Bulgaria at Bottom Position in EU by Perceived Independence of Judiciary

Bulgaria in EU | March 27, 2013, Wednesday // 16:56|  views

Bulgaria is at the bottom of a ranking indicating perceived independence of the judiciary in EU Member States, according to the 2013 European Justice Scoreboard. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria is at the bottom of a ranking indicating perceived independence of the judiciary in EU Member States.

The 2013 European Justice Scoreboard,  a new comparative tool of the European Commission aimed at promoting effective justice systems in the EU, provides data on the time needed to resolve cases in court, the rate of resolving cases, numbers of pending cases, use of electronic means for managing cases, use of alternative dispute resolution, training available to judges and resources for courts.

The report also provides data on the perceived independence of justice systems, based on findings of the World Economic Forum and the World Justice Project.

According to data of the World Economic Forum presented Wednesday by the EC, Slovakia's judiciary is most susceptible to external influence, followed by Romania, and Bulgaria.

The report, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), informs that perceptions of judicial independence are highest in Finland, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

Bulgaria ranks first in one category, use of ICT systems for the registration and management of cases.

At the same time, Bulgaria is last in the EU by budget for courts, with no data available about Belgium, Ireland and the UK.

By number of judges per 100 000 inhabitants, Bulgaria ranks 8th in the EU, yet again without information about Belgium, Ireland and the UK.

By number of lawyers per 100 000 inhabitants, Bulgaria ranks 12th, followed by Belgium.

Bulgaria has not submitted statistics about the number of litigious civil and commercial pending cases (per 100 inhabitants).

Bulgaria has the third lowest number of non-criminal pending cases (per 100 inhabitants) and the fifth lowest number of administrative pending cases (per 100 inhabitants).

As regards compulsory training for judges, Bulgaria is 15th in the ranking, but the trainings are only available at an initial level.

As regards perceived independence of civil justice, Bulgaria ranks 19th, followed by Romania only, with no data about Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, and Slovakia.

The EC emphasizes that the the issues identified in the Scoreboard will be taken into account in decisions concerning financial support for securing the independence of judicial systems in the EU in the next multi-annual financial framework.

The EC explicitly states that the EU Justice Scoreboard does not revoke the monitoring of justice and home affairs in Bulgaria and Romania under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).

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Tags: European Justice Scoreboard, judiciary, judicial system, Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), European Commission, multi-annual budget, World Economic Forum


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