Independent judiciary exists in the Republic of Latvia next to legislative power and executive power.
The Supreme Court is the third, the highest level court in Latvian court system, which has three levels.
The basis of authority of the Supreme Court is established in the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia. Articles included in Chapter 6 of the Constitution entitled “Courts” state that in Latvia, court cases shall be heard by district (city) courts, regional courts and the Supreme Court; judges shall be independent and subject only to the law; Judicial appointments shall be confirmed by the Saeima (the Parliament) and they shall be irrevocable.
Establishment, structure and authority of the Supreme Court are regulated by the law “On Judicial Power”.
Procedural laws – Civil Procedure Law, Criminal Procedure Law and Administrative Procedure Law – determine procedure of trying cases in appellate and cassation proceedings.
Basic functions of the Supreme Court
- Administration of justice in cassation instance;
- Administration of justice in appellate instance;
- Development of uniform case-law and judicature;
- On the basis of the “Investigatory Operations Law”, acceptance of special investigations, acceptance of requests upon secret data available in credit institutions, established in law “On credit institutions”.
- Examining citizens' complaints related to cases.
- In 2010, the Council of Justice, a new judicial collegial institution was founded. The Council of Justice participates in the development of the policies and strategies of the judicial system, as well as the improvement of the organisation of the work of the judicial system. Chapter 131 of the law “On Judicial Power” states that the work of the Council of Justice shall be led by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and its work shall be ensured by the Administration of the Supreme Court.
- Pursuant to Paragraph Six Section 2 of the Judicial Disciplinary Liability Law, the Supreme Court shall financially ensure the work of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee.