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Varna District Court

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The District Court in Varna was established on 23rd October 1878 by Order of Pavel Baumgarten – the governor of Varna after the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman domination.

The Varna District Court`s jurisdiction covers district of Varna, and in its judicial area are covered 12 municipalities, divided into three regional courts: Varna Regional Court, Devnya Regional Court and Provadia Regional Court. The Court is a first instance court and appellate court.

In 2017 District Court Varna has 68 judges on the staff and 106,5 administration officials on the stuff, totally 176,5 people on the staff.

Demographic Characteristic:

The area of jurisdiction of Varna District Court covers 3 819,5 sq.km. The number of settlements in the region is 159. The population count in the area of competence of Varna District Court is 511 541*, 375 447of whom live in Varna or 73,4%. The number of municipalities at the seat of Varna District Court is 12, the most distant place is 70 km away from Varna.

* Data of the National Population Register as of December 2017.

Structure

Structure EN

 


The Varna District Court is acting as:

  • First instance – cases, specified by law
  • Second instance – appeal of the acts, delivered by the Regional Courts

 

The types of cases generally are defined as follows:

  • Civil cases

  • Criminal cases

  • Commercial and Corporate cases

 The District Courts try as a 1st instance the most complicated cases which provoke the greatest public interest

Civil Cases 

The District Court, as first instance court, has jurisdiction in cases of: actions to establish or challenge origin, for termination of adoption, for interdiction or its reversal; claims for property and other real rights with value over 50,000 BGN (25,000 euro); All other civil matters are in the jurisdiction of the Regional Courts, as first instance, but for them the court of second instance is the District Court.

Criminal cases 

The District Court, as the first instance court, has jurisdiction in cases of murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, smuggling, production of counterfeit currency, distribution of drugs, malfeasance, etc. with criminal sentence more than 5 years. For all remaining criminal cases, the court of first instance is the Regional Court, and the court of second instance is the District Court.

Commercial and Corporate cases 

The District Court is also a court of registration for non-profit legal entities, residential housing companies, law firms, etc. Registration of traders is done by the Registry Agency under the Ministry of Justice, in accordance with the Commercial Register Act. The Court has jurisdiction of claims concerning commercial matters with value over 25,000 BGN (12,500 euro), with the exception of maintenance claims, labour disputes and receivables related to acts of defalcation. The District Court also hears actions to establish inadmissibility or nullity of entries in the Commercial Register, insolvency cases, as well as actions pursuant to other acts, except the Civil Procedure Code, are subject to the jurisdiction of this court.

 


Varna District Court (VDC) is the second busiest district court in Bulgaria. The overall statistics for all 2018 shows that the total number of pending cases in the Court was 7 575 and the total of the closed cases – 6 429. Of those, 83% were closed within a 3-month period. 52% of the judgments of the District Court against appeals were confirmed of higher court appeals. Only 17% of the decisions were revoked and 11% amended. The analysis of these data is indicative of a very good quality of the administration of justice in the court. On average, in 2018 a judge in the Court closed 9,48 cases per month.

The results that we report are due to the continuous monitoring of the main aspects of the court’s activities, constant analysis, control and perseverance in efforts to achieve the highest standards of justice. 

Mediation

The Mediation Centre was founded on 11th November 2015 and  is located near to Varna Regional Court. The Centre provides free of charges assistance to parties in the respective court, where the mediation program is initiated.Varna District Court is actively engaged in promoting mediation as a faster and more favorable way of dispute resolution. The mediation procedure could be started regardless of the phase of the case. 19* independent experts are at disposal to the parties in dispute resolution.

*at the end of 2018

Specialized space for child hearing

Since April 2016 in Varna operates the so called “Blue Room”- a specialized “kids-friendly” space for hearing of child in both criminal and civil proceedings. The Blue Room`s interior is suitable for children, separated by Venetian glass. Behind the special glass are the judge, prosecutor, the defendant and his lawyer. The specialized space was built and equipped by the Ministry of Justice with the financial support of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Program under the project "Strengthening the Legal and Institutional Capacity of the Judicial System in the Field of Justice for Children".

Every magistrate, police officer and social worker from the whole judicial region could use “blue room” for achieving better protection of children`s rights.

Education Programs for Youngsters

For couple of years the Varna District Court has been working on educational programs aimed at raising the legal culture of young people. The motivation of judges involved on a voluntary basis is related to the belief that we are all responsible for the youngsters and the problems they faced in the schools – aggressive behavior, violence, drug use. The projects are also related to raising legal culture of youngster in order to understand better organization and work of court.

  • Youngsters and justice

The program is result of joint efforts of Varna District Court and the University of Economics –Varna to bring together theory and practice in the educational process. The aim: improvement of the legal culture of the future economists. The project aims better understanding of the role of the court and judges as well as to enhance student` interest in legal issues.

  • Justice Lessons

“Justice Lessons” is the name of the second educational program focused on raising the legal culture of young people at the school age. The program covers children aged from 9 to 18 years. The partners of Varna District Court in the program are Varna Regional Court and Regional Education Administration - Varna. The project aims better understanding of court`s organization and functions.  The judges are involved on a voluntary basis, led by the belief that all are responsible for the young people and the problems they faced. The “Justice Lessons” program includes a lots of events and initiatives.

At the end of 2017, 21 judges from Varna District  Court were awarded with certificates and gratitude from the Supreme Judicial Council for their active work as trainers in various educational projects with contribution to receiving the prestigious Council of Europe`s “Crystal Scales of Justice” prize. The European Prize is awarded for innovative practices contributing for improving the quality of justice.