Fiches Belges
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Accepted Languages

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Fiches Belges: Bulgaria

Access to public documents in judicial files (404)



Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

Yes, it is possible. There is no alternative measure. According to art. 41 of the Constitution of Republic of Bulgaria anyone has the right to seek, receive and distribute information. The realization of this right may not be directed against the rights and good reputation of the other citizens and against the national security, public order, peoples’ health and the morality. The citizens have right to receive information from state authorities or organizations about issues that are of their legal interest if this information does not represent state secret or other type of secret protected by the law or does not infringe other person’s interests. Rights and obligation related to provision of information by the state authorities including the judicial authorities are regulated in details under the Law on Access to Public Information /LAPI/. According to this law each citizen of Republic of Bulgaria, foreigner, a person without citizenship and a legal entity has right to access to public information under the conditions and rules envisaged under the law, except a special order for seeking, receiving and distribution of such information is envisaged under another law. Public information is any information relevant to public life in the Republic of Bulgaria and giving opportunity of citizens to make their own opinion on the activities of entities obliged by virtue of the law – state authorities, local self-government authorities and organizations from the public sector. Limitations of the right of access to public information are inadmissible, except a law envisages that the information is classified information or other protected secret. The materials of investigation under criminal proceedings shall not be made public without the permission of the prosecutor. When necessary the authority conducting the pre-trial proceedings shall give a warning and ask the persons who are present at performance of investigative actions to sign that they may not make public without permission the materials under the case, otherwise they shall be held liable under art. 360 of Criminal Code. The parties to the case, their procedural representatives and authorized persons with permission of the prosecutor, respectively the court may gain access to the materials under the case as well as opportunity to make excerpts and copies of the necessary documents. Before completing of investigation the investigating authority grants an opportunity to the accused person, the victim and their procedural representatives to review all the materials under the case. Upon request by the interested person, the court or the body conducting the pre-trial proceedings shall issue a certificate thereto, by virtue of which the state and municipal bodies, legal entities and sole proprietors shall be obligated to supply such person with the necessary documents within their competence.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

Under the pre-trial proceedings – the respective competent prosecutor’s office. Under the court proceedings – the respective competent court.

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

Competent authorities under the Law on Access to Public Information are the liable subjects envisaged under item 1.1. and in the criminal proceedings – the investigating authorities, prosecutor and judge.



Accepted languages for the request/decision

Bulgarian and English language.



Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)




a. Special requirements

Access to public information under the Law on Access to Public Information shall be granted on the basis of written application or oral inquest addressed to the competent authority. The forms of granting of public information are: review of information, oral check-up, copies on paper and copies on technical carriers. Application for granting of access to public information shall be processed as soon as possible, but not later than 14 days after the date of registration. This term may be prolonged with 10 days, respectively 14 days when the requested information is of significant volume or refers to a third person and his/her consent for the granting is necessary. After review of the application the competent authority shall issue a decision on granting or refusal of access to public information. The decisions on granting or refusal of access to public information may be appealed before the administrative courts or before the Supreme Administrative Court, depending on the authority that issued the act, under the rules of Administrative Procedure Code.

b. Other useful information

The assistance or participation of officials from the requesting state in the performance of the measure is possible.

Last reviewed on 24 August 2016 by EJN Secretariat
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