In force from 29.04.2006
Prom. SG. 83/18 Oct 2005, amend. SG. 46/12 Jun 2007, amend. SG. 109/20 Dec
2007, amend. SG. 69/5 Aug 2008, amend. SG. 109/23 Dec 2008, amend. SG. 12/13 Feb
2009, amend. SG. 27/10 Apr 2009, amend. SG. 32/28 Apr 2009, amend. SG. 33/30 Apr
2009, amend. SG. 15/23 Feb 2010, amend. SG. 32/27 Apr 2010, amend. SG. 101/28 Dec
2010, amend. SG. 13/11 Feb 2011


Chapter two.

Administration of justice on criminal cases solely by the Courts
Art. 6. (1) Justice on criminal cases may only be administered by the Courts established by the
Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.
(2) Courts of emergency jurisdiction on criminal cases shall not be allowed.

Central place of the Court procedure
Art. 7. (1) The Court procedure shall take central place in the penal procedure.
(2) Pre-trial procedure shall be of preparatory nature.

Participation of jurors in the Court body
Art. 8. (1) In the cases and under the order as provided by this Code, jurors shall take part in the
Court body.
(2) Jurors shall enjoy the same rights as judges.

Requirement for appointment
Art. 9. In the penal procedure only judges, Court jurors and investigating bodies shall
participate, appointed under the established order.

Independence of the bodies in the penal procedure
Art. 10. While carrying out their functions, the judges, Court jurors, the prosecutors and the
investigating bodies shall be independent and shall be subservient only to the law.

Equality of citizens in the penal procedure
Art. 11. (1) All citizens who participate in the penal procedure shall be equal before the law. No
privileges or restrictions based on race, nationality, ethnic belonging, sex, origin, religion, education,
convictions, political belonging, personal and social or property status shall be allowed.
(2) The Court, the prosecutor and the investigating bodies shall apply the laws precisely and
equally to all citizens.

Competitiveness. Equal rights of the parties
Art. 12. (1) The Court procedure shall be competitive.
(2) The parties in the Court procedure shall have equal proceedings rights, except in the cases,
provided by this Code.

Detection of the objective truth
Art. 13. (1) The Courts and the investigating bodies shall, within the limits of their competence,
be obligated to take all measures to ensure the detection of the objective truth.
(2) The objective truth shall be detected following the order and through the means provided by
this Code.

Taking decisions by inner conviction
Art. 14. (1) The Court and the investigating bodies shall take their decisions by inner
conviction, based on objective, thorough and complete inspection of all circumstances of the case, under
the guidance of the law.
(2) Evidence and the instruments of their finding shall not have preliminarily determined force.

Right of defence
Art. 15. (1) The defendant shall be entitled to defence.
(2) The defendant and the other persons participating in the penal procedure shall be provided
with all procedural remedies necessary for the defence of their rights and legitimate interests.
(3) The Court, the prosecutor and the investigating bodies shall make clear to the persons under
Para. 2 their procedural rights and shall provide them with the possibility to exercise those rights.
(4) The victim shall be provided with the needed procedural remedies for the defence of his/her
rights and legitimate interests.

Presumption of innocence
Art. 16. The defendant shall be considered innocent until the conclusion of the penal
proceedings with an effective verdict establishing the contrary.

Inviolability of person
Art. 17. (1) No measures of coercion shall be taken against the persons taking part in the penal
proceedings, except in the cases and following the order stipulated by this Code.
(2) No person may be detained for more than 24 hours without permission of the Court. The
prosecutor may order detainment of the defendant till he/she is brought before the Court.
(3) The respective body shall immediately notify a person, named by the detained, about the
(4) If the detained is a foreign citizen, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be informed
immediately about the detainment.
(5) The Court, the prosecutor and the investigating bodies must release every person who has
been unlawfully deprived of freedom.

Art. 18. The Court and the investigating bodies shall base their decisions on evidencing
materials, which they shall collect and examine in person, except in the cases provided for by this Code.

Oral penal procedure
Art. 19. The penal procedure shall be carried out orally, apart from the cases provided for by
this Code.

Publicity of Court sessions
Art. 20. Court sessions shall be public, apart from the cases provided for by this Code.

Language, in which the penal procedure shall be conducted
Art. 21. (1) The penal procedure shall be conducted in the Bulgarian language.
(2) The persons, who do not speak Bulgarian language, may use either their native or another
language. In such case, an interpreter shall be appointed.

Hearing and deciding the cases within a reasonable term.
Art. 22. (1) The Court shall hear the cases within a reasonable term.
(2) The prosecutor and the investigating bodies shall be obliged to provide the conduction of
the pre-trial procedure within the terms stipulated by this Code.
(3) The cases over which the defendant has been arrested, shall be investigated, considered and
decided with a priority before the rest of the cases.