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The Institute for the State and the Law was established in 1947. It is the only scientific unit at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences where fundamental and applied research in the field of law is conducted. Besides, the Institute is actively involved in expert and consulting activities for different state bodies of all branches of government. It also trains highly qualified legal professionals and doctoral candidates, the scholars from the Institute teach in many Law faculties in the country.
The Institute has long-lasting traditions in: studing the legal theory and history; researching current legislation and its implementation; analyzing the approximation of Bulgarian law with the EU law. To this end several collective projects funded with a budgetary subsidy are conducted annually at the Institute. 
An important aspect of the Institute’s activities is the doctoral training. Between 20 and 30 doctoral students are trained every year. At the same time the research fellows from the Institute teach more than 35 legal subjects in almost all Law faculties in Bulgaria.
The Institute provides expertise for many state bodies: it delivers opinions, commentaries, consultative papers; its scholars participate in expert and working groups and councils established by the Parliament, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prosecutor General, etc. Furthermore, the Institute forms highly qualified professionals who take offices in different institutions, among them: few members of the Parliament, one deputy prime minister, five ministers (three ministers of justice, one of the foreign affairs and one of the defence), four deputy ministers in different governments, three chief prosecutors, four ambassadors, one judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, one judge at the Court of First Instance at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, representatives of the Republic of Bulgaria in international organizations such as the European Commission of Human Rights, the European Fundamental Rights Agency, World Trade Organization, one chairman of the High Court of Arbitration, etc.
The Institute comprises of four departments.
The Department of Public Law conducts theoretical and methodological research in legal history, history of the Bulgarian state and law, constitutional law, administrative law, financial and tax law and sociology of law.
The Department of Civil Law studies different issues of the general part of civil law, contracts, property law, intellectual rights law, corporations and trade law, family law, customers’ law, etc.
The main research areas of the Department of International Law are international public law and international private law, rule of law and human rights in international law, fight against international terrorism, harmonisation of Bulgarian law with the EU law. 
The Department of Criminal Law studies the state criminal policy, the new criminal legislation and its implementation, the reform in the criminal justice system, the crime control and crime prevention theories.
The Institute publishes the law journal “Pravna missal” and the book series “Trudove na Instituta za pravni nauki”.


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