Report with recommendations “Access to Information in Administrative Courts and the Supreme Administrative Court" (available in Bulgarian) was presented on March 25, 2022 at an online conference before participants including the Deputy Minister of Justice, chairs of regional administrative courts, judges from the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), civil society organizations representatives and journalists.
The report is based on a review and analysis of the legislative framework related to obligations for active publication of public information of the Supreme Administrative Court and Bulgaria's 27 administrative courts, their current internal rules, and a review of case law, and publication practices on the websites of the aforementioned institutions.
In 2020, the AIP team formulated and sent interviews to the SAC and all administrative courts with the help of AIP coordinators in the regional cities. All courts with one exception provided answers to the interviews, which shed light on the courts' application of the legislation related with transparency and proactive publication of information.
In the period February - March 2021, three online expert meetings were held with three main target groups involved in the process of either requesting or providing information by the administrative courts and the SAC: court reporters; NGOs working in the field of judicial reform; and representatives of the SAC and the administrative courts.
In the period July 23 - August 23, 2021 a survey was conducted on the websites of the SAC and the administrative courts. The audit was based on a methodology specially designed by the AIP for the goals of the project "Transparency in Administrative Justice". The audit's questionnaire included 46 questions, divided into three sections, related respectively to the publication of administrative, judicial and financial information. Results of the Active Transparency Rating of Administrative Courts 2021 are accessible in English HERE.
The report also takes into account AIP's extensive experience in legal help and lititgation representation in court cases against refusals of access to information related to the judiciary.
The report was conceived by 3 AIP experts – attorneys-at-law Alexander Kashumov (head of AIP legal team), Kiril Terziiski and Stephan Anguelov (members of legal team).
The realisation of the report with recommendations and of the conference were made possible as part of the "Transparency in Administrative Justive" project funded by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.