Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Urgent preliminary ruling procedure — Judicial cooperation in criminal matters — Directive (EU) 2016/343 — Strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence — Articles 3 and 6 — Temporal application — National legislation prohibiting, during the judicial stage of the proceedings, an examination whether there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the accused has committed a criminal offence — ‘Opinion’ of a supreme court finding a conflict between the national legislation and Article 5(1)(c) and (4) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms — Discretion granted to national courts and tribunals to decide whether or not to apply that Convention
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
- In the light of the above considerations, I propose that the Court give the following answer to the Spetsializiran nakazatelen sad (Specialised Criminal Court, Bulgaria):
An Opinion of the Varhoven kasatsionen sad (Supreme Court of Cassation, Bulgaria) delivered in the course of the period for transposition of Directive (EU) 2016/343 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings is not liable seriously to compromise the objectives prescribed by that directive if it grants courts the freedom to decide between the application of Article 5(4) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950, read in conjunction with Article 5(1)(c) thereof, and the application of national legislation contrary to those provisions.