The Program for the Development of the Judicial System (PDJS) is an NGO whose mission is to help the Bulgarian judicial system to develop and implement qualitative, predictable, transparent and effective work practices.

Since its establishment in 2007, the PDJS has supported initiatives in more than 40 courts all over the country with the aim to improve the judicial management and administration, to provide timely and accessible court services to citizens and to enhance the professional development of magistrates and court staff. Our team manages pilot projects on both local and national levels related to improving the management of human and financial resources, the adoption of innovative technologies in the courts’ work, facilitating access to justice and increasing public confidence in the judicial system.

The PDJS is the only NGO in Bulgaria that has the resources and the know-how to develop and apply directly innovative practices which guarantee fast and qualitative services to citizens, easier access to information and well-timed and fair dispute resolution. These practices have been incorporated into the Court Improvement Plan (CIP) which has been approved by the Supreme Judicial Council. They are implemented in more than 40 courts - participants in the Model Courts and Courts in Partnership Program.

The PDJS works to expand the scope of the innovations throughout all Bulgarian courts and to provide sustainability and continuity of the achievements by:

• hosting annual meetings of the chairpersons of all courts within the Program;

• publishing an e-bulletin – Diary of Good Judicial Practices;

• identifying, gathering and presenting courts’ achievements to the public.

As a result of successful partnerships, the PDJS has developed long-lasting relationships with all institutions within the judicial system and an extensive network of courts which consider implementing reforms as an essential part of their business practices.

In partnership with magistrates, court officials, lawyers and members of the Supreme Judicial Council, the PDJS has developed and put into practice the second Court Improvement Plan (CIP 2). The CIP 2 is a strategic document with the potential to enhance the work of all Bulgarian courts and to increase the quality of justice. At present, the CIP 2 is being implemented in 33 courts and is expected to be approved by the Supreme Judicial Council as a national standard.

In the future, the PDJS will continue to work on improving the performance of the judicial bodies and strengthening the rule of law in Bulgaria.