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Legal Bulletin

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State Gazette, issue 81/10.10.2017
The Supreme Judicial Council approved Regulation for jurors, which regulates the terms and procedure for determining their number for each court, ethical rules of conduct and organizational issues related to their activities under the basic regulation in the Criminal Procedure Code. The number of jurors for a district, regional, military and specialized criminal court shall be determined at a general meeting of the judges of their respective superior court not later than 8 months before the expiry of the term of mandate of the acting jury. When determining the number of jurors, account shall be taken of the number of cases that each first instance court has dealt with during the previous year with jurors and the opinion of the President of the relevant court on the trends of increase or reduction of these cases for the entire term of office of the jurors.
The municipal councils on the territory of the judicial district of each court, and for the specialized criminal court - the Sofia Municipal Council, draw up a list of approved jury candidates under the terms and conditions stipulated in the Judicial System Act. Within one month of receipt of the list under para. 1, the commission under Art. 68d of JSA performs the compliance check provided for by law. The jurors for each regional, district and specialized criminal court shall be elected by the general assembly of the judges from their respective superior court - the district court, the appellate court and the appellate specialized criminal court, from the list of candidates submitted to them by the municipal council. The election of jurors shall be made no later than one month before the expiry of the term of mandate of the acting jurors.
The mandate of the jury begins to run considered from the date of the oath. For each case, basic and reserve jurors are appointed on the principle of random selection by electronic distribution. The selection is carried out by an employee (s) of the court specifically designated for this by his/her chairman. With the order for scheduling the case, the Judge-Rapporteur determines the necessity for alternate jurors, as well as pedagogues, psychologists and social work professionals. The juror must be given the opportunity to see the case before the court session. The remuneration is determined on an hourly basis, including an hour of commencement, on the basis of a daily salary of one twenty-two of 60 per cent of the basic salary, respectively, of regional judge, district judge and judge of a military court, but not less than 20 leva per day. The number of hours for which the payment is due is actually worked and is not limited to an eight-hour working day. The costs of transport, which are made in connection with their participation in court sessions, for traveling from place of residence or place of employment to the courthouse and back within the judicial district are due to the jurors in compliance with rules adopted for payment travel expenses in the relevant court.

State Gazette, issue 85/October 24, 2017
The new State Aid Act introduces updating the national legislation in line with the development of the European law. It lays down the terms and conditions for the granting of State aid and minimum aid; the implementation of the notification procedures according to Art. 108, para. (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; State aid categories compatible with the internal market; the performance of reporting, data collection, recording and storage obligations; the recovery of unlawful, incompatible and misappropriated state aid, as well as improperly minimal aid received; the assessment of State aid, which does not necessarily notify the European Commission, for compliance with the block exemption rules; the litigation of the violation connected to providing of State aid and minimal aids.
The granting of State aid, except in the cases provided for in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, is incompatible with the internal market. The granting of State aid is compatible with the internal market where the aid has a social nature and is granted to individual consumers without discrimination with regard to the origin of the goods or is intended to remedy the damage caused by natural disasters or other exceptional occurrences. The granting of State aid may be considered compatible with the internal market where it meets one of the following conditions: 1. Encourages the economic development of low-living or high-unemployment areas; 2. Support the implementation of a project with significant economic interest for the European Union or to overcome major difficulties in the economy of the Republic of Bulgaria; 3. support the development of certain economic activities or individual economic areas if it does not affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest of the European Union; 4. Support the promotion of culture and the preservation of cultural and historical heritage if it does not affect trading conditions and competition in the European Union to an extent contrary to the common interest of the European Union; 5. authorized by an act of the Council of the European Union on a proposal from the European Commission.
The Minister of Finance is the national authority responsible for the monitoring, transparency and coordination of state aid and minimal aid at national, regional and municipal level and the interactions with the European Commission. State aid or minimal aid shall be granted by a grant act designating the aid administrator. The aid administrator is responsible for the lawful granting and spending of State aid and minimal aid in accordance with EU law and the Bulgarian legislation.
The aid administrator is required to provide each beneficiary of State aid or a minimal aid with information on the type, size, justification and compatibility of the aid by reference to the European Union act, its name and publication in the “Official Journal” of the European Union, as well as the obligation of the recipient of the aid as a result of the aid. The information must be included in the act granting the aid or made available to the aid recipient within 14 days of the issuance of the act. Information on the amount of aid is not provided when the aid relates to tax measures requiring the processing of tax declarations by taxable persons.
Recipient of aid is any enterprise for which State aid is destined or minimal aid is intended, as well as any enterprise which benefits directly or indirectly from the aid in any form whatsoever for economic advantage and in respect of which all the elements for availability of aid according to Art. 107, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. An enterprise is any person who carries out an economic activity irrespective of its legal form, status and mode of financing, regardless of whether it generates and distributes profits. The recovery of unlawful and incompatible State aid or incorrectly used State aid is based on a decision of the European Commission with an order for recovery and an act which has been entered into force for establishing a public claim, where applicable. The European Commission’s decision to recover unlawful and incompatible State aid or incorrectly used State aid is enforceable under the Tax and Social Insurance Procedure Code. Judicial litigation under the Administrative Procedure Code and a number of special rules are subject to state aid or minimal aid and actions for violations of Bulgarian legislation and European Union law upon granting State aid or minimal aid as well as claims relating to the granting of State aid or minimum aid.

