site.btaCurrent Supreme Judicial Council Continues to Operate until New Council Elected

Current Supreme Judicial Council Continues to Operate until New Council Elected
Current Supreme Judicial Council Continues to Operate until New Council Elected
National Assembly, February 1, 2024 (BTA Photo)

Lawmakers here on Thursday voted on second reading amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, which will extend the operations of the current Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and Plenum, until new Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and Supreme Prosecutorial Council (SPC) get elected. Amendments to the Judicial System Act were voted into law with the final provisions in the bill. According to the adopted texts, until the election of a new SJC and SPC, the current SJC will continue to exercise its powers under the current legislation, subject to the limitations provided for in the provisions of the Amendment Act, through the Plenum, the Judges' Chamber and the Prosecutors Chamber.

The Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs reviewed the amendments on Wednesday.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party, Vazrazhdane and There Is Such a People (TISP) objected to the amendments, saying that they "suspend" the Constitution and introduce "amendments to the amendments" to the Constitution. Vazrazhdane and TISP demanded that the admissibility of the proposal under consideration be put to a vote. Forty-four MPs voted in favour of the annulment of the consideration, 106 were against and four abstained.

SJC representative Boyan Magdalinchev highlighted some problematic moments after the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution and their entry into force on December 26, 2023. He commented that it is normal for constitutional texts to be more abstract and clarified that it is for this reason that paragraph 22 of the amendments to the Constitution stipulates that within six months, the National Assembly shall adopt the laws that concern the implementation of these amendments.

According to Magdalinchev, the amendments to the Judicial System Act that stipulate that the current SJC shall continue to operate as previously, until the election of a new SJC and SPC, are logical and correct.

With the amendment to the Constitution, changes were made to the SJC structure, to the new bodies that are being established, respectively their powers, Magdalinchev said and stressed that they create a General Assembly between the councils of judges and prosecutors. The General Assembly, however, does not perform and is not equated with the functions of the SJC Plenum. The SJC Plenum does not exist under the Constitution - it is stipulated that it does not exist. These powers of the SJC Plenum are essential, because the Plenum is the body that is the administrator of the budget of the judiciary. It prepares and submits the draft budget of the judiciary, determines the number of the judiciary, determines the remuneration of the magistrates and the remuneration of the judicial officers, Magdalinchev added.

Vazrazhdane MP Peter Petrov stated that these amendments to the Constitution have shut down the SJC. "Such a body no longer exists. There are two new bodies, but they have not yet been created," he said.

/RY/

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By 00:13 on 21.05.2024 Today`s news

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