National Institute of Justice

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) became operational on January 1, 2004. It was built upon the achievements of the Magistrates’ Training Center, a nongovernmental organization established in 1999. Chapter 11 of the Judiciary System Act and the Regulation on the organization of the activities of the National Institute of Justice, adopted by the Supreme Judicial Council on September 12, 2007 (effective Sept. 21, 2007) provide the legal basis for the functioning of NIJ.

The National Institute of Justice is a public institution in charge of maintaining and furthering the qualification of the personnel of the Judiciary (including junior judges, junior prosecutors, judges, prosecutors, investigators, public enforcement agents, registration judges, judicial and prosecutorial assistants, court clerks) as well as of the inspectors at the Inspectorate with the Minister of Justice and of other officers of the Ministry of Justice. Pursuant to Article 6 of its Regulation, the main purpose of the NIJ is to enhance the efficiency of justice through quality professional training and furtherance of qualification of the above stated categories of trainees as well as to gather, process and disseminate information for training needs and to carry out the activities of a Documentation Center in EU Law for the Judiciary.

NIJ is an independent legal entity but it has a functional relationship with the Supreme Judicial Council and the Ministry of Justice, both of which are represented within NIJ Managing Board.

The Institute obtains its funding from the budget of the Judiciary and from international programmes and projects.

The NIJ implements the following activities:

1. Initial training:

  • Nine-month compulsory initial training for candidate junior magistrates who have successfully passed the relevant competition; and,
  • Compulsory initial qualification - courses meant to further the qualification of the judges, prosecutors and investigators who are first-time appointees at the bodies of the Judiciary.

2. Continuing Training of Magistrates:

  • Qualification training courses for all sitting magistrates where the emphasis is laid upon current amendments to legislation, changes in jurisprudence, interdisciplinary topics and training in EU Law.

3. Training of Court Clerks:

  • Training courses for court clerks under diverse curricula.

4. Learning and Information Center:

  • Organization and conducting of distance learning courses for the personnel of the Judiciary;
  • Library and documentation services, access to case-law databases (including access to a computer room); 
  • Maintenance of the Institute’s website, including update of the information on NIJ trainings and publications of training or other information materials;
  • Development and recognition of the Extranet system as a platform for exchange of legal information among magistrates;
  • Development of NIJ research capacity through the establishment of an Empirical Legal Research Unit.


National Institute of Justice
14 Ekzarh Yossif Str.
BG 1301 Sofia
Tel.: +359 2 9359 100
Fax.: +359 2 9359 101
Website: www.nij.bg