Sunday, May 19, 2024


Statement on Bulgaria

MEDEL is observing with concern the developments related to the electronic election of members of the Supreme Judicial Council in Bulgaria.

MEDEL is observing with concern the developments related to the electronic election of members of the Supreme Judicial Council in Bulgaria, relating to the lack of transparency of the applied system and regarding the irregularities confirmed by the authorities in the counting of votes. MEDEL is also concerned that the Supreme Judicial Council refused to hear representatives of the  Bulgarian Judges Association at the meeting dedicated to this issue.

As MEDEL stressed several times, National Judicial Councils play a crucial role in every system, particularly in ensuring the independence of the judiciary and upholding the rule of law. Consequently, the selection of members for the Supreme Judicial Council must not raise any doubts or uncertainties. Transparency serves as the cornerstone of every voting process within a democratic society, and trust in these procedures stands as a fundamental requirement for upholding the Rule of Law within a state.

The exclusion of concerned parties from discussions about voting should be seen as an effort to pressure and weaken the independence of judges and prosecutors. Consequently, in the forthcoming elections for Members of the Supreme Judicial Council, all participants must be guaranteed equal voting rights and a secure voting process. This assurance can only be achieved through open debate and rigorous oversight.

MEDEL, considering the aforementioned points:

– Strongly urges the Bulgarian authorities to conduct an impartial and thorough investigation into the current system’s shortcomings and any irregularities

– Calls upon the Supreme Judicial Council of Bulgaria to engage all relevant stakeholders in discussions regarding the voting process and potential development of a new electronic system

– Encourages the Supreme Judicial Council to leverage the expertise of national bodies specialized in cybersecurity during the formulation and implementation of any new system

– Advocates for the Supreme Judicial Council  to actively seek counsel from Council of Europe bodies and other international organizations during the development of new electronic voting mechanisms

– Stresses the necessity for scrutiny of this matter by the European judicial community and institutions within the European Union.

Budapest, 9 December 2023

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