ECHR Has Admitted ACF's Application Concerning CAFIAP's Refusal to Disclose its Decisions

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has admitted for hearing an application by the Anti-Corruption Fund Foundation (ACF) against the refusal of Bulgaria’s Anti-Corruption Commission (CAFIAP) to disclose its decisions concerning the initiation of proceedings for confiscation of illegally acquired property.

The ACF sent its application to the ECHR on 18 August 2023, following CAFIAP’s refusal to adhere to a ruling by the Sofia City Administrative Court in November 2022, which obliged it to provide full access to its decisions for more than a year and a half, as they cannot be official secrets.

Абонирайте се за бюлетина на АКФ, за да научавате за най-новите ни разследвания и анализи:

С натискане на бутона потвърждавате, че сте запознати с Политиката ни за поверителност

The decisions are important because they allow third parties to clarify what checks have been carried out by the CAFIAP and disclose what are the facts, criteria and legal conclusions, established by these checks, which have led to the initiation of legal proceedings that strongly affect citizens’ property rights.

“We are convinced that the admission of our appeal within such a short timeframe is a sign that the protection of Bulgarian citizens’ access to public information is a priority for the ECHR,” said Lora Georgieva from ACF’s legal team. “We expect this to be just the beginning of a long process that will firmly protect citizens’ right to be informed about the work of public institutions, especially the Anti-Corruption Commission.”

Given the pending amendments to the Anti-Corruption Act which are currently being drafted, ACF calls on MPs to adopt texts that provide sufficient guarantees for genuine transparency and accountability of the new anti-corruption bodies that are expected to replace CAFIAP in its current form.

The ACF will monitor the ECHR proceedings, informing the public of the outcome in due course.