justice, and Mr. Vladislav Slavov, Chair of the Supreme Administrative Court and Chair of the Union of Jurists in Bulgaria, opened the discussion.

Students from the Parliamentary Internship Program introduced a comparative legal review on the Ombudsman institution in different countries. The Draft Laws on the Ombudsman were presented by the MP's Mr. Ljuben Kornezov, Ms. Ekaterina Mihailova and Mr. Emil Koshlukov following the order of their submission to the National Assembly. Mr. Borislav Belazelkov, Justice at the Supreme Court of Cassation presented the Concept Paper on the possibilities for establishment of the Ombudsman institution in Bulgaria developed by CSD.

Ms. Lily Kolova, Program Co-ordinator at the Center for Social Practices, analysed the pilot projects on establishing the institution in some municipalities carried out by the Center. Ms. Rada Kulekova, former civic mediator of Mladost region in Sofia, and Ms. Antoaneta Tsoneva, Public Mediator of Sofia municipality, shared their experience as local mediators.

Dr. Snezhana Nacheva, Associate Professor at the Sofia University, Mr. Alexander Kashumov, Program Access to Information Foundation, Ms. Stela Trifonova, Human Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Panayot Ljakov, MP from the Parliamentary Group of the United Democratic Forces, Dr. Silvy Chernev, Chair of the Court of Arbitration with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and member of the CSD Law Program Task Force, Ms. Theodora Kaleinska, Information Center of the Council of Europe in Veliko Turnovo, Mr. Vesselin Tsankov, Institute for Legal Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, also took part in the discussion.

In conclusion the representatives of non-governmental organizations underlined the necessity of reaching a consensus among the parliamentary forces for developing a joint platform for establishing the Ombudsman institution in Bulgaria and its legislative regulation.

Copies of the new edition of CSD Civic Defender and Local Civic Mediators: Concept Paper and Draft Law were distributed among the participants.

Related links
Full records of the discussion in PDF (228 kb)
Brochure: Civic Defender and Local Civic Mediators: Concept Paper and Draft Law

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