Court presidents at the Bulgarian courts are appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council with a resolution.

The election procedure concerning candidates for Court Presidents is initiated by the Supreme Judicial Council no earlier than three months and no later that one month before the term of office expires or within 7 days following the pre-term termination of a Court President mandate. The term of office is 5 years.

Only judges with high professional and moral characteristics and a positive overall score "very good" or "good" from the last periodic appraisal shall be appointed as Court Presidents.

The procedure for election of Court Presidents is conducted by the Supreme Judicial Council through an interview. Before the interview the candidates for the post prepare concept thesis of the strategic management of the respective judiciary body, which they defense at the interview. During the interview an assessment of the candidates is made concerning: their professional competence as a judge on the basis of the periodic appraisal conducted thus far; their management competence as administrative managers; their moral characteristics on the basis of a substantiated opinion of the Commission for Professional Ethics and Prevention of Corruption.

No later than 7 days prior to the interview NGOs, higher education institutions and scientific organisations may submit opinions about a candidate to the Supreme Judicial Council, including questions to be asked. The submitted opinions and questions shall be published on the website of the Supreme Judicial Council no later than three days from the date of submission. During the interview, the members of the Supreme Judicial Council may also ask questions on the basis of those opinions.

The Supreme Judicial Council adopts a resolution on the appointment of the candidate who has satisfied the legal requirements, such resolution being also based on the assessment of the candidates’ managerial skills. The resolution is subject to appeal.

More information about the appointment process of Court Presidents is available under section “Documents”: Judiciary System Act.

The TJAI covered several appointments of Chief Judges in the period 2011-2012. You may find the procedure and the prepared profiles here, available in Bulgarian. For more details you can reach us at: