Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Going to conferences may actually be fun!



Do you know that the longest investigation and trial period of a criminal case in Bulgaria have lasted for 24 years? No, it wasn’t a highly complicated drug dealing or human trafficking case. Merely some car thefts. Oh, and there is another one, which has been going on for 20 years. Still not closed.

Such interesting details about obvious violations of human rights in Bulgarian legal procedures were announced on the Conference organized by Bulgarian National Institute of Justice in cooperation with Norway Grants on the 24th-26th of March. This intensive three days seminar had a very scientific title: “Increasing the capacity of judiciary and training on the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms at the National Institute of Justice.” Put in simple terms – the three days conference included an exhaustive analysis of Bulgarian legal system and its deficiencies when it comes to protecting human rights. It mostly focused on how does Bulgarian legislation corresponds with the European Convention of Human rights.
Most of the topics investigated by judges, prosecutors, attorneys at law and NGOs representatives of the country concerned the undue delay of criminal and administrative procedures, unlawful arrests, and keeping arrested in the custody, right of defendant to defend from charges when these charges are changed by the court on its own initiative and other most common violations or potential violation of European Convention of Human Rights that appear in implementing law in Bulgaria.


The seminar was part of the 24 months long project financed by Norwegian Financial Mechanism (Norway Grants), which is aimed at increasing the capacity of Bulgarian judicial system in the area of human rights.