Justice

The civil and penal codes are, for the most part, based on the Ottoman law. While the principality formed a portion of the Turkish empire, the privileges of the capitulations were guaranteed to foreign subjects (Berlin Treaty, Art. viii.). The lowest civil and criminal court is that of the village kmet, whose jurisdiction is confined to the limits of the commune; no corresponding tribunal exists in the towns. Each sub-prefecture and town has a justice of the peace - in some cases two or more; the number of these officials is 130. Next follows the departmental tribunal or court of first instance, which is competent to pronounce sentences of death, penal servitude and deprivation of civil rights; in specified criminal cases the judges are aided by three assessors chosen by lot from an annually prepared panel of forty-eight persons. Three courts of appeal sit respectively at Sofia, Rustchuk and Philippopolis. The highest tribunal is the court of cassation, sitting at Sofia, and composed of a president, two vice-presidents and nine judges. There is also a high court of audit (vrkhovna smetna palata), similar to the French cour des comptes. The judges are poorly paid and are removable by the government.

In regard to questions of marriage, divorce and inheritance the Greek, Mahommedan and Jewish communities enjoy their own spiritual jurisdiction.

Army And Navy

The organization of the military forces of the principality was undertaken by Russian officers, who for a period of six years (1879-1885) occupied all the higher posts in the army. In Eastern Rumelia during the same period the "militia" was instructed by foreign officers; after the union it was merged in the Bulgarian army. The present organization is based on the law of the 1st of January 1904. The army consists of: (1) the active or field army (deïstvuyushta armia), divided into (i.) the active army, (ii.) the active army reserve; (2) the reserve army (reservna armia); (3) the opltchenïe or militia; the two former may operate outside the kingdom, the latter only within the frontier for purposes of defence. In time of peace the active army (i.) alone is on a permanent footing.

The peace strength in 1905 was 2500 officers, 48,200 men and 8000 horses, the active army being composed of 9 divisions of infantry, each of 4 regiments, 5 regiments of cavalry together with 12 squadrons attached to the infantry divisions, 9 regiments of artillery each of 3 groups of 3 batteries, together with 2 groups of mountain artillery, each of 3 batteries, and 3 battalions of siege artillery; 9 battalions of engineers with 1 railway and balloon section and 1 bridging section. At the same date the army was locally distributed in nine divisional areas with headquarters at Sofia, Philippopolis, Sliven, Shumla, Rustchuk, Vratza, Plevna, Stara-Zagora and Dupnitza, the divisional area being subdivided into four districts, from each of which one regiment of four battalions was recruited and completed with reservists. In case of mobilization each of the nine areas would furnish 20,106 men (16,000 infantry, 1200 artillery, 1000 engineers, 300 divisional cavalry and 1606 transport and hospital services, etc.). The war strength thus amounted to 180,954 of the active army and its reserve, exclusive of the five regiments of cavalry.

In addition the 36 districts each furnished 3 battalions of the reserve army and one battalion of opltchenïe, or 144,000 infantry, which with the cavalry regiments (3000 men) and the reserves of artillery, engineers, divisional cavalry, etc. (about 10,000), would bring the grand total in time of war to about 338,000 officers and men with 18,000 horses. The men of the reserve battalions are drafted into the active army as occasion requires, but the militia serves as a separate force. Military service is obligatory, but Moslems may claim exemption on payment of £20; the age of recruitment in time of peace is nineteen, in time of war eighteen. Each conscript serves two years in the infantry and subsequently eight years in the active reserve, or three years in the other corps and six years in the active reserve; he is then liable to seven years' service in the reserve army and finally passes into the opltchenïe. The Bulgarian peasant makes an admirable soldier - courageous, obedient, persevering, and inured to hardship; the officers are painstaking and devoted to their duties.

The active army and reserve, with the exception of the engineer regiments, are furnished with the .315′ Mannlicher magazine rifle, the engineer and militia with the Berdan; the artillery in 1905 mainly consisted of 8.7- and 7.5-cm. Krupp guns (field) and 6.5 cm. Krupp (mountain), 12 cm. Krupp and 15 cm. Creuzot (Schneider) howitzers, 15 cm. Krupp and 12 cm. Creuzot siege guns, and 7.5 cm. Creuzot quick-firing guns; total of all description, 1154. Defensive works were constructed at various strategical points near the frontier and elsewhere, and at Varna and Burgas. The naval force consisted of a flotilla stationed at Rustchuk and Varna, where a canal connects Lake Devno with the sea. It was composed in 1905 of 1 prince's yacht, 1 armoured cruiser, 3 gunboats, 3 torpedo boats and 10 other small vessels, with a complement of 107 officers and 1231 men.