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Recognition of foreign judgments

One of the core consequences of globalisation has been the rapid increase in trans-national litigation and the associated need to enforce judgments across national borders. Recognition and enforcement of foreign countries’ court decisions in another country has always been a delicate and difficult issue.

It is known that the system does not have a universal rule and each country adopts its own valued judgment with regard to foreign decisions.

There is also a clear and relatively easy procedure for the enforcement of judgments and other acts passed in other EU Member States.

The Civil process Code does not contain provisions on recognition and enforcement of decisions and acts of countries other than EU Member States.

The Regulation Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments

Recognition and enforcement of judgments rendered in non-EU countries should be subject to different procedures under the Code of international private law act.

According to part four of the CMR, the conditions introduced in Art. 117 The Code of international private law act for recognition and enforcement is as follows:

The decisions and acts of foreign courts and other bodies are recognized when:

  1. – the foreign court or authority was competent under the provisions of Bulgarian law:
  2. – the defendant was served with a copy of the application, the parties were regularly summoned and the basic principles of Bulgarian law related to the defense were not violated ;
  3. – if between the same parties, on the same grounds and for the same request, no decision of a Bulgarian court has entered into force;
  4. – if there is no pending trial between the same parties, on the same grounds and for the same claim, before a Bulgarian court
  5. – recognition or admission of performance is not contrary to the Bulgarian public order.

Legal frame of recognition of foreign judgments

The Recognition of foreign Judgments is made by the body before it.

In the event of a dispute over the conditions for recognition of the foreign judgment, a settlement action may be brought before the Sofia City Court.

A claim is made before the Sofia City Court to allow enforcement of a foreign judgment.

The application shall be accompanied by a copy of the decision certified by the court which issued it and a certificate by the same court that the decision has entered into force.

These documents needs to be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The court shall examine of its own motion the conditions under Art. 117.

The defendant in the procedure for recognition and enforcement of the foreign decision can not invoke violations under Art. 117, item 2, which he could have pointed out before the foreign court.

The court does not go into the examination of the substance of the dispute, resolved by the foreign court. 

The debtor may object to the discharge of the obligation on the basis of circumstances that have arisen after the entry into force of the foreign decision.

The debtor may not object to the discharge of the obligation on the basis of the circumstances after the enforcement decision has entered into force.

Regarding the recognition of the consequences of foreign enforcement and security acts – the regulation is in Art. 124 International law act in Bulgaria-

If there is a claim before a Bulgarian court for the recognition of a judgment given in a non-EU country and there are no other international instruments in the field of family law that have been signed and ratified by both countries.

The foreign state at the same time as the CPC does not contain provisions on recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments other than EU Member States, the recognition procedure will be Part Four of the CMR, considering the legal conditions under Art. 117 KMCP.

The court procedure in Bulgaria

A decision certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria must be submitted to the court, that it is apparent that the same has entered into force.

Recognition foreign decisions, Bulgarian lawyers recognition of court decision, Court decisions in Bulgaria, Bulgaria recognition court decision lawyerAfter assessing the conditions under Art. 117 CMMR and to check whether it is contrary to the Bulgarian public order, the court decides whether it admits or not.

It is important to note that, according to the provision of Art. 121 para. 1 Code international private law act, the court in the exequatur procedure does not examine the merits of the dispute.

Divorce procedures Bulgaria

For many people the concept of “divorce” is associated with stress and material loss, and so many people prefer not to take action on their personal lives, hoping that over time they will all sort and do not apply for divorce.  As we interact with many of our international clients and potential clients, we realize that most people do not understand the divorce laws in Bulgaria.

They are confused about the Bulgaria divorce process in general.  But, this is totally understandable.

The law is complicated and most people are not lawyers, so they do not need to know this information.  But if you are here reading this article, you are interested.  So I am going to try to explain some of the Bulgaria divorce laws in the simplest terms possible without all the arcane legalese.

Lots of law firms have articles about different aspects of the Bulgaria divorce laws.  They tend to be short articles about a particular subtopic, or they are covert advertisements about how great a particular law firm is, rather than an overview of the Bulgaria divorce process.

What’s the Process?

There may be some variations in the process depending on the facts of your case (like, whether you have children and where you live), but most divorces with agreement look something like this:

Divorce in Bulgaria is subject to the Family law in Bulgaria, governed by the Bulgarian Family code that settles relations based on marriage, kinship adoption, as well as well as guardianship and tutelage.  In Bulgaria, divorce procedures could be done in two ways:

  • Divorce by mutual agreement or
  • Divorce through breakdown of marriage, when both spouses are Bulgarian citizens. As such, the Bulgarian legislation is applicable.

