There are a number of human rights institutions which you can use as a last resort to establish whether your human rights have been violated or not. There are both Bulgarian and international institutions.
International institutions have very specific functions and they work on the basis of different laws or international agreements. It is important to understand that:
- They can only be used if you have first tried all the ordinary complaint mechanisms at the national level. For example, a general court or a complaints procedure that is offered to you first.
- You can only apply to these institutions if those mechanisms have failed and a possible violation of your rights has not been properly investigated and compensated.
- These institutions will only assess whether there has been a potential violation of your human rights. They will not re-examine your court case or declare any decisions of the State invalid.
At the national level the Constitutional Court is a body, which can assess compatibility of the Bulgarian laws and some other acts with the Constitution and with international law. It can also decide on the constitutionality of political parties and associations. The citizens of Bulgaria, however, do not have direct access to the Constitutional Court.
In addition, the Ombudsman can help you to understand your human rights and explain how you can protect them.
Learn more about the following human rights institutions:
Human Rights Guide
A European platform for human rights education