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Varadinov & Co.
Legal Bulletin

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State Gazette, issue 96 /November 11th, 2020
Increased protection for users of online services provide amendments in the Law on Electronic Commerce. The range of information society services also explicitly includes online intermediary services within the meaning of Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediary services. A new Chapter Seven “a” on civil protection against breaches of the Regulation and out-of-court settlement of disputes is created. The liability of the providers of online intermediary services and the providers of online search engines for violations of the requirements of the Regulation shall be exercised under the conditions and in accordance with the procedure provided for in the Code of Civil Procedure. Business users and users of corporate websites may bring actions to establish and put an end to infringements of the requirements of the Regulation, as well as claims for damages for infringements. The filing of claims is carried out in accordance with Chapter Thirteen of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Public authorities, organizations and associations that have a legitimate interest in representing business users and users of corporate websites may also bring actions to put an end to the infringement and / or to prohibit acts and commercial practices that infringe the Regulation. The filing of claims under para. 1 shall be carried out by the order of Chapter Thirty-three of the Code of Civil Procedure. Public bodies, organizations and associations have the right to sue if they meet the requirements of Art. 14 (3) and (4) of Regulation (EU) 2019/1150, which is being examined by the court. When the bodies, organizations and associations are included in the list under Art. 14 (6) of the Regulation, the court considers their legal capacity to be proved, without prejudice to the court’s power to verify whether the plaintiff’s purpose justifies bringing an action in a particular proceeding.
Compensation is due for all property and non-property damages and lost profits that are a direct and immediate consequence of the violation. In determining the amount of compensation, the court shall take into account all the circumstances related to the violation, as well as the income received by the offender as a result of the violation.
The providers of online intermediary services shall indicate in their general conditions two or more mediators for out-of-court settlement of disputes arising in connection with the provision of the respective online intermediary services, under the conditions of Art. 12 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1150. The out-of-court settlement of disputes through mediation is carried out by the order of art. 2 of the Mediation Act, unless the parties have chosen another applicable law other than the Bulgarian legislation. The initiation of mediation proceedings is not an obstacle for either party to take the dispute to court or to file a request with the Commission for Protection of Competition for a violation of the Competition Act at any time before, during or after the mediation procedure.

State Gazette, issue 98 /November 17th, 2020
Extended application of videoconferencing in court proceedings introduces changes to the Code of Civil Procedure. Interpretation and interpretation may also be effected by videoconference, with the interpreter or interpreter present in the courtroom of the court seised, unless the particular circumstances require their presence at the hearing. Each party may request to participate in a court hearing by videoconference when it is unable to appear in court. (2) At the videoconference the party shall be present in a specially equipped for videoconferences room in a district court, determined by the order of art. 156a, para. 2 - 4, place of imprisonment or arrest. The court shall notify the parties of the conditions for holding a videoconference. In cases of exclusion of publicity, the case may not be heard by videoconference, except with the consent of the party. When holding a hearing by videoconference, the court monitors: the observance of the technical requirements for carrying out procedural actions in electronic form and the ways of carrying them out, provided for in Chapter Eighteen “a” of the Judiciary Act; the communication link used to allow the simultaneous transmission and reception of image and sound; the procedural actions to be taken by all participants in the hearing, located in different places; to record from the video conference. When conducting a videoconference, the name and position of the judicial officer of the district court or of the head of the prison or the head of the detention center or an employee designated by them present at the videoconference shall be entered in the protocol. For the performed videoconference, after notifying the participants in it, a video recording is made on an electronic medium. The video is attached to the case. When videoconferencing is used in the hearing, the court shall rule on the request for supplementation or correction and after reproduction of the recording by it. The recording of the videoconference shall be kept until the expiration of the term for storage of the case.
Gathering evidence by videoconference may be at the request of a party, and at the hearing of an expert - and ex officio by the court. Examination of a witness and explanations of a party by videoconference are admissible when they are unable to appear directly before the court in the case and are located outside the judicial district of the district court whose seat coincides with the seat of the court in the case. Hearing of an expert by videoconference is admissible when due to official engagement or other objective circumstances the expert cannot appear before the court in the case and is outside the court district of the district court whose seat coincides with the seat of the court in the case. The court shall determine the date and time of the hearing in which videoconferencing will be used, after examining the possibility of holding it with the nearest district court at the place of residence of the party, witness or expert, respectively in the place of imprisonment or the detention center where the person is located. Witnesses, parties and experts whose statements will be heard by videoconference shall be summoned to the date and time of the hearing, indicating the court in which they are to appear, or the place of detention or arrest where they will be heard. uses video conferencing. The identity of the person participating through videoconference shall be verified by the employee under Art. 150, para. 3, who is present at the videoconference. The interpreter or interpreter shall be present in the courtroom of the court in which the hearing is taking place, unless the specific circumstances require their presence at the hearing. To allow the collection of evidence by videoconference, the court rules with a reasoned ruling, which justifies the need for videoconference. With final provisions the extended application of the videoconference is regulated in the proceedings under the Administrative Procedure and the Penalty Code.

State Gazette, issue 98 /November 17th, 2020
Flexibility in scheduling cases, serving papers and notifying the are aimed with the latest amendments to the Law on Amendments to the Law on Measures and Actions during the State of Emergency, declared by a decision of the National Assembly of March 13, 2020, and to overcome of the consequences. During the epidemic emergency, the administrative heads of the judiciary shall take the necessary measures to protect the life and health of the participants in the proceedings and cases, as well as of the judges, prosecutors, investigators and employees in the respective administration. In case of complication of the epidemic situation, the administrative heads of the judiciary may establish an organization for postponement of the scheduled proceedings and cases for new dates. The administrative heads of the judiciary may, once for a certain period of time, but not longer than 14 days, order that no open court hearings be held and that the court hearings scheduled for that period be adjourned. During an emergency epidemic, all communications and papers shall be served at the electronic address indicated by the party, if the party has requested service to be effected electronically. In this case, service shall be deemed to have taken place on the day on which the acknowledgment of receipt of the message is sent. If confirmation is not made within three days of sending the message, service shall be effected in accordance with the general procedure. During an emergency epidemic, the court may adjourn the case if due to hospital treatment, quarantine, isolation or enforcement of coercive administrative measures under the Health Act in connection with the COVID-19 disease, the party or its representative cannot appear in court hearing, and within 7 days from the elimination of the reason the party or its representative shall submit relevant evidence.