On July 30th the Bulgarian Parliament will elect a National Ombudsman. The candidates are Maya Manolova, member of the Parliament, and Konstantin Penchev, current Ombudsman.  Mrs. Manolova was nominated by the Parliamentary group "BSP Left Bulgaria", whereas Mr. Penchev is a nomination of the Parliamentary group of "Reformist Bloc".

Through its "Transparent Parliamentary Appointments Initiative" project BILI has created public profiles of the candidates; they are uploaded on the web-page of the Project: appointmentsboard.bg.

More than 20  authoritative organizations announced their support for the initially presented proposals for amendments in the Constitution: "On May 26 there were introduced proposals for amendments in the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria unprecedentedly signed by 132 MPs. For almost two months we have witnessed a professional and reasonable debate, all points of view were timely presented. During the last two weeks the debate has vanished and replaced by spurious political language and unreasonable statements. There is absolutely no excuse for such behavior but the frenzied desire to sustain a condition, where the judiciary will continue to hang in the air, thus becoming vulnerable, dependant and easy to control. Furthermore, the proposed new project largely repeats the current one, but surrounds some of its key substantive proposals. These efforts aim to delay the entire process of judicial reform, its irreversibility, and to block the attempts to drill the current status quo."

On May 14th 2015, Teodor Slavev, researcher with BILI and project coordinator of the Initiative for Transparent Parliamentary Appointments took participation in the organized by the Open Society Institute Sofia and Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation conference "Democracy and Civic Participation. The Role of the Non-governmental Organizations" within the Third Annual Meeting for Sharing Good Practice on Partnership Development of the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the EEA Financial Mechanism.

BILI presents results of a national representative study among prosecutors of the regional, district and appellate prosecution offices. The study was conducted by Global Metrics Agency for social and market research on assignment by the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives Foundation. Within the study 450 surveys with prosecutors from around the country and in-depth interviews with judges, prosecutors, investigators and investigating policemen were conducted. The aim of the project was to distinguish the viewpoints of all interested in the work of the prosecution office and to study the attitudes towards reforms mainly among rank-and-file prosecutors.

At 11:00 am., on 5th of August, President Rosen Plevneliev announced the official composition of the caretaker cabinet, when none of the parliamentary political parties was able to appoint government. Hristo Ivanov was appointed as Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister responsible for portfolios of justice, public order and security in the caretaker government of Bulgaria.


The election of a Chief Judicial Inspector is  a real chance for our political system to give for the first time in a long period an example of an impeccable election, thus for Bulgaria to produce some good news about its judicial reform. All that members of parliament have to do is to schedule an election and vote for the better of the two candidates.

Read the full letter in English.




Throughout the letter: "The election of President of the SCC is of crucial importance for the destiny of the judicial reform in Bulgaria. The process of determining who will be the new face of the Supreme Court of Cassation is a critical step towards the formation of a new leadership based on trust and broad legitimacy achieved through a real professional authority. The new President of the SJC will face the task to unite the professional community around a new vision for sustainable reforms. Furthermore, he/she will have to bring the court back to its natural role – being the main holder of the judicial power. (see Constitutional Court Decision № 8/2005). This is the only guarantee for a true independence of the Bulgarian judiciary."

Read the full letter in PDF. 

At present Georgi Asenov is a prosecutor with the Pleven District Prosecution Office. He is working as a prosecutor since 1994. Previously he was working as an investigator. In 2012 he was nominated for a member of the Supreme Judicial Council from the prosecutorial quota by 12 of his colleagues. He is the first prosecutor, who takes part in the Man Behind the Black Robe Rubric. Prosecutor Asenov commented that our society is not voiceless anymore: "Transparency and access to information regarding the activities of different state authorities are no longer just wishes, but reality, which everyone must comply."

"The reward of a thing well done is having done it.",  Ralph Waldo Emerson. 
On February 17, 2012 BILI presented the official web portal of the Transparent Judicial Appointments Initiative, Judicialprofiles.bg. This would not have been possible without the trust given by the U.S. Department of State and the following support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation. 

In the fifth edition of the rubric The Man Behind the Black Robe we are having the pleasure to introduce Ms Daniella Todorova to the Bulgarian audience. She is a Bulgarian, studying law in the U.S. and her dream is to become an attorney. In this interview, she is describing the whole process and method of her education at the Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law. The full interview is available in Bulgarian here.

From the known information up to now on the “Hristo Biserov” case and regardless of its outcome, it is clear that this is probably the most high-profile corruption scandal in Bulgaria’s new history. In a moment when public trust in institutions is at critically low levels and unprecedented protests demand for a “clean hands operation”, it is a matter of national security to formulate and apply adequate set of measures on the systematic problems, revealed by that scandal.

