The Project “Implementation of ECLI Identifier in Bulgaria and interconnection with the e-Justice Portal” (ECLI-BG) is implemented by Apis Europe SA in partnership with The Union of Bulgarian Jurists. The project is co-funded by the European Commission under the Justice Program of the European Union.
Benefits from ECLI introduction in Bulgaria
The main problem that ECLI was designed to solve is the lack of uniform identifiers for judgments. Although there are a number of databases which provide access to case law from various Member States, they either invent their own identification system or re-use one or more national numbering systems. This makes search and citation of case law in cross-border context extremely difficult.
Unlike many other EU Member States, Bulgaria does not have own identification system for case law. Judicial decisions can be identified and cited unequivocally by courts and legal practitioners only by using a very complex and descriptive textual reference.
This practice not only makes it impossible to identify judicial decisions by computers, but often also by humans.
The lack of a national identification system for case law makes the implementation of ECLI even more imperative. ECLI comes timely to meet the critical need of introducing a national standard for unequivocal identification and correct reference of the judgments of Bulgarian courts. As assumed in Par. 13 of the Council conclusions, “the European standard can serve as the sole national standard for those countries that so wish”. In Bulgaria, ECLI will definitely play this dual role as both a European and national standard. All Bulgarian legal practitioners will benefit from its introduction – judges, court staff, prosecutors, lawyers, incl. in-house lawyers, and others, who will be able to gain knowledge how to use ECLI in legal citations and find judgments of Member States’ courts on the e-Justice Portal.
- To implement ECLI within the Bulgarian national case law repository developed by the Supreme Judicial Council and to establish interconnection with the ECLI search engine on the e-Justice Portal of the European Commission
- To promote user functionalities and benefits and to raise the awareness about ECLI, the ECLI search engine and other cross-border legal information services maintained or supported by EU institutions
Project activities are divided into five work packages:
- Project management and coordination
- Specification of the composition of the ECLI identifier for Bulgarian judgments and of the requirements for ECLI implementation within the national case law repository
- Implementation of ECLI and establishment of interconnection with the e-Justice Portal
- Promotional training of legal practitioners across the country for using ECLI, the legal information services of the e-Justice Portal and other EU online resources in cross-border cases
- Dissemination and communication of project results
The following figure provides an overview of project activities and key outcomes:
For more information on work packages, see “Work Packages” web page.
Duration of the Project
The project duration is 18 months starting from 01.07.2017.
- ECLI will become the national standard for identification and referencing of case law
- Increased usage of the ECLI search engine by legal practitioners in Bulgaria
- EU-wide access to Bulgarian case law from the ECLI search engine
- Increased awareness about the benefits of using the ECLI and the ECLI search engine
- Improved knowledge about EU cross-border legal resources