Bulgaria - Central Authority (Art. 2) and practical information

Central Authority(ies):

the Ministry of Justice and European Legal Integration of the Republic of Bulgaria

Contact details:
Address: 1, Slavyanska Str.
SOFIA 1040
Bulgaria
Telephone: +359 (2) 923 7441
Fax: +359 (2) 980 9223
E-mail: civil@justice.government.bg
General website: http://www.justice.government.bg
Contact person: Biliana Beliakova
Ekaterina Todorova
Languages spoken by staff: Bulgarian, English, French

 

Practical Information
(The following information was provided by the relevant State authorities or was obtained from the replies to the Evidence Convention Questionnaires)
Blocking statutes: Yes, there are two European instruments of this nature:

Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (see, Article 5(1)).

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (See, Art. 25(1)).
Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)
 
Transmission of Letters of Requests: Letters of Request are first sent to the Central Authority or to another authority of the requesting State before being sent to the Central Authority of the requested State.
Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request (Art. 7): Judicial authority competent to execute the request.
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8): Declaration of applicability. See Competent Authority.
Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution (Art. 11): Declaration of applicability
Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33):  Accepts Letters of Requests written in or translated into Bulgarian.
Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request (Arts 14(2)(3) and 26): Bulgaria seeks reimbursement of costs under Art. 14(2).
There are no constitutional limitations with regard to the reimbursement of fees and costs, in connection with the execution of Letters of Request, for the service of process necessary to compel the appearance of a person to give evidence, the costs of attendance of such persons, and the costs of any transcript of the evidence (Art. 26).
Time for execution: No information available.
Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents: Letter of Request will not be executed (full exclusion)
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence:  See See European Judicial Network in Civil or Commercial Matters - Bulgaria.
Witness examination under Chapter I
Should Letters of Request include specific questions to be used during witness examination or only a list of matters to be addressed? There is no law that requires specific questions to be included in the Letter of Request. However, it could be better if the courts include a list of specific questions.
Is it a public or private hearing? In general, the hearings are public, but the judge may, in a specific case, order to be conducted private hearings.
Do the judicial authorities "blue-pencil" Letters of Requests (i.e. rephrase, restructure and / or strike out objectionable questions or offensive wording so that a Letter of Request may be executed under the laws of the requested State)? No, the Request will simply be rejected.
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? No, the witness is not provided in advance with a copy of the questions/matters.
Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court? No, they are not.
Is an oath generally administered to the witness? Yes.
Under Article 170 of the Bulgarian Civil Procedural Code:
"(1) Before the examination of a witness, the court shall establish the identity thereof, shall clarify the information as to whether the said witness may be interested, and shall remind the witness of the liability incurable under the law for perjury.
(2) The witness shall promise to tell the truth."
Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall? Yes, the witness can be made subject to further examination and recall. The recall must be initiated through a second Letter of Request.
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? Yes, according to Article 85 of the Bulgarian Code of Civil Procedure:
Witness, When Fined
Article 85. (1) If a witness summoned to appear in court fails to appear without reasonable excuse, the court shall impose a fine thereon and shall decree that the attendance of the said witness during the next succeeding hearing be compelled.
(2) If a witness refuses to testify without reasonable excuse, the court shall impose a fine thereon.
Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified? Yes.
How is the testimony transcribed? Under Bulgarian law, the testimony is transcribed to the minutes of the court session.
Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)
Article 15 Applicable
Articles 16-18 Not applicable.
Taking of evidence by video-links
(under either chapter)
 
Chapter I
Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? Taking of evidence by video-link is not specially regulated. The taking of evidence is in general terms regulated in the Bulgarian Civil Procedural code.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
How would a request for evidence be handled if witness not willing? No information available.
Chapter II
Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? Not applicable.
Technology used: Not applicable.
Level of interpretation required: Not applicable.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: Not applicable.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? Not applicable.
Who pays for the interpretation? Not applicable.
Bilateral or multilateral agreements Bilateral conventions on judicial co-operation: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Georgia, Kuwait, Mongolia, Syria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (former), Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen and Yugoslavia (former).

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters

Useful links: -

(This page was last updated on 5 September 2017)

Conventions (incl. Protocols and Principles)