As relationships get worse, spouses acquire children, different property is acquired, but in fact the family does not exist in the meaning of this concept of morality and law.

Suddenly he / she / decides that they want more than life and divorce, which is often absolutely unexpected for the other partner who should take action to get out of this unpleasant situation with minimal mental and material loss.

Divorce due to marriage disorder is a procedure that aims to end marriage due to a “deep and irreparable” disorder (Article 49 Family code). The claim is constitutive, is brought to the district court on the defendant’s permanent address.

The court is seized with the filing of a claim by one of the spouses meeting the requirements of the CPC and containing the requisite requisites – addressee, country data, relevant annexes, etc. and the request to the court to settle a divorce due to a deep and irreparable marriage disorder.

Divorce procedures Bulgaria

The personal appearance of the parties is mandatory at the first hearing. A consequence of the plaintiff’s unreasonable failure to appear is termination of the case.

The legal procedure of divorce by claim order 

The legal regulation of the procedure has been describen in art. 49-52 Family code.,

divorce by mutual consent is preferred when both parties agree on the reasons for divorce and the court allows for the procedure to take place without investigating the cause for the dissolution of the marriage.

This is the simplest type of divorce in Bulgaria and the costs involved in the procedure are much lower than in other cases.

Spouses must come to an agreement regarding the custody of the children, visiting rights, the division of the property acquired during the marriage, the use of the family name etc.

The evidence of the deep and irreparable disorder of divorce, which is the basis for divorce cases, must be proven in a competitive process .

The Court should establish the reasons for the occurrence of a temporary and disruptive disorder, but its profound and irreparable disorder – these may be objective circumstances, and or marital malfeasance of one or both of the spouses.

Divorce procedures Bulgaria

Divorce proceedings in Bulgaria due to marriage disruption should be initiated by only one spouse . If there is mutual consent for the divorce, proceed according to Art. 50 of Family Code – divorce by mutual consent.

Account should be taken of the restrictive legal norm of Art. 320 of the Code of Civil Procedure, according to which the divorce proceedings are suspended if the wife is pregnant (until the child’s 12 months of age) if she so requests.

Matrimonial claims must also be respected. procedural consumption (exhaustiveness of the marriage process), according to art. 322 of the Civil Procedure Code and according to the mandatory for the courts Interpretative Decision No. 1 / 4.01.2001. of the SCCS of the SCC:

Art. 322. (1) In a claim for divorce, the plaintiff must provide all grounds for the profound and irreparable marriage disorder. Any reasons not mentioned, which occurred and became known to the spouse until the oral hearing is completed, can not serve as a basis for bringing a new claim for divorce.

As stated above, as the basis for the divorce claim is the deep and irreparable disorder of marriage judged by concrete facts proving it, each of these facts is in itself a ground of claim. If a plea is not mentioned in the case, it is overturned and can not serve as a new claim on the basis of that fact. Therefore, all the facts of family life justifying the occurrence of a profound and irreparable marriage disorder should be indicated by the end of the oral hearings.

All matrimonial claims may be joined together. the following claims must be lodged and considered:family & divorce lawyers in Bulgaria

  • For exercising parental rights;
  • On personal relationships and child support;
  • Using the family home;
  • Maintenance between spouses and surname.

At the request of one of the parties, the court may prescribe temporary measures on the care and maintenance of minor children from marriage (if any), the use of family housing and other property acquired during marriage, etc. questions. The provisional measures shall have effect until the final decision is taken.

When selecting a divorce lawsuit – DIVORCE by mutual consent or DIVORCE by legal claim, apart from always the individual and personal specificities of the particular case, the due fees for the proceedings should be known and taken into account:

State fee are payable upon filing of the application. It is paid to the account of the relevant District Court.

Final state fee should be paid  on the account of the respective District Court in case of divorce. 2 per cent on maintenance payments for 3 years maintenance fees for the child on bank account of the District Court.

Other costs may arise in the proceedings, such as expert opinions on one or other matter, the value of which is different and depending on the complexity of the expert’s task.

The burden of all costs in the case – state fees, lawyers’ fees, expert opinions are assigned to the guilty or ill-conscious spouse when there is a ruling on the guilt (according to the norm of Article 49, paragraph 3 of the Family Code, the ruling on wine matters is no longer official, but only if one of the spouses has requested such a ruling) or remains at the expense of each of the parties – as they have done in the course of the proceedings.Divorce procedures Bulgaria

In this comment, the issues of divorce proceedings are examined in principle.

Always consider and choose the procedure best suited to the specific case.

Our family law office provides legal consultations and representation during the contested divorce – a procedure that is quite emotional for the parties.

The information provided below will help you find more about this procedure.

