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General information

Legal system

Bulgarian legal system is a typical representative of the Romano – Germanic legal family and it recognizes the Acts of Parliament as a main source of law. The Bulgarian jurisprudence does not regard the judicial precedent as a source of law. However, the legal doctrine sometimes refers to the so-called indirect sources (or „subsidiary” sources) of law such as: case law (the practice of the courts), the legal customs, moral rules, and equity („justice”).

As member of the European Union (EU) all EU regulation apply to Bulgaria.

The courts

The legal procedure in Bulgaria is a three-instance one (with some exceptions to this rule). The system of the courts is decentralized, i.e. courts of various ranks are distributed throughout the country.

The Supreme Court of Cassation is the supreme judicial instance in criminal and civil cases. It exercises supreme judicial review over the proper and uniform application of laws by all courts.

The Supreme Administrative Court exercise supreme judicial oversight as to the precise and equal application of the law in administrative justice. The Supreme Administrative Court has jurisdiction over (i) challenges to statutory regulations, (ii) challenges to decisions of the Council of Ministers, and ministers, (iii) appeals in cassation and procedural appeals against judgments issued by courts of first instance, (iv) appeals by parties to proceedings against rulings and orders, etc.

Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Arbitration Court settles civil disputes and disputes over filling gaps in contracts or adapting contracts to new circumstances, regardless of whether one or both parties have their registered office or domicile in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Constitutional Court ensures the supremacy of the Constitution over the laws and bylaws that Parliament passes and over the presidential decrees. This court is not part of the judicial system. It is an independent body which derives its powers directly from the Constitution. The Constitutional Court decisions are final (i.e. cannot be challenged) and binding on all, courts included. They are binding by the interpretation of the Constitution by the Constitutional Court’s interpretative decisions and also by its other decisions.