The Bulgarian Judges Association is following with particular concern and worry what is happening to our colleagues in Turkey. Within the framework of the international cooperation between judicial organizations, we were informed that the 2745 Turkish judges and prosecutors that were removed from office yesterday are now expecting to be held in custody. We express our strong confidence that these colleagues could not participate in any subversive activities against democracy and law. We hereby state our irreconcilability to all forms of violent impact and declare our firm opinion that the fight against such actions should not include sacrificing the freedom and security of our colleagues - judges and public prosecutors.

The Managing Board of the Bulgarian Judges Association
Summary of the conference which was held on 23-24 April 2016 in Veliko Tarnowo, in implementation of the project “Building of beneficially background for independent judiciary in Bulgaria”, financed by the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands.

The meeting was held in the context of the yet adopted and the forthcoming amendments of the Statute for the judiciary and was aimed at conducting broad discussion between the judges in the following topics: The management of the courts and role of the General assemblies of the judges; giving a testimonial, career development and status of the judges; improving the faith of the citizens in the judiciary through interaction of the judges’ community with the society.

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This is to bring your attention to the latest developments in Bulgaria’s progress under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and the implementation of the measures outlined in a series of CVM reports.
Following the country’s accession to the European Union in 2007, a mechanism to monitor progress in the area of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and the fight against corruption and organised crime was put in place. Its goals, inter alia, were to facilitate the process of reporting to EU institutions on the state-of-play and developments in these areas and consulting the Bulgarian authorities on the necessary actions to be taken to implement the recommendations received with a view to achieving the desired results. The eight consecutive annual reports drawn up since the CVM was first put in place leave a lasting impression of a permanent lack of efficiency in tackling problems in critical areas, despite multiple amendments to legislation.
The updated Strategy for continued reform of the judiciary adopted in the autumn of 2014 was a condition precedent for the Commission’s trust in Bulgaria as stated in the CVM Report dated 28 January 2015 . Despite expectations that the declared position and intentions of the national authorities would translate into concrete actions with a foreseeable result, in 2015 no progress was achieved..."
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Dear Bulgarian citizens,
    The Bulgarian Judges Association is addressing you directly for the first time. The ongoing series of statements which we have been sending to various competent institutions have not led to significant results. We have been making such statements in regard to scandalous judicial appointments, we have been calling for vital oversight because of the suspicion of management and corruption, and we have been highlighting the behavior of certain magistrates that raises ethical questions.
    We have been constantly pointing out repeated scandals that undermine the credibility of the judicial authorities, and which underline the necessity of a deep and determining reform. This year, for the first time in years, specific proposals for a positive and lasting change were placed into a Parliamentary constitutional reform process which was transparent for all of society to see. The claims that these proposals would not lead to an improvement of the judicial system, and thus to an increase in the feeling for justice of the citizens, are not true. The quality of judging depends on the qualities of the people working in the system. Therefore and quite logically, the most significant thing is the oversight of the judicial authority itself – because it is this authority that determines what kind of people, and with which professional qualities, will be selected to go into the judicial system, and which of them will then be promoted and appointed to senior management positions.  
    One of the most important of these proposals – which guaranteed true responsibility and accountability to society, rather than the chronic absence of such oversight, and which provided a real chance for an honest and truly independent judiciary – was rejected with the Decision of the National Assembly in it’s final reform vote yesterday on 09.12.2015.
     It is important to make clear exactly what happened on that day and how it affects every single citizen of Bulgaria. The long-awaited changes that were in the draft for constitutional amendment, and which were supported by the large majority, were instead replaced with ‘accepted corrections’ which will not result in a real change; will not give any guarantees for the rule of the law and the independence of judges; and will not eliminate the widely suspected dependencies within the judicial system...
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Here enclosed plsease find the last issue (2/2015) of our IAJ-UIM newsletter.
In this copy is providing an  information on some of the main subjects treated during the 2015 springtime meetings of the four Regional Groups and of  the Presidency Committee.

You can also find it on line h e r e

Previous issues available h e r e
25 Jul 2014

Study trip

Between 10th and 14th June 2014 a working group of the Bulgarian Judges Associations visited the Kingdom of the Netherlands in order to exchange experiences and best practices on key issues pertaining to the judiciary. The working visit is part of the implementation of the project “Establishing an Еnabling Еnvironment for Independent Judiciary in Bulgaria” funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
For the time being the study trip report is available in Bulgarian language only.

Over 200 people attended the lecture "The essence of the punishment"  by the renowned Norwegian criminologist professor Nils Christie. The lecture was presented  in the Aula Magna of the University "St. Kliment Ohridski " on April 28, 2014.

The event was organized by the joint efforts of: Law Faculty of Sofia University, Bulgarian Judges Association, Bulgarian Society of Criminology, Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria and Training Centre for Lawyers "Krustyo Tsonchev."


On February 11th, 2014 the Bulgarian Judges Association (BJA) carried out the kick-off meeting of the project “Establishing and Еnabling Еnvironment for Independent Judiciary in Bulgaria”. The latter represents a 30-month long initiative funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The BJA is implementing the abovementioned project in partnership with the Dutch Association for the Judiciary (The NVvR, the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Rechtspraak).

His Excellency Mr. Tom J.M. van Oorschot and Prof. Lazar Gruev – President of the Supreme Court of Cassation were official guests at the opening of the event. In their welcoming remarks they expressed their satisfaction of the judicial cooperation between the professional organizations of the two countries. Ms. Tanya Marinova – Chairperson of the Managing Board of the BJA and Ms. Maria van de Schepop – Chairperson of the NVvR also welcomed the event’s participants.  
The project places the emphasis on:
1. Transfer of information, knowledge and best practices pertaining to:
•    case flow management, handling and overcoming difficulties in the work of individual judges;
•    measures that ensure a balanced workload and address the problem of excessive workload;
•     the impact of budgeting;
2. Comparative analysis/study of proceedings in disciplinary cases involving judges in the Kingdom of Netherlands with a view to seeking solutions to and overcoming the deficiencies in disciplinary proceedings conducted in Bulgaria in order to align them to international standards for judicial independence;
3. Comparative analysis of the legal framework in the Netherlands and Bulgaria in regard to:
•    criteria for professional evaluation of the work of the judge;
•    criteria for evaluation of the quality of the court act.
3. Development of a system for the training of judges and law students in a new subject - Structure and organisation of the Judiciary - that will cover a broad range of topics relating to the legal status of judges, the possibilities for career development and the strengthening of their independence, including on the basis of better personal competency and understanding of their professional standing, the requirements for the administration and management of courts and the boundaries of agreeable supervision over their functioning;  
4. Exchange of best practices pertaining to the European Arrest Warrant

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