Feb 18

Strasbourg court ruling on legal restrictions on the right of cassation appeal

  On 21 January 2014, the European Court of Human Rights came up with a judgment on Joined Cases - Valchev v. Bulgaria, Dzhanfezovi v. Bulgaria and Todorov v. Bulgaria.

  In its judgment, the Court ruled that restricting Cassation control does not violate any of the requirements of the right to a fair trial under Art. 6, Para. 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

  The European Court of Human Rights stated that it was confident that restrictions on eligibility to cassation appeal in civil cases pursue a legitimate aim. According to the Court, the way this was done by the general wording of Art. 280, Para. 1 of the CPC, is the right of discretion of the legislature of the state. As for the uncertainty of the criteria, the Court notes that their specification is a matter of case law. This applies with greater force to the provisions governing the pre-selection of appeal to the Supreme Court. These provisions should necessarily be formulated in a way that gives the court sufficient opportunity to determine whether a complaint should be accepted for consideration, thus giving the Court the chance to turn its primary attention to case law unification.

  The European Court does not fail to note that, concerning the provision of Art. 280, Para. 1,there has been already been case raised before the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, which, in turn, ruled that the norm, although unclear, is not unconstitutional and the manner of its implementation should be clarified by case law. In response to this decision was adopted interpretative decision of the General Assembly of the Civil and Commercial Division of the SCC, aiming to clarify the interpretation and application of this provision.

  Citing the specific role of the SCC as well, assigned to it with the new CPC 2007 , the European Court found no contradiction of the selection procedure of cassation appeals to Art. 6, Para. 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.