Bulgaria is an a permanent sustainable track to reduce the number of pending applications before the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”); in 2018, it dropped two places in the ranking and came up 17th with 514 applications immediately after Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Italy, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Poland, Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Albania and Croatia. The data comes from the official statistics announced publicly and posted on the Court’s site in the beginning of January 2019.

One of the main reasons for the progress are the efforts put in every day for the past years to implement the Court’s judgments, introduce effective remedies at the national level and, in particular, the successful execution of three pilot judgments which introduce effective remedies for compensation to victims on the account of the excessive duration of civil and criminal proceedings under the Judicial System Act and the State and Municipalities Liability for Damage Act as well as of the poor conditions in places for deprivation of liberty.

According to the information, Bulgaria drops down two placed in the negative ranking with regard to the countries with the greatest number of judgments before them before the Court in 2018; it was eighth with 27 convictions finding at least one violation of the European Convention for Human Rights. For the sake of comparison, for 2017, our country was sixth under this criterion.

The judgments issued against Bulgaria are 55. Of them, 27 are convictions where the Court finds at least one violation of the Convention: 2  judgments on the merits, no violations; 12 judgments regarding admissibility where the Court, having reviewed the parties’ arguments in detail, takes the position of the Government of Bulgaria and rejects the applications due to the failure to exhaust the domestic remedies or because they were manifestly ill-founded; 1 judgment of inadmissibility issued without asking the Government of Bulgaria for an observations, 13 Court judgments whereby the application is removed from the list of cases after reaching an amicable solution, providing a uni-lateral declaration or lack of interest on the part of the applicant. Some of the judgments, although convicting in a part, are acquittals with respect to certain complaints.

The positive trends in the Court’s case-law against Bulgarian for 2018 are that, as well as for the previous year 2017, there are no judgments finding serious violations of Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention due to ineffective investigation of the infringements against a person. The 2018 Annual Report of Justice Minister Tsetska Tsacheva with the detailed information about the execution of the Court’s judgments will be prepared by the end of March 2019.

Today, the National Assembly approved the fifth annual report of the Justice Minister on the execution of the Court’s judgments in cases against Bulgaria for 2017.