Bulgaria's Legal Reforms: Major Shifts in Prosecutor General Appointment Criteria

Politics | December 20, 2023, Wednesday // 07:30
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Legal Reforms: Major Shifts in Prosecutor General Appointment Criteria

Bulgarian lawmakers made significant strides with the second reading of constitutional amendments, endorsing a pivotal change in the process of appointing and dismissing the Prosecutor General. Under the new provisions, the President will appoint and dismiss the Prosecutor General on the recommendation of a Supreme Prosecutorial Council (SPC) for a single five-year term, marking a departure from re-election possibilities.

The revised texts outline that three members of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and the Justice Minister can propose candidates for the Prosecutor General's position. The President's decree must be issued within seven days, or else the SJC's decision will be officially enacted. Notably, the President is not permitted to refuse the appointment and dismissal upon a renewed proposal.

Parliament also voted on empowering the SPC to handle the appointment, promotion, demotion, transfer, and dismissal of prosecutors and investigators, while judges' decisions will fall under the jurisdiction of the SJC.

Additionally, the amendments detail that the Presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) and the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) will be appointed and dismissed by the head of State, based on the Supreme Judicial Council's proposal, without eligibility for re-election.

The composition of the revamped Supreme Judicial Council and Supreme Prosecutorial Council will consist of members appointed directly by judges, the National Assembly, and the Presidents of the SCC and SAC. Notably, the newly elected members of these councils cannot serve immediately after their term's expiration.

Moreover, the newly appointed council members must meet stringent criteria, including a minimum 15 years of professional experience, independence, and neutrality from any party affiliations. The National Assembly's approval for these appointments requires a two-thirds majority, ensuring a robust selection process.

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Tags: Bulgaria, constitutional, Prosecutor General, Supreme Judicial Council

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