Bulgaria


BG

Official (constitutional) name of the country: Republic of Bulgaria

Organisation of the judicial system

Judicial System of Bulgaria. e-Justice website  

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ). Profile of Bulgaria

 

Judicial cooperation

General description of the national system for international judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Bulgaria obeys the rules of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959.

Since Bulgaria has been accessioned to the European Union /2007/, it also observes the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member-States of the European Union of 2000. Therefore, in cases of direct contact between the judicial authorities the following shall be observed:

With regard to the pre-trial stage of proceedings:

1. If the request for legal assistance refers to organized crime or terrorism, the competent authority is the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office regardless of the place of commitment of crime.

2. In all other cases, the competent authority is the respective first instance prosecutor’s office according to the rules of subject matter and territorial jurisdiction provided by Bulgarian law – art. 35 and art. 36 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Bulgaria. If the crime is committed outside the territory of Bulgaria and the perpetrator is a Bulgarian citizen, the competent authority is the prosecutor’s office at his/her place of residence. In the same case, but if the perpetrator is not a Bulgarian citizen, the competent authority is Prosecutor’s Office in Sofia.

With regard to the prompt administration of the request it is recommended the letter to be sent to the respective district prosecutor’s office according to the rules of territorial jurisdiction. A prosecutor from that office is able to decide who is the competent authority according to the rules of subject matter.

According to the Bulgarian legislation in the pre-trial stage of proceedings there is a legal opportunity the prosecutor to direct the investigating authority /investigator, police or customs officer/ to assign directly to an expert the performance of expert evaluation.

With regard to the court stage of proceedings:

1. If the request for legal assistance refers to organized crime or terrorism, the competent authority is the Specialized District Court regardless of the place of commitment of crime.

2. In all other cases the competent authority is the respective first instance court according to the rules described in connection to the pre-trial stage of proceedings.

However, there are some exceptions to the rules mentioned above. Therefore, it is recommended the information provided by the Fiches belges to be taken into account.

Text in original language, English and/or other available languages of the relevant national laws/provisions of the Criminal procedure codes  on judicial cooperation in criminal matters:

Bulgaria - Legislation

Criminal code – http://lex.bg/laws/ldoc/1589654529 /in Bulgarian/

Criminal Procedure Code – http://www.lex.bg/laws/ldoc/2135512224 /in Bulgarian/

Law on Extradition and European Arrest Warrant http://www.lex.bg/laws/ldoc/2135504378 /in Bulgarian/

- Law on recognition, enforcement and sending of judgements and probation decisions with a view to the supervision of probation measures and alternative sanctions – http://www.lex.bg/laws/ldoc/2135782661 /in Bulgarian/

- Law on European Protection Order – http://www.lex.bg/bg/laws/ldoc/2136529544 /in Bulgarian/

- Law on on the execution in the European Union of orders freezing property or evidence – http://www.lex.bg/laws/ldoc/2135532724 /in Bulgarian/

- Law on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to to confiscation orders and financial penalties – http://www.lex.bg/laws/ldoc/2135664929 /in Bulgarian/

Link to the EJN website’ section on the status of implementation in Bulgaria of the EU legal instruments on judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Link to the national Fiches belges

Links to the relevant sections of the Council of Europe and United Nations Treaties Offices websites containing information on the conventions to which Bulgaria  is party

Council of Europe Treaty Office

United Nations Treaty Collection

 National case law relevant for judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Case law can be found on the webpages of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Cassation and  Supreme Administrative Court

Information on the organisation of the EJN

There is one National Correspondent, who is a prosecutor at the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor`s Office. He is also the Head of the International Department at Prosecutor’s Office in the Republic of Bulgaria.

There is one Tool Correspondent, who is a prosecutor at Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office. For Bulgaria the role of TC is not combined with that of Contact Point.

There are thirteen Contact Points– nine judges and four prosecutors. It is suggested the questions concerning pre-trial stage to be addressed to the prosecutors while those related to the court stage of proceedings – to the judges.

Judges

All of the judges have specialization in criminal law and carry out their duties in criminal departments. However, they have different territorial competences /national or regional/ according to their jurisdiction as follows:

1. Organization: Sofia City Court, Regional competence: Sofia Appeal Region;

2. Organization: Sofia District Court, Regional competence: Sofia Appeal Region;

3. Organization: District Court of Veliko Tarnovo, Regional competence: Veliko Tarnovo Appeal Region;

4. Organization: District court of Varna, Regional competence: Varna Appeal Region;

5. Organization: District court of Stara Zagora, Regional competence: Plovdiv Appeal Region;

6. Organization: Varna Court of Appeal, Regional competence: Bourgas Appeal Region and Varna Appeal Region;

7. Organization: District Court of Shumen, Regional competence: Varna Appeal Region;

8. Organization: Specialized Criminal Court, National competence – regardless of the place of commitment of crime if the request refers to organized crime or terrorism.

9. Organization: Specialized Criminal Court of Appeal, National competence – regardless of the place of commitment of crime if the request refers to organized crime or terrorism.

Prosecutors

All of the prosecutors have national competences. Furthermore, they have specialization in international cooperation in criminal matters. Two of them, who are prosecutors at the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor`s Office, are working at Eurojust. Therefore, it is recommended the questions addressed to them to be linked directly to their current function.

1. Organization: Appeal Prosecutor`s Office of Bourgas, National competence;

2. Organization: Disrtict Prosecutor`s Office of Lovech, National competence;

3. Organization: Eurojust /National Member for Bulgaria/, Department: Bulgarian National Desk, National competence;

4. Organization: Eurojust /Deputy to the National Member for Bulgaria/, Department: Bulgarian National Desk, National competence.

Useful national links

Other useful information

The request for legal assistance and enclosed documents shall be accompanied by translation in Bulgarian language or in one of the official languages of the Council of Europe. With regard to the prompt administration and fulfilment of the request it is recommended the letter to be translated in Bulgarian language in advance.

In general, no specific deadline for the execution of the request for legal assistance is fixed. The practice necessitated the requests to be fulfilled as soon as possible, which usually takes between two and four months according to the factual and legal complexity of the particular request.

 

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