Bulgarian MPs Approve Division of Supreme Judicial Council in Two Colleges
The Bulgarian parliament approved at second reading on Wednesday the division of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) in two colleges – one made of judges and another composed of prosecutors.
According to the adopted amendment, judges and prosecutors will be appointed, promoted, lowered, transferred and discharged by their respective college.
This was one of the proposed amendments to the constitution concerning the reform of the judiciary, which MPs are discussing at second reading on Wednesday.
A total of 196 MPs voted in favour of the division of VSS, 35 lawmakers were against and there were no abstentions.
The largest opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) was firmly against the division, while the junior coalition partner – the Reformist Bloc (RB) argued that this move would improve effectiveness and accountability and contribute to countering corruption.
The MPs also adopted the proposal allowing parliament to hold hearings and adopt other reports of the chief prosecutor on the application of the law, measures at countering crime and implementation of the penal policy.
The parliament will not be able to request from the chief prosecutor an account of the work of the prosecution.
A total of 191 MPs voted in favour of the amendment, 34 lawmakers were against against and there were no abstentions.
The MPs also adopted another proposed change, which provides that the eleven members of VSS elected from the parliamentary quota, will have to garner the support of 2/3 of lawmakers.
VSS has 25 members, including the chairpersons of the Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) and the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) and the chief prosecutor.
Half of the remaining 22 members are elected by parliament, while the other half is selected by organs of the judiciary.
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