Elena Zinovieva, Ivan Stefanov
The application of the ne bis in idem principle in the context of competition between criminal and administrative-criminal liability has created a contradictory national case law, and therefore the General Assembly of the Criminal College of the Supreme Court of Cassation (GACC of SCC) delivered Interpretative Decision No. 3 on 22.12.2015, which clarified a number of controversial points. This article explores how a particular problem that occurred during the application of the ne bis in idem principle has found a solution in the practice of the Court of Justice of the European Union and in that of the national courts that have delivered their judicial decisions, observing Interpretative Decision No. 3/ 2015 of the GACC of SCC. The main question in the analysis is whether a given administrative procedure (tax proceedings, proceedings to impose protection measures under the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, proceedings under the Ministry of Interior Act, etc.) is classified as criminal in nature, what the criteria for assessment in each individual case are and whether the proceedings in question are in competition with criminal proceedings against the same subject and for the same facts. This article gives a brief overview of the major characteristics of the ne bis in idem principle, some up-to-date amendments to the Law on Administrative Offenses and Sanctions concerning the avoidance of “double penalty”, as well as the recent request by the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria to the General Assembly of the Criminal College of the Supreme Court of Cassation to supplement the interpretation given under Interpretative Decision No. 3/ 2015, providing a short commentary on the points adopted by Decision dated 15.11.2016 under the case “A and B vs. Norway” of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.
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 Prosecutors with Sofia Regional Prosecutor’s Office. This analysis contains the authors’ personal views.