In 2009, legal, institutional and judicial reforms continued to be priority areas
for the CSD Law Program. The activities focused on several major issues.
- Costs of crime prevention and repression. The Law Program prepared a study Bulgarian Penitentiary System in the Perceptions of Penal Actors. The report outlines as main problems the overcrowding of Bulgarian prisons, poor living conditions, weaknesses in terms of security and safety, and the insufficient
financial and human resources.
- European indicators of public confidence in justice. The Law Program accomplished a study on the existing indicators of public confidence in justice and the need for and opportunities of implementing such indicators. The main results of the research, coordinated by the Law Program experts, were presented at an international conference in Sofia attended by prominent Bulgarian and foreign criminologists, lawyers and sociologists, and were also published by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, Affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI).
- Assistance to victims of crime. The Law Program completed the study on EU Member States’ legislation, national policies, practices and approaches concerning victims of crime. The results of the research were summarized in a detailed comparative report on victims of crime in the EU and separate
country reports on each of the 27 EU Member States.
- Monitoring of racism and xenophobia and the policies and measures for their counteraction. For a fourth consecutive year CSD continued to operate the Bulgarian National Focal Point of the Racism and Xenophobia Network (RAXEN) of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). In 2009, CSD developed two thematic studies: National Report on Housing Conditions of Roma and Travelers and National Report on Racism and Ethnic Discrimination in Sport and
Preventive Initiatives, three RAXEN Bulletins and the regular annual report on racism and xenophobia in Bulgaria and the measures for their prevention and counteraction.
- Monitoring in the area of justice and home affairs. A network of civic organizations working in the area of justice and home affairs and an electronic database containing information about their activities were developed. In 2009, three more issues of the e-bulletin Justice and Home Affairs were disseminated.
- Cooperation with domestic, foreign and international institutions and organizations. Furthering CSD’s efforts to establish and strengthen the ombudsman institution on national and local level, the Law Program developed a report offering a historical overview of the development of the local public mediator institutions in Bulgaria and a detailed analysis of the applicable laws and regulations in this area. CSD participates in the Civic
Expert Council with the Supreme Judicial Council’s Professional Ethics and Prevention of Corruption Committee and in the Public Council of Non-governmental Organizations with the Minister of Justice.