President of the Supreme Court of Cassation Elected Next Thursday, September 25th

The Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) will conduct an election for a Supreme Court of Cassation President in a hearing on September 25, 2014. Two candidates were nominated for the position –Polina Panova, Supreme Court of Cassation justice and Head of the Criminal Division, and Tanya Raikovska, Supreme Court of Cassation justice and Head of the Commercial Division. Each of the two was proposed by five members of the SJC.

BILI prepared elaborate profiles of the candidates within the Transparent Judicial Appointments Initiative (TJAI) ( The profiles are available at the TJAI website, in Bulgarian. The profiles provide detailed information about the candidates’ education and qualification, professional experience, workload, cases pending, rulings confirmed or overruled, memberships in professional and other organizations, as well as other relevant data. The information has been gathered through official public sources, such as candidates’ biographies, law school diplomas, Supreme Court of Cassation yearly reports, public registers such as the Senior public officials registry, maintained by the Bulgarian National Audit Office, the Property Registry of the Registry Agency, media publications, etc.

For the particular election procedure BILI developed a special questionnaire with 8 questions which both Judge Panova and Judge Raikovska answered to. The questions focus on the role and authorities of the Supreme Court of Cassation president, the independence of judges, the law construing activity of the court and other important topics.

In the course of the procedure the SJC’s Professional Ethics Committee and the Proposals and Evaluation of Judges Committee conducted their own investigations concerning the professional and moral qualities and suitability of the candidates. Their reports were announced earlier this week after being presented at public sessions of the committees which were rather lacking initiative by the respective chairpersons and members. Both committees concluded that the nominated justices possess the required professional and moral qualities to be elected president of the Supreme Court of Cassation. On September 17, 2014 the majority of the Supreme Court of Cassation justices gathered to hear the candidates’ answers to questions concerning their vision for the Supreme Court, the work of its president, and the needs for the structural and organizational improvements in the Court’s activity.

Both candidates are respected and highly appreciated by the broader Bulgarian legal community.