Protecting the Jewel of the Crown: The Ognyanov Case and the Preliminary Reference Procedure
European Forum, 11 April 2017, 1-9
9 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2017 Last revised: 23 Nov 2017
Date Written: 2017
In Ognyanov, Bulgarian courts were obliged by the Court of Justice of the European Union to set aside a national rule aimed at protecting fundamental rights of the parties that had the effect of automatically disqualifying a court that referred questions for a preliminary ruling along with the factual and legal context of the case. The rules of procedure of the Court of Justice regard the factual and legal context of the case as a constitutive element of preliminary references. Knowledge of the facts of the case and the applicable national law allows the Court of Justice to control the domestic application of EU law. Failure to include an accurate factual and legal context of the case is thus a common ground for inadmissibility of preliminary references. The factual and legal context of a criminal case may, however, be drafted in such a way that compromises the impartiality of the court and the presumption of innocence of the accused.
Keywords: Preliminary References, National Courts, Impartiality, Presumption of Innocence, Court of Justice, Admissibility
JEL Classification: K10, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation