Bulgaria's Judicial Council OKs Split into Two Colleges

Domestic | April 14, 2016, Thursday // 11:41|  views

A Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) session held in March 2016. File photo, BGNES

Members of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) of Bulgaria have approved their own division into two colleges, one for judges and one for prosecutors.

No disputes have accompanied the debate before the vote. A full majority backed the move, according to the Bulgarian News Agency.

The prosecutors' college now includes nine members and Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, whose role in the council is secured under the law.

Twelve elected members make up the judges' college, alongside the heads of the Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) and Supreme Administrative Court (VAS), Lozan Panov and Georgi Kolev.

At the end of March, the lawmakers voted to approve the new VSS structure.

The division is part of the government's commitment to judicial reform, which has been one of the priorities of the junior cabinet ally, the Reformist Bloc (RB) coalition, and particularly one of its parties, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) which unlike the rest of the RB has declared itself part of the opposition.

Prior to constitutional amendments which allowed for the move in December, the idea had sparked controversy among lawmakers, with the opposition questioning is necessity and positive effect on work done by the judiciary.

The VSS is the top decisionmaking body of the judiciary (sometimes referred to as its "government") which is in charge of issues such as key appointments to or dismissals from the system, salaries, and disciplinary action.

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Tags: Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, VAS, VKS, Supreme Court of Cassation, judicial reform, Sotir Tsatsarov, Lozan Panov, Georgi Kolev


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