The opinions of stakeholders and institutions on the seven drafts for amendments to the Penal Code were presented in Parliament. On 28 March 2018, the Legal Affairs Committee organised a public debate on the bills sponsored in Parliament.
Six of the bills are sponsored by MPs, one is sponsored by the Council of Ministers.
Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva emphasised that the changes were necessary and brought to the table because the issue of corruption in the Bulgarian society called for a timely and adequate response by the responsible institutions. The recommendations of the European Commission in the CVM report clearly say that it is necessary to do concrete and effective actions. In the document, there is a recommendation for changes in article 282 of the Penal Code, saying that according to the inspectors, the corpus delicti of corruption does not take sufficiently into account such crimes in the private sector, emphasised Tsetska Tsacheva. We are open to cooperate with expertise and seek the most acceptable redrafts of the texts subject to criticism, she said to the MPs.
Opinions of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Bar Council, and representatives of employers’ organisations and NGOs were also presented. The Supreme Bar Council proposed the setting up of a working group of representatives of different legal professions and the academia with the task to finalise the texts of the provisions. Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee Danail Kirilov said that this could be done only after the amendments passed first reading in Parliament. Then the opinion of the Advisory Board on legislation could be sought, he explained.