Bulgaria’s Ombudsman Kovacheva elected as European Court of Human Rights judge

The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has elected Diana Kovacheva as judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Bulgaria.

Kovacheva, having obtained a majority of votes cast on January 24, is elected judge of the European Court of Human Rights for a term of office of nine years which shall commence not later than three months after her election, PACE said in a media statement.

Judges are elected by PACE from a list of three candidates nominated by each state which has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights.

Kovacheva graduated in law from Sofia University in 1998 and has a master’s degree in EU law from Sofia University and a master’s in EU law and judicial system from the University of Nancy II, France.

She was a research associate at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Legal Sciences from 2000 to 2001, director of Transparency International Bulgaria from 2002 to 2011, and Minister of Justice in the Borissov government from 2011 to 2013.

Kovacheva became Deputy Ombudsman of Bulgaria in 2016 and in September 2019, Ombudsman. By law, the Ombudsman has a term of office of five years, renewable for one term.

She has authored a number of articles, and monographs on international law, including Anti-corruption. International Legal Aspects (2016), The International Criminal Court, Establishment and Complementary Jurisdiction (2017) and The individual in international law. Legal personality of individuals in the context of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (2018).

On January 24, Michael O’Flaherty (Ireland) was elected as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights by PACE at its plenary session in Strasbourg. He will serve a non-renewable term of six years starting on April 1 2024.

O’Flaherty obtained 104 of the votes cast in the second round of the election. Meglena Kuneva (Bulgaria) obtained 70 votes and Manfred Nowak (Austria) obtained 37 votes.

(Photo of Kovacheva: Office of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria)

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