Year: 2010 (Date of Decision: 11 November, 2010)
Forum, Country: Constitutional Court; Bulgaria
Standards, Rights: Non-retroactivity; Rule of law; Welfare State; Right to decent work
Summary Background: This case addressed two independent applications, one by the President of Bulgaria and the other by 51 parliamentarians, seeking a declaration that para. 3 of the transitional provisions and articles 176.3 and 224.1 of the Labour Code, and articles 59.5 and 61.2 of the law on state officials, are unconstitutional and contrary to treaties to which Bulgaria is party, including the ICESCR. These provisions amended entitlements to untaken paid leave prior to the provisions’ entry into force.
Holding: The Constitutional Court held that para. 3 of the transitional provisions of the Labour Code and para. 8(a) of the transitional and final provisions of the law on state officials were contrary to articles 57.1, 16, 48.1 and 48.5 of the Constitution of Bulgaria; indent 5 of the Preamble to the Constitution of Bulgaria, articles 2.1 and 24 of the UDHR, and article
The Constitutional Court dismissed the application for unconstitutionality of article 176.3 of the Labour Code and article 59.5 of the law on state officials because the articles’ stipulation that the right to paid annual leave lapses two years after the leave is granted extinguishes the exercise of the right to leave rather than the right itself.
The Constitutional Court found that article 224.1 of the Labour Code and article 61.2 of the law on state officials violated article
Additional Comments: The extent to which the Constitutional Court accounts for European and international legal documents is of interest.
Link to Full Case: Summary by the Constitutional Case Law InfoBase of the Venice Commission: http://www.codices.coe.int/NXT/gateway.dll/CODICES/precis/eng/eur/bul/bul-2010-3-003
Full judgement (only available in Bulgarian): http://dv.parliament.bg/DVWeb/broeveList.faces