Bulgaria Moving toward Judicial Council Reform through Constitutional Changes - Minister

Domestic | January 22, 2015, Thursday // 12:04|  views

Bulgaria's Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov, photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov has underscored that the judicial reform strategy had been backed by almost ? of MPs.

In a Thursday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Ivanov commented on the approval of the updated judicial reform strategy by Parliament on Wednesday.

Among the key points in the strategy were a number of proposals concerning the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS).

The initial proposal was to split the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) into two colleges, one for judges and one for prosecutors, and to abolish its status of a permanent body.

Although MPs backed the establishment of two colleges, they decided to keep VSS a permanent body.

In his Thursday interview, Ivanov argued that the failure to reach agreement on keeping VSS a permanent body was no cause for alarm at that stage.

“It is important that opposition parties too backed the idea and the possibility for reforming VSS through constitutional amendments,” he declared.

Stressing that the main goal of the strategy was to reform the VSS, Ivanov pointed out the authors of the strategy had sought to sketch out what could be achieved through minimal tampering with the Constitution and even without such changes as they had considered it unlikely that the motion would receive sufficient backing.

“Judicial reform does not boil down to this strategy. It was a serious preliminary test of the Parliament’s intentions and degree of readiness,” Bulgaria’s Justice Minister noted.

He said that the main idea behind the reform of the VSS was for it to stop acting as a conduit for political influence in the judiciary, adding that there were a number of ways for achieving that and the particular method could be agreed upon during talks.

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Tags: constitutional amendments, VSS, Supreme Judicial Council, judicial reform strategy, judicial reform, Justice Minister, Hristo Ivanov


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