The President returned for further consideration some of the provisions of the Judiciary Act
Pursuant to Art. 101, para. 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, President Rosen Plevneliev returned amendments to the Judiciary Act, adopted on June 7 2012, to the National Assembly for further consideration.
By decree of June 14 2012, the President vetoed the wording of the Act which provides that after the expiry of their terms of office, members of the Supreme Judicial Council and of the SJC Inspectorate will be appointed to positions higher than those than they occupied before the election.
These provisions of the adopted law sparked sharp public reactions and questions about the extent to which they are compatible with the Constitution. Judicial independence is a constitutional principle. One of the guarantees of this independence is its own right to appoint, demote, transfer and dismiss judges, prosecutors and investigators. The amendments adopted by Parliament can be described as interference by the legislature in the activities of the judiciary.
The President believes that the benefits imposed by § 12 and § 16 for current elected members of the Supreme Judicial Council, the chief inspector and inspectors of the Inspectorate at the Supreme Judicial Council do not meet public expectations.
Although the President in recent weeks repeatedly expressed his opposition to the current SJC nominating and electing the next Prosecutor-General of the Republic, the President did not veto the text of the law. This change provides the procedure for selecting the presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Supreme Administrative Court and the Attorney General to begin six months before the expiry of their mandate.
The President has always considered the publicity and transparency of procedures as a basic premise that the selection be based on reasoned and professional qualities of candidates. The longer term gives the nominees an opportunity to present their concepts to the public to work as managers of the highest courts and the prosecution. According to President Rosen Plevneliev, there are sufficient safeguards and mechanisms that give him confidence that the new Prosecutor-General will be selected by the next SJC.