Strengthening the public trust in the court and the public demand for improved justice among young people in Bulgaria

A project supported by USAID
Thursday 15 December 2005
article translations български, français

The young people – students from upper grades of high schools who will reach soon their majority and will leave the secondary schools are in the age group mostly exposed to various influences - social, educational and political – and being in the starting point of independent life they need to create and adjust their attitudes towards the most important State institutions.

The judicial system and the Court are among the institutions, which are perceived and approached with some reticence and fear, and in the same time they are largely criticized in the public space.

The Project provides a basic knowledge on the structure and functioning of the courts as well as more specific understanding of two new laws - the Law against Discrimination and the Law for Protection against Domestic Violence.

Within the project a comprehensive education program will be designed and implemented for providing basic literacy to students from high schools and acquaint a pilot group of them with the structure and functioning of the Court

The program covers the following thematic issues:

- Organization of the judicial system in Bulgaria. Jurisdiction of the courts and venue.

- Extra judicial means for settlement of disputes

- Introduction to the concept of human rights. The rights to a fair trial and to an effective domestic remedy

- Organization, structure and jurisdiction of the Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

- Organization, structure and jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee

- Correlation between the judicial acts of domestic and international courts.

- Guarantees for competence, independence and impartiality of the court

- Main participants in judicial proceedings. Basic rights of the parties to the different types of judicial proceedings.

- Rights to defend oneself, to legal representation and to legal aid.

- Introduction to the topic of Violence against women and children – the causes of violence (the link between discrimination and violence). Legal regulation, definitions and types of violence.

- Domestic violence – definition, forms of manifestation. Scope of application and basic procedural aspects of the Law for protection against Domestic violence.

- Scope of application and basic procedural aspects of the Law against Discrimination

At the end of the project it is expected that the interest of school authorities to such initiatives will grow and they will look actively for the implementation of similar training programs in the frame of the civic education.

It is expected as well to raise in bigger scale the trust of young people in the system of justice and prepare them for the new realities and requirements coming out of the obligations under the Law against Discrimination and the Law for Protection against Domestic Violence and more generally the legal environment of the EU, and for active citizenship.

The main target audience is young people in the age group 16-18, boys and girls from all ethnic groups without any discrimination.