Specialised courts - Bulgaria
This section provides information about the specialised courts in the Bulgarian judiciary.
There are no specialised labour, maritime, commercial or other types of specialised court in Bulgaria. Specialised commercial divisions operate at the district courts. All courts within the court hierarchy maintain a division of civil and penal panels, divisions and colleges.
With the adoption of the new Code of Administrative Procedure in 2006 a system of administrative courts was established in the Republic of Bulgaria. The administrative justice system consists of 28 administrative courts at district level and a Supreme Administrative Court.
Administrative courts at district level
The administrative courts have jurisdiction over all cases on motions for:
- issuance, modification, revocation or declaration of nullity of administrative acts;
- declaration of nullity or voidance of settlements under the Administrative Procedure Code;
- remedies against unwarranted actions and omissions by the administration;
- protection against wrongful coercive enforcement;
- compensation for detriment resulting from legally non-conforming acts, actions and omissions by administrative authorities and officials;
- compensation for detriment resulting from coercive enforcement;
- declaration of nullity, invalidation or reversal of judgments rendered by the administrative courts;
- establishment of the falsity of administrative acts under the Administrative Procedure Code.
Anyone can bring a legal action for ascertainment of the existence or non-existence of an administrative right or legal relation, where he or she has standing and no other remedial procedure is available.
The cases are examined by the administrative court within whose geographical jurisdiction the seat of the authority which issued the contested administrative act is located, and where the said seat is located abroad, by the Sofia City Administrative Court.
Any administrative acts, whereby the national foreign, defence and security policy are immediately implemented, shall not be subject to judicial appeal, save as otherwise provided for in a law.
Supreme Administrative Court
The Supreme Administrative Court deals with complaints and protests against acts of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, ministers, heads of other institutions directly subordinate to the Council of Ministers, acts of the Supreme Judicial Council, acts of the Bulgarian National Bank, acts of district governors and other acts established by a statute; it adjudicates on contestations of the statutory instruments of secondary legislation; as a cassation instance it examines judicial acts, adjudicates in administrative cases and examines motions for reversal of effective judicial acts on administrative cases.
The Supreme Administrative Court consists of two colleges, which have divisions. The Court's chairman and his deputies head the colleges.
Other specialised courts
The history of the military courts dates back to 1 July 1879. In 1956 the military courts system underwent a restructuring following the location of the armies in the cities of Sofia, Plovdiv, Sliven, Varna and Pleven. Currently the military courts follow the same structure.
As a court of first instance, military courts examine criminal cases concerning crimes committed in the course of performing their duties by military service officers, generals, officers, non‑commissioned officers and rank-and-file personnel in other ministries and agencies, civilian staff at the Ministry of Defence, in the Bulgarian army, within the structures reporting to the Minister of Defence, at the Agency for National Security and at the National Intelligence Service. Cases adjudicated by military courts are examined by the Military Court of Appeals as the intermediate appellate review instance. The Criminal Procedure Code sets out the jurisdiction of the military courts. These courts have the same statute as the district court.
Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AC at BCCI)
The AC at the BCCI resolves civil property disputes as well as disputes on filling gaps in contracts or adapting contracts to new circumstances, regardless of whether one or both parties reside or have their domiciles in the Republic of Bulgaria or abroad
The AC at the BCCI reaffirmed its position as the most important arbitration institution in Bulgaria, gaining trust due to its highly professional activity as a body resolving legal disputes. Annually the AC at the BCCI resolves between 250 and 300 disputes – both international and domestic. 82 % of the domestic cases are resolved within a period of 9 months, while 66 % of the international cases are resolved within 12 months.
At the same time the Arbitration Court is actively involved in the process of improving arbitration legislation. Disputes about rights relating to immovable property, maintenance claims or rights derived from labour relationships, or disputes concerning incorporeal property or family law may not be referred to the arbitration court.
Every Bulgarian court has a website which provides information on the court's structure and activity, information about ongoing or already closed cases as well as other useful information which is accessible to the public.
The website of the Supreme Judicial Council provides a detailed list of the courts in Bulgaria along with their address and websites (in Bulgarian only).
Case acts concerning the civil or health status of individuals are published without their grounds.
For more useful information please go to the following Internet pages:
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Last update: 17/12/2018