If you need our assistance please call us on + 359 897 90 43 91 or send us a mail office@lawyer-bulgaria.bg

European Arrest Warrant in Bulgaria

Many clients asked for drafting and preparation of the following legal procedure for European Arrest Warrant Bulgaria. 

The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is a legal decision issued in an EU Member State

This is a legal instrument with the purpose of detaining and surrendering an individual wanted in another Member State for prosecution.

Sometimes there are some activities for execution of a custodial sentence, or a detention order.

Our law firm, D. Vladimirov & Partners, specializes in international criminal law, particularly in cases involving

  1. drug abuse
  2. violations,
  3. money laundering,European Arrest Warrant in Bulgaria
  4. white-collar crimes,
  5. forgery,
  6. counterfeiting,
  7. fraud,
  8. financial crimes,
  9. tax fraud offenses,
  10. driving, and traffic crimes.

Our legal actitvities 

Our expertise allows us to handle international criminal law issues at a high professional level, often collaborating with foreign colleagues in

A/ Extradition or

B/ Legal work on procedures of european Arrest Warrant cases involving Bulgaria.

We prioritize providing reliable legal services to our clients as defense counsel, offering assistance in criminal and extradition order services.

The European Arrest Warrant, governed by the Law on Extradition and European Arrest Warrant in Bulgaria, aims to combat international terrorism and organized crime post-10/11/2001.

The warrant simplifies cross-border judicial surrender procedures, replacing the previously lengthy extradition processes between EU countries.

The EAW, based on the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions, allows for the recognition and execution of a warrant issued by one EU country’s judicial authority throughout the entire EU territory.

The issuing authority must assess the risk of inhuman or degrading treatment before deciding on surrender if evidence of such a risk exists.

Under the Bulgarian Law on Extradition and European Arrest Warrant, the Court may refuse to execute the warrant in cases of amnesty, an entered into force sentence, or if the requested person is underage according to Bulgarian legislation.

The decision on the execution of the European arrest warrant must be made within 60 days after the person’s arrest, and if the person consents, the surrender decision must be taken within 10 days.

How start the procedure ? Appealing administrative acts

The surrender procedure, initiated by a European Arrest Warrant, takes place in one of the 28 district courts.

The requested person can consent to surrender, leading to a restricted verification procedure.

If the person refuses, the court examines the legal details and checks for reasons preventing transfer, such as double jeopardy, terminated criminal proceedings in Bulgaria, or expired punishment under Bulgarian law.

Despite instances of foreign courts refusing to hand over individuals to Bulgaria due to concerns over prison conditions

Our law office, D. Vladimirov & Partners, emphasizes the need for amendments to align Bulgarian legislation with human rights standards.

If you require legal assistance, feel free to contact us at +359 897 90 43 91 or send your inquiry to office@lawyer-bulgaria.bg

What is the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) and how does it function?

The EAW is a mechanism based on mutual recognition of judicial decisions among EU countries. It involves a judicial authority in one EU country requesting the arrest and surrender of a person located in another Member State for prosecution or to execute a custodial sentence.

How does the EAW differ from traditional extradition?

Unlike traditional extradition, the EAW imposes strict time limits. The executing state must make a final decision on the execution of the warrant within 60 days after the person's arrest, with a surrender decision required within 10 days if the person consents. The surrender must occur within 10 days of the final decision.

What changes have been made regarding double criminality checks?

For 32 categories of offenses, there is no longer a need for a double criminality check. The only requirement is that the act must be punishable by a maximum period of at least 3 years of imprisonment in the issuing state. For other offenses, surrender may be subject to the condition that the act constitutes an offense in the executing state.

How is political involvement addressed in the EAW process?

Decisions related to the EAW are made solely by judicial authorities, eliminating any political considerations. This ensures an unbiased and legal approach to the surrender process.

Can EU countries refuse to surrender their own nationals under the EAW?

EU countries can no longer refuse to surrender their nationals under the EAW, except if they opt to take over the execution of the prison sentence against the requested person.

What guarantees can be imposed by the executing judicial authority?

The executing judicial authority may require guarantees, including the right to request a review after a certain period, especially for life sentences, and the possibility for the wanted person to serve any resulting prison time in the executing country if they are a national or habitual resident.

Under what grounds can the executing judicial authority refuse surrender?

Refusal to surrender is limited to specific grounds. Mandatory grounds include cases of amnesty, previous judgment for the same offense, or the person being a minor. Optional grounds include lack of double criminality, territorial jurisdiction, pending criminal procedure, and statute of limitations, among others.

How is the EAW designed to protect the procedural rights of suspects or accused persons?

In applying the EAW, authorities must respect the procedural rights of suspects or accused persons, including the right to information, legal representation, an interpreter, and legal aid, as stipulated by the law in the country where the arrest takes place.

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