On a theme conference on October 29, 2013 Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives (BILI) presented the 2013 Judicial Reform Review for Bulgaria. The current fourth edition covers the period immediately after Bulgaria’s full EU membership and the first five years of this membership. Distinctive of this issue is the progress in three of the thirty factors covered: “Judicial Qualification and Training”, “Judicial Conduct Complaint Process”, “Computers and Office Equipment”.

Tens of thousands of citizens went out to protest across Bulgaria driven by deep concern over the abject state of democracy and statehood in the country. Clearly recognizing that a pervasive crisis of the social contract has come upon society, which carries a threat of bringing all public bodies and institutions into total disrepute, citizens – no longer willing to act as acquiescent observers of the spectacle of public order and feigned democracy – voiced their discontent in a resounding and emphatic manner. 



The European Commission has today (March 27) unveiled a new comparative tool to promote effective justice systems in the European Union and thereby reinforce economic growth. The ‘European Justice Scoreboard’ will provide objective, reliable and comparable data on the functioning of the justice systems in the EU’s 27 Member States. Improving the quality, independence and efficiency of judicial systems already forms part of the EU’s economic policy coordination process under the European Semester, which is aimed at laying the foundations for a return to growth and job creation.



Today, at its regular plenary session, with one MP voting against during the adoption of the Rules for Election of Inspector General of the ISJC and with unanimity during the adoption of the Rules for Election of Constitutional Court’s member, the National Assembly approved the set of documents for the elections’ proceedings. The drafts of the Rules were introduced by Todor Dimitrov and Dimityr Lazarov.



With 18 votes “in favor” the Supreme Judicial Council elected Sotir Tsatsarov for the Prosecutor General post. Three members of the Council voted “against” and three abstained. The hearing lasted for 9 hours and was followed by debate within the SJC. The deputy Prosecutor General Galina Toneva, the Head of the appellate specialized prosecutor’s office Borislav Sarafov and the President of the Plovdiv regional court Sotir Tsatsarov presented their concepts and answered questions before the vote. 

"Following the failure of Mrs. Veneta Markovska to take an oath of office as a justice of the Constitutional Court on 15 November 2012, her status in the judiciary and the public outcry over information disclosed by the media in the wake of the endorsement of her nomination by Parliament, require you – acting in the capacity of supreme body responsible for career development in the judiciary – to address the consequences of the conflict that pertains to the very foundation of Statehood with sound reason and wisdom. This means that you have a duty to carry out a check to verify the disconcerting information published in the press on account of its relevance to a host of issues that are considerably broader in scope than the allegations that sparked the latest crisis of mistrust in the independence of the judiciary." 

Today, 29 November the elections for president of Sofia Regional Court were held. The procedure was announced at the beginning of June, but took place in the end of the year because of the elections for new Supreme Judicial Council. The three candidates presenting their concepts before the Council today were judge Ivailo Ivanov - President ot Kostinbrod District Court, judge Filip Vladimirov and judge Yanita Yankova, both of them judges at the Sofia Regional Court.

The judicial system reform must be acknowledged from within the system, said Minister of Justice Diana Kovacheva in front of the participants in the conference “Business ethics: main principle of sustainable business environment”. “When considering values, reforms, sustainability of reforms, we should be aware that no reform or initiative could be successful unless acknowledged from within by those who are to be its motive power,” states the Minister.

The National Assembly adopted procedural rules for the nomination and election of magistrates for the Constitutional Court from its quota. The elections will be held on October 31, 2012.
Candidates will be nominated until October 10. Non-profit organizations will have until October 17 to submit their their opinions on the nominations. The procedural rules specifically provide for the candidates to submit their statements on the interpretative role and practice of the Constitutional Court and its ruling on motions to establish the unconstitutional character of laws and other acts, as well as disputes of competence.

As a result of a session which lasted 24 hours and in heavy arguments the delegates' assembly elected the six judges who would become the new members of the Supreme judicial council. At one side was the lobby around the chairs of the Supreme administrative court, Sofia appellate court and the district courts of Plovdiv and Varna (respectively Mr. Georgi Kolev, Veselin Pengezov, Sotir Tsatsarov and Vanuhi Arakelian). A different position was represented by the magistrates from the Bulgarian judges association.

The continuous polemics related to the procedure for election of inspectors for the Inspectorate at the Supreme Judicial Council (ISJC) from the Parliament, engaged 12 NGOs once again to remind of the essence of the position stated in the letter from December 19, 2011 (supported by 11 leading NGOs) and further developed by the Union of Judges in Bulgaria in their letter from December 20, 2011. 

BILI prepared and distributed the profiles of judge Velichka Ivanova-Vlasheva and judge Georgi Nikolov in relation with the elections held on October 6th, 2011 for the position President of the Specialized Criminal Court (with the exception of the profile of judge Georgi Ushev, which was already prepared for the past election for President of the Specialized Criminal Court of Appeal and may be reviewed in the previous post).