One of the first significant acts by the Latvian government after the declaration of independence on November 18, 1918 was to create a separate Latvian judicial system. Peteris Jurasevskis, the first Minister of Justice, and his deputy, Eduards Strautnieks, (who had been attorneys in private practice) immediately commenced negotiations to create the judicial system and to pass a basic law on judicial power.
Many of the best lawyers and attorneys of the time participated in discussions on the draft law on judicial power. Many of them later became judges and justices. The draft law was presented by the Minister of Justice at the December 3, 1918 meeting of the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government approved the draft law and it was presented to the People’s Council on December 4, 1918. Upon the completion of the review by a special commission, the law on judicial power was passed under the title "The Provisional Regulation on the Courts and Judicial Proceedings in Latvia".
Until that time, the justice department operated in accordance with the legal principles that were in force in Tsarist Russia. The new Latvian law on judicial power contained many new principles. It was a cornerstone for the work of the courts, based on which new laws were created later. The law provided for the first time that the judicial proceedings should be conducted in the Latvian language and the working language in the courts should be the Latvian language. However, if required by the circumstances, the courts should permit the use of the Russian and the German languages.
In its December 16, 1918 meeting, the Provisional Government decided that the Latvian courts should issue their decisions "in the name of the Provisional Government of Latvia". On December 25, 1918, the Provision Government decided that the judges and the justices should give their oath of office to the Provisional Government of Latvia in the presence of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice, or his deputy.