24 Nov 2013

Project "Establishing an Еnabling Еnvironment for Independent Judiciary in Bulgaria"

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In November 2013 BJA commenced the implementation of the project titled “Establishing an Еnabling Еnvironment for Independent Judiciary in Bulgaria”, financed by the Government of the Kingdome of the Netherlands. The NVvR, the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Rechtspraak (in English Dutch Association for the Judiciary) is a partner of the BJA in this project. The timeframe of the latter is 31 months and the total amount of the grant is € 150, 390.

Among others the project aims at:
1. Transfer of information, knowledge and best practices pertaining to:
- case flow management, handling and overcoming difficulties in the work of individual judges;
- defining a standard for the workload of individual judges and the courts they work for;
- 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 court independence;

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. Commencement of a joint comparative analysis of the legal framework in the Netherlands and Bulgaria from the point of view of the ECHR, the guiding documents of the Venice Commission and the CCEJ with regard to:
-    the status of judges and the rules giving rise to the commencement, alteration and termination of legal relations in this regard;
-    criteria for the evaluation of the professional performance of judges;
-    criteria for evaluation of the standard of quality of court judgments;
-    grounds and procedure for the levying of disciplinary sanctions;
-    analysis of the work of the ISSJC - legal framework and practice - defining the boundaries of external oversight over the work of judges without undermining their independence; opportunities to use such oversight mechanisms as a tool to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of justice administration at the level of individual courts;
-    practical rules for cooperation between the courts of EU Member States in individual cases;

5. European Arrest Warrant;

5. Comprehensive handbook that will accumulate the analysis from a practical point of view of the outcomes 1, 2 and 3. will be disseminated in and could be used as a training course by law schools and NIJ.