The Modernization of Administrative Justice was Presented at the Round Table of AmCham Bulgaria and ABAJ

Continuing to keep the discussion high in the public sphere about pressing changes in the rule of law that have a real impact on the investment climate and business environment in Bulgaria, AmCham Bulgaria organized a round table together with the Association of Bulgarian Administrative Judges (ABAJ), which took place on 22 February 2024. The event brought together over 100 representatives of 40 organizations, businesses, and regulators.

The focus was on digital transformation in administrative justice and the effectiveness of administrative justice in Bulgaria.   

During the event was presented the key project of ABAJ for the digitization of key court production processes should be implemented by the end of 2026.

Virtual courtrooms, electronic communication with the parties, and electronic administrative files saved months for citizens and businesses. These are just some of the goals of the project for the digital transformation of administrative justice. In the 28 administrative courts, courtrooms will be built in which to hold remote online hearings. Each will have a projector and projection wall for the participants to view the video broadcast, there will be a camera capable of pointing at individual participants in the room with sufficient resources to clearly visually distinguish the faces of the participants and the documents being displayed, and there will be a scanning device that can be used to provide the other parties and the court staff with documents pointed to during the public hearing.

The main results to be achieved with the investment will be:
  • Optimizing the work of magistrates and court officials in the administrative justice system by building the skills and increasing the knowledge of magistrates and court officials and implementing new digital processes leading to improved service to citizens and businesses;
  • Improving the business environment by ensuring a seamless judicial process, significantly less dependent on emergencies, which together with e-summons and e-filing should lead to an even faster process;
  • Improving the service to citizens and businesses by providing the possibility of holding remote open hearings, electronic filing, and receipt of documents;
  • Facilitating summons and notification in administrative cases by introducing an electronic summons and notification system. Achieving savings and a more environmentally efficient administration of justice.

The feedback and comments received during the event from businesses, institutions, and NGOs will be summarized and addressed with concrete proposals for improving administrative justice in the Republic of Bulgaria and for finding real legal ways to overcome the identified problems.

At the beginning of the year, AmCham Bulgaria presented its Report with proposals for improvements in some aspects of the rule of law and the business environment in Bulgaria. It aimed to enrich and encourage public and professional discussion to make real changes in the regulatory framework affecting both citizens and businesses in Bulgaria. This project was supported by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).