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
The refugees and "Friends of the Refugees" were awarded with the title “Human of the year” 2013 in the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) awards for the contribution to and protection of human rights.This is the sixth year of the awards.
Judge Kalin Kalpakchiev, member of the SJC, was awarded a runner-up prize for his tireless work for a more transparent judicial system, solving the issue with the random allocation of cases, as well as for taking critical positions on the problem of career development policy of the SJC that lacks public confidence. Last but not least, judge Kalpakchiev was encouraged for creating a blogspot which serves as an access point for citizens in the debate pertaining to the SJC activities.