State Gazette, issue 86/27.10.2017
The National Assembly approved the most significant package of amendments to the Civil Procedure Code after its entry into force in 2008. The defendant’s inability to be found on the specified address shall now be ascertained with at least three visits to the address, with an interval of at least one week between each of them, at least one of them must be on a non-working day. This rule shall not be applicable when the service provider has gathered data that the defendant does not live at the address after consultation with the condominium manager by the mayor of the respective settlement or otherwise and has certified this by indicating the source of that data in the message. The court shall examine ex officio both the address and the place of work of the defendant and shall order delivery at the place of work, respectively the place of service or the place of business. The remuneration of the peculiar representative shall be determined by the court according to the factual and legal complexity of the case, as the amount of the remuneration could be below the minimum for the respective type of work according to art. 36, para. 2 of the Attorney Act, but not less than half of it. The terms shall not run for the parties during the days declared as official holidays under Art. 154, para. 1 of the Labor Code, as well as during the judicial vacation under Art. 329, para. 1 of the Judicial System Act, with the exception of the terms of the cases under Art. 329, para. 3 of the Judicial System Act.
Where the subject matter of the case is a right of ownership or other property rights, as well as on claims for the existence, destruction or termination of a contract with the subject of property rights over real estate and for the conclusion of a final contract with such object, the amount of the state fee shall be determined on a quarter of the price of the claim. One state fee on the protected interest, regardless of the number of defendants, is levied on one-off claims. For the claims filed in defense of various interests, the minimum fee is collected from all interests. The proportion of the proportional fee in execution cases decreases as the interest increases and the fee can not exceed the maximum amount determined in the tariff. A Proportional Inventory Fee is charged on the smaller amount between the price of the item described and of the monetary receivable. A proportional inventory fee shall be deducted from the charge for execution of a monetary receivable, which may not exceed half of the amount of the inventory fee determined at the moment the inventory is executed. The sum of all proportional fees at the expense of the debtor or the creditor in one execution procedure may not exceed one tenth of the obligation except in case their minimum amount specified in the tariff exceeds that amount. For an obligation in excess of forty-five minimum wages, this sum may not exceed one-fifteen of the obligation but not less than three minimum wages.
A scale for all execution fees is introduced at the expense of the debtor in an execution procedure, which total amount may not exceed a certain percentage of the minimum wage. The total amount of execution fees shall not include fees related to the administration of complaints against bailiffs’ actions, as well as for the notification for joint creditors and for the joining. Where the total amount of the fees is reached and the creditor requests new execution actions, the fees are for his account and are not due by the debtor. For defending the debtor is also number of changes in the mechanisms of the orderly and execution proceedings, including for the period of voluntary performance. Electronic public auctions are regulated through a single on-line platform created and maintained by the Ministry of Justice.
The scope of the optional cassation appeal is significantly expanded. Appeals before the Supreme Court of Cassation shall be subject to appeal, in which the court has ruled on a substantive or procedural issue, which has been: 1. resolved in contradiction with the mandatory practice of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Court in interpretative decisions and rulings, as well as in contradiction with the practice of the Supreme Court of Cassation; 2. resolved in contradiction with acts of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria or of the Court of Justice of the European Union; 3. relevant to the correct application of the law as well as the development of legislation. Notwithstanding these prerequisites, an appeals decision shall be admitted to a cassation appeal in the case of a possible nullity or inadmissibility, and in the case of obvious irregularity. The decisions under Art. 290, para. 2 shall not be considered as mandatory law practice.