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Transparency of Administrative Justice
March 2020 – March 2022
Financed by America for Bulgaria Foundation

The America for Bulgaria Foundation assists in strengthening a vibrant market economy and the institutions of democratic society in Bulgaria, helping the country to realize its full potential as a successful, modern European nation. The America for Bulgaria Foundation seeks to enhance the longstanding legacy of goodwill and friendship between the American and Bulgarian people and through many of its programs, to promote the US – Bulgaria people-to-people contacts and exchange of ideas and resources. The Foundation represents the generous face of the American people and embodies the highest standards of US ethical conduct, transparency, and core values.

Support for the Access to Information Programme is provided by the America for Bulgaria Foundation. The statements and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the Access to Information Programme and do not necessarily reflect the views of the America for Bulgaria Foundation or its affiliates.

The aim of the project is through legal analysis, preparation of a methodology with the participation of all stakeholders, assessment of the websites of the administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Courts, legal assistance in cases of access to information with potential to improve the business environment and information campaign tp contribute for:

  • More consistent access to information practices by the administrative courts and the SAC;
  • Recommendations for improvement of transparency and accountability of the judiciary;
  • Increased public awareness on the right of access to information and how to exercise it;
  • Enhanced proactive transparency of 28 administrative courts and the SAC;
  • Increased public trust in the work of the administrative courts;
  • Increased recognition of Access to Information Programme as Transparency Advice Center.

The transparency of judiciary guarantees both the fundamental right to fair trial and the public trust in courts, which is essential for a democratic society. Administrative courts are important as they consider disputes where citizens and companies complain of unlawful decisions or conduct of public bodies. The transparency of administrative courts and of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) is of value for the right to information, the proper functioning of administrative judiciary and trust in it. Based on AIP’s 23 years of experience in the freedom of information area, the following needs and risk have been identified:

  • Need for enhanced judicial transparency;
  • Need for transparency monitoring and evaluation;
  • Risk of unstable court practices;
  • Need for public awareness and education in the area of access to information;
  • Need for timely and effective communication of monitoring results, court decisions, and successful access to information cases;

AIP will address the identified problem by:

  • Reviewing and analyzing the legal framework setting forth obligations for active publication and developing a web-based methodology for assessment of the websites of the 28 administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC);
  • Presenting and discussing the methodology for assessment of administrative courts’ websites with stakeholders at 3 round tables. Conducting interviews and consultations with various civil society representatives, including with the help of AIP’s 27 coordinators in all regions;
  • Assessing the websites of the 28 administrative courts and the SAC;
  • Preparing the “Access to Information in the Judiciary” report with recommendations which will be discussed at a nation-wideconference;
  • Providing legal aid to citizens and organizations in access to information cases with the potential to reveal corruption and wrongdoings, to increase government accountability and to improve the conditions for business and investment in Bulgaria;
  • Carrying out raising awareness campaigns, trainings and a higher education course to encourage the active exercise of the right to information;
  • Effectively communicating all the aforementioned activities, maintaining and strengthening national and international networks, such as AIP’s coordinators network and the international Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIAnet).

 

 


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18.05.2020 • © 1999 Copyright by Interia & AIP