The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for remote services have accelerated the digitalisation of the Bulgarian justice system.
In July 2020, Bulgaria's National Assembly adopted at first readingtwo bills amending the Judiciary Act, which provide for the establishment of a "Unified Register of Experts" and an Information System for Judicial Enforcement.
The information system "Unified Register of Experts" is an electronic system that will contain data on professionals certified as legal experts and registered with the courts.
The unified electronic register of experts will be a single database listing available experts, their specialties, activities, expertise and results. This register should greatly facilitate the work of judges and litigants in finding an expert with an appropriate specialty. For users, the new electronic register will provide an electronic file for each expert containing information on his qualifications, education, prepared expert opinions, court decisions on past cases he has been involved in, the number of refusals for participating in cases, the reasons for these refusals and how to contact this individual.
The information system for judicial enforcement, provided as a separate bill, concerns electronic enforcement. The information system is a single electronic database over which bailiffs across Bulgaria will on a daily basis upload in a unified order and format data from their registers and diaries on the actions taken in enforcement cases.
Until now, bailiffs use different electronic information systems with different functions for registering this data. Since there is no uniform standard in maintaining registers, there are no opportunities for participants to gain remote access to enforcement cases. The new information system aims to overcome those shortcomings and to make judicial enforcement more transparent, fast and efficient.
Once this judicial enforcement information system is up and running, the Ministry of Justice will provide users in Bulgaria and abroad (who are participants in enforcement cases) with access to electronic administrative services in connection with the movement of cases. Certain state fees will likely need to be paid to gain access to this service.
The Unified Electronic Register of Experts and the Information System of Judicial Enforcement will be administered and maintained by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, and only registered users will have access to them.
According to the draft laws, detailed regulations for access to the information system will be available within six months after the entry into force of these amendments to the Judiciary Act. Fee-based access to electronic administrative services provided through the electronic portal should also be available at this time.
For more detailed information on innovations in court proceedings and digitalisation of the Bulgarian enforcement process, contact the local CMS expert Antonia Kehayova.