How can judicial independence and impartiality be strengthened? The Council of Europe will present an action plan on this subject at a conference to be attended by justice ministers and representatives of the judiciary in Sofia (Bulgaria) on 21 and 22 April.
With over a third of Council of Europe member states failing to guarantee sufficient standards of judicial independence and impartiality, as noted by the organisation’s Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, in his 2015 report, the discussions will provide an opportunity to take stock of recent reforms, identify challenges and agree on measures to deal with them.
The conference will focus on three themes: the role of the judiciary in a democratic state and its relations with the executive and the judiciary; protecting the independence of individual judges and ensuring their impartiality; and securing public trust in the judicial process.
It will be opened by Boïko Borissov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Daniel Mitov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and Chair of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Ekaterina Zaharieva, Minister of Justice of Bulgaria. A press conference will be held at 12 pm.
The conference is being organised in co-operation with the Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria, in the context of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
- The conference will start on Thursday 21 April at 9 am (Sofia Hotel Balkan, 5 Sveta Nedelya Square). The opening and closing sessions will be open to the press.
- A family photo is scheduled around 9.45 am.
- Accreditation: journalists are requested to contact the Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria (see below).
- Programme ENG - BGR
Council of Europe:
Daniel Höltgen, Spokesperson of the Secretary General, mobile +33 6 68 29 87 51
Estelle Steiner, Spokesperson/Press officer, tel. +33 3 88 41 33 35
Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria: Silvia Gurmeva, Public Relations expert, tel. + 359 2 92 37 352