The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the public institution in Bulgaria responsible for the professional training of judges, prosecutors, investigating magistrates, members of the Supreme Judicial Council, the inspectors to the Inspectorate with the Supreme Judicial Council, public enforcement agents, land registrar judges, judicial and prosecutorial assistants, judicial staff, court assessors, the inspectors at the Inspectorate with the Minister of Justice and other employees of the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria.
The NIJ was established in 2003 with the cooperative efforts of the Ministry of Justice, the judiciary and the non-governmental organisations, aimed at providing learning opportunities for justice professionals.
On June 29, 2016 the NIJ Management Board appointed Ms. Miglena Tacheva as Director of the National Institute of Justice. On 5 April 2021 she was re-elected by the NIJ Management Board to serve a second five-year term as Director of the Institute. The new mandate started from 06.07.2021 г.
- Apprentice-judge at the District Court – Varna, executive magistrate at the Regional Court – Varna, regional judge, Deputy Chairperson of the Regional Court – Varna (1984 – 1992).
- Head of Department „Local Administration, Rule of Law and Public Order” at Varna District Administration (1992 – 1998).
- Chairperson of the Regional Court – Varna (1998 – 2001).
- Deputy Minister of Justice in Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’s cabinet (2001 – 2005). Movant of a proposal to amend the Judiciary System Act for setting up the press-offices of the judiciary as a model for media policy of courts and a prosecutor’s offices and for the establishment of the National Institute of Justice. Developed a model of legal aid and participates in the structuring of a pilot office in Veliko Tarnovo. She presented the Bulgarian model during seminars and conferences, held in the United Kingdom, Hungary and Georgia. Took part in the elaboration of the Legal Aid Act and the subordinate legislation.
- Judge at the Regional Court – Varna (2005 - 2006).
- First Director of the Lawyers Training Center „Krastyu Tsonchev” (2006 - 2007). Together with the Center’s Managing Board, she contributed to the establishment of the fundaments for systematic lawyers’ training.
- Minister of Justice and Guardian of the State Seal (2007 – 2009). Established the first public council of legal NGOs to the Minister of Justice as a model of the civil society’s involvement in the judicial reform (2007). Carried out a reform of the Trade Register, elaborated Rules and organized the first public election of a Bulgarian judge at the European Court on Human Rights, she moved a motion on the establishment of a model of the National Bureau for Control over Special Intelligence Means.
- Since 2010 till 2016 she worked at a private enterprise.
- Founder and Chairperson of the Managing Board of the Legal Initiative for Training and Development (PIOR) (1994). Lecturer and participant in the elaboration of curricula for all legal professions in PIOR (1994 – 2001). Established the foundations of the Unified National Qualified Training System for Lawyers.
- Member of the Managing Board of the Academy of European Law (ERA) (2008 – 2009).
- Member of the Central Council of the Union of Bulgarian Jurists (2011). She was a member of the Bulgarian Judges Association.
- Awarded honor plaques from the Supreme Judicial Council, from the Lawyers Training Center „Krastyu Tsonchev”, the Notary Chamber of Bulgaria, the Union of Bulgarian Jurists, ABA CEELI, USAID. Winner of the Mister / Miss Economics 2008 Award for „Development of the Business Environment“.
Our training concept
Integrating training into work and developing innovative learning solutions are the main components of our vision on training. We find that the transfer of knowledge, skills and competetences of magistrates, clerks and other justice professionals needs to be done by trainers from the judicial system – judges, prosecutors and other practitioners. Sharing professional experiences is key in the pocess of craftmanship. More than 200 trainers – magistrates and court clerks are seconded on temporary basis in the NIJ training teams. In addition, over 100 lecturers – experts outside the judiciary partake as trainers in seminars where such expertise is needed for developing specific skills.
The elaboration of self-learning tools – handbooks, manuals and reference guides, easily accessible and available in digital for all justice professionals, is crucial for the development of innovative and supportive learning environment. The self – learners are our new trainees, who upgrade knowledge, skills and competences using the NIJ e-tools.
Tailoring training according to procedural roles (judges, prosecutors, magistrate investigators), level of competence (supreme, appellate, district and regional level), and the trainees’ professional experience is a targetted approach that we have been trying out when designing our training programs.
Language proficiency in English or French of magistrates, clerks and other justice professionals is essential for strengthening mutual trust and judicial cooperation across Europe. A comprehensive language training scheme in English and French has been recently launched, which will serve as a basis for elaboration of follow-up linguistic legal trainings.