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Bulgaria / Constitutional Court / 8/2014

Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria (Омбудсман на Република България)

Policy area:
Information society
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The Constitutional Court (CC) (Конституционен съд, КС) was seized by a petition by the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria (Омбудсман на Република България) to declare unconstitutional several provisions of the Electronic Communications Act (Закон за електронните съобщения). The provisions which transposed the Directive 2006/24/EC in Bulgarian law were invalidated by a judgement of the CJEU. These provisions concerned issues like grounds for data retention requests, authorities making such requests and judicial control.

Outcome of the case:

The provisions were declared unconstitutional in their entirety. The court ruled that, despite the fundamental nature of the fight against serious crime, it could not justify unlimited interference with human rights.Therefore, each solution in the area should strike the balance between individual and public interest. According to the Constitutional Court Act (Закон за Конституционния съд) (Art. 22, Par. 2) acts declared unconstitutional are not applied. The unconstitutionality is pronounced ex nunc. The Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional only the provisions at stake, not the overall Electronic Communications Act.