Judicial Capacity-building and Cooperation/Improvement of the efficiency of justice

Key facts

Programme Operator:
Ministry of Justice
Programme ID:
Programme Donors
Council of Europe (CoE)
Date of approval:
Total amount:
EEA Grants fund:
Norway Grants fund:
€ 3,091,000

Currently available funding

Programme Summary

Why is the programme needed? On numerous occasions, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has condemned Bulgaria for human rights violations. In many cases, Bulgarian authorities have been obliged to pay compensations to Bulgarians who have been victims of excessive police force and long court procedures, or suffered inhumane conditions in psychiatric hospitals, prisons and police detention centres and other institutions. The European judges have also underlined that there is a number of structural problems in the Bulgarian judicial system, which may give rise to a large number of further similar violations of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). What will the programme achieve?                                                                              This programme is developed together with the Council of Europe (CoE). There is one red thread running through the programme - the five projects shall in various ways assist Bulgaria in respecting its obligations under the Convention. In order words, the aim is to improve the human rights situation in Bulgaria. The programme will be implemented by different institutions within the Bulgarian judicial system. It will also address the specific needs of vulnerable groups such as the Roma.   How will it be achieved?
  • Training on human rights at the National Institute of Justice.
  • Purchase of video equipment and training material.
  • Purchase of electronic equipment for electronic summoning at the Supreme Judicial Council.
  • Bulgarian judges will be offered placement at the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Review of the case-law against Bulgaria at the European Court of Human Rights, and relevant domestic legislation. Analysis of Bulgaria’s system of compensation.
  • Improving primary legal aid, especially in Roma settlements.
  • Training on how to handle security challenges in courts.
  • Establishment of a network of Bulgarian human rights experts.
  How will bilateral relations be strengthened? A fair, independent and efficient judicial system is crucial for the development of mutual trust and the deepening of cooperation between public and private entities from Bulgaria and Norway. What are the partnership opportunities?                                                                            The Council of Europe will participate in the implementation of the programme. The European Convention of Human Rights is one of the founding treaties of the CoE, and experts from the Council have considerable experience in offering technical assistance to its member states in how to respect human rights.