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130 years Ministry of Justice

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Sofia City Court is the largest court in the country.

As an independent part of the judicial system in Bulgaria, SCC is separate in 1959 as a result of a new administrative division of the territory to 30 districts made by a decree of the Council of Ministers No 7 of January 22, 1959) and Decree of the Presidium of the National Assembly promulgated in issue 7 (January 23, 1959) of the newspaper News of the Presidium of the National Assembly.


By decree No 207 of the Presidium of the National Assembly in the predecessor of today’s State Gazette of March 17, 1959, the Law amending the Law of the Judicature was published, adopted at the third regular session of the Third National Assembly on March 13, 1959. It says:


  • 1. Art. 8 is amended as follows:

“8. There are people’s courts in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, courts and areas of which shall be determined by the Minister of Justice“.


  • 2. Art. 9 is amended as follows:

“9. In each district there is a District Court and in the cities directly subordinate to the central state authorities and management there is a City Court with rights of a District court”. “The District (City) Courts have a President, Vice-Chairman and members”.


Sofia City Court appears as an independent tribunal when the previously functioning Sofia District Court was divided on the territorial principle in the Pernik District Court, Kyustendil District Court, Sofia District Court and Sofia City Court.



To 1974 in the SCC, there are three major colleges – criminal, civil and marriage. After a change in the CPC jurisdiction on matrimonial matters was changed resulting in the first instance court does not hear cases of divorce. Since then, SCC hears cassation matrimonial matters.


In 1989, a new Company division was formed. New commercial and administrative departments were formed.

Structurally, the Sofia City Court currently has:

– Criminal Division,

– Civil Division (first instance and appeals panels)

– Commercial Division (commercial and corporate panels)

– Administrative Division.

Administrative court is governed by a President and four Vice-Presidents.


Former Presidents of the Sofia City Court


Stefan Velichkov (1959-1963)

Ilya Baychev (1963-1973)

Michael Menev (01.03. 1973 – 01. 03. 1990)

Dimitar Popov (01. 03. 1990 – 01/07/1992)

Vasil Donchev (01. 07. 1992 – 18. 08. 1994)

Evgeni Staykov (29. 09. 1994 – 18. 03. 1998)

Emil Markov (18. 03. 1998 – 01. 07. 2004)

Svetlin Mihailov (01. 07. 2004 – 02.07.2009)


The court history in the Archives


Fund 55 of Central State Archive keeps not large, but full of metamorphoses of time, part of history of cases heard over the years in the Sofia District Court, the successor of which is the Sofia City Court.


Cases and documents are described submitted to the CSA for three large periods of recent history – from the middle of the twentieth century to the beginning of the democratic transition (1944-1945,1945-1955 and 1959-1970).


In the inventory for the period 1944-1945, the Sofia District Court has registered for example 21 foundations, most of which are recorded in their statutes fulfilling social and professional functions.


Records are preserved of three trials qualified as political. Political declared is for example “ND 260/45 of the Sofia County Court against Milka Vasileva Ilieva from Pernik, Vladimir Stoimenov Hranov of Pernik and Boris Nikolov Petrov from Sofia to leave their place of residence and to go underground”.


In the “Civil” department cases appear like “ND 41/44 of the Sofia County Court against Tsveta Popova Todorova of village Bozhanitsa, Botevgrad Region, for the murder of her husband Ivan Hristov” or “civil case 733/45 of the Sofia County Court against Stoyan Dimitrov Tiloev of Dobrotino, Nevrokop, against Sofia Regional Director for the establishment of his length of service as a police guard”.


On 1 December 1976 the President of SCC Michael Menev transmitted to CSA package of 556 archival units – completed corporate and civil cases, minutes of interdepartmental meetings and conferences, annual plans for the events of the court, court statistics, as well as records of official meetings .


Among the more interesting lawsuits of this time entered in CSA are for theft, bribery and deficiencies; for sabotage against the people’s government; for change of parental authority; for declaring marriages invalid and recognition of foreign court decisions.


In a memorandum submitted to the court records, court president Michael Menev wrote further: “This transmission is the first of its fullness and gives a comprehensive picture of the work of the court. Valuable materials have not been found, since in change of management documents are not accepted and transmitted by acts. ”


The last large-scale transfer of SCC archives in the Central State Archives was committed at the beginning of 1998, when from the archives of the courthouse to the 5 Moscowska Street, 71 archival units were transmitted to storage with documents and 366 completed lawsuits.


Decree No 44 of the Council of Ministers of 02.27.1959


The draft decree of the Ministry of Justice of 02.02.1959


Report of the Minister of Justice Radi Naydenov on amendments to Law on Organization of Courts


Annex to the report of Minister Naydenov for Law on amendments to Law on Organization of Courts

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