30th of April, 2009
The Senator of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate of the Supreme Court Kalvis Torgans has been nominated to a post of Commander of the Order of Three Stars. The President of the State gave the order to the senator during festive ceremony on May 1.
One of the most famous scientists of Latvia in the field of civil law and civil procedure Kalvis Torgans has been awarded for significant contribution to development of jurisprudence and for increasing professionalism and knowledge of officials of the court system. Kalvis Torgans is the senator of the Supreme Court, profesor of the Department of Civil Law of the University of Latvia, academician of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, habilitated doctor of law sciences.
The highest state award – Cross of Appreciation of III class has been given to long-term Chairman of the Chamber of Civil Cases, deputy of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chairman of Judicial Qualification Committee Gunars Aigars. He will receive the award during festive ceremony on May 7.
28th of April, 2009
Government Control has finished the financial audit about correct preparation of financial statement on the work of the Supreme Court in year 2008 and has come to a conclusion that financial statement in all essential aspects gives clear and true concept on a financial state of the Supreme Court.
Government Control notices that it hasn’t discovered essential non-compliance in the volume of the audit enclosed in parts of the statement. There were separate imperfections stated, but none of them is of high priority.
Among imperfections, elimination of which Government Control has stated as of medium priority, is prevision of such contributions and compensations to judges and employees of the Supreme Court, that are not directly stated neither in the Law „On Judicial Power”, nor in the Law „On labour”, but which are stated by the Supreme Court in its internal regulations.
The Supreme Court believes that rights of employess, beside wages, extras and bonuses to receive also other remuneration related to work are stated in the Law „On Labour” and there is no reason to think that legislator didn’t want to provide such rights for those, who work in the court.
18th of April, 2009
Judges are ready to express solidarity with other social groups of the population and to participate in economic crisis overcoming in the country, but demand, that legislators and executive power take into account exceptional circumstances and the principles of courts stated, - this has been underlined on April 17, in the reference to the President, Saeima and the Cabinet of Ministers, accepted at the Conference of Judges of Republic of Latvia.
Dealing with a question on possible reduction of financing of judicial institutions, judges urge to state the financing intended to judicial activity in such volume that availability of a society to courts and the right to fair court do not appear under the threat. In the conditions of an economic crisis it is necessary to develop individual criteria for a financing of courts and it is necessary to provide decisions for continuation of reform of the remuneration guaranteed by the law. Judges suggest to reduce volumes of the executive power that forms the judicial policy, and to eliminate duplication of functions which are seen in activity of the Ministry of Justice and Judicial Administration.
The work of the courts in the conditions of the reduced budget there was a main point at the running Conference of Judges of Republic of Latvia. This was underlined in the basic reports also of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics, and Minister of Justice Mareks Seglins.
18th of April, 2009
The question on judicial ethics, to which great attention had been paid last year,
has not lost its topicality, but there are indicators which testify, that the situation has changed. The tension,
observed among judges, and discontent of a society with a work of the courts have decreased, so at the Conference of
Judges of the Republic of Latvia on April 17, the Chief Justice of Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics has specified. The
quantity of disciplinary cases raised in connection with work of judges has decreased noticeably: in 2007 year there were
17 cases, and in 2008 – only 5. But even more important indicator, in opinion of the Chief Justice, is that last year the
quantity of the complaints received from inhabitants of Latvia for work of judges has considerably decreased. In Judicial
Administration it had been received approximately one third of a number of complaints less, as well as in the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has specified that in improvement of the situation a positive role has been played by activity of
the Committee on Judicial Ethics. Such conclusion has expressed also Minister of Justice Mareks Seglins.
18th of April, 2009
At the Conference of Judges of Republic of Latvia which took place on April 17, three new members of Judicial Disciplinary Committee and one new member of Judicial Qualification Commitee have been elected.
16th of April, 2009
The judges of national courts are the first and main interpreters of the European Convention of Human Rights, the Chairman of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Jean-Paul Costa recognises, therefore during the first official visit to Latvia, he has considered important to meet judges of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia.
During the meeting on April 15, Costa has specified great value of cooperation between the ECHR and the Supreme Court of Latvia. „The countries should guarantee the human rights, which are defined in the European Convention of Human Rights, and in the greatest degree it is provided with national courts. The ECHR is only the final court”, Costa has underlined.
The Chairman of the ECHR, and also a Vice Secretary of the ECHR, Michael O’Boil and the judge of the ECHR Ineta Ziemele, who accompanied him in visit to the Supreme Court, have answered to questions of judges and have explained position of the ECHR on several topical questions for Latvia.
Judges have asked opinion of the ECHR on more extensive use of written process in reviewing of cases, in order to accelerate legal proceedings course. Asked, as national courts, if on any question in the state legislation there has been "vacuum", should operate, and if in the Convention of Human Rights corresponding norms have been provided, for example, mentioning compensation of moral harm in civil procedure cases, which had been reviewed, when the institute of indemnification of a damage had not been developed yet in procedure laws. The Chairman of the ECHR has advised to use experience of other countries in similar cases, and, not waiting for judgement of the ECHR, to apply norms of the Convention, even if provided by the Convention is not provided in the national legislation, as „the Convention is a part of the national legislation”.
9th of April, 2009
Latvian judges will come together on April 17, for the next annual conference, on which they are going to express a position of judges in connection with already occurred and still expected reduction of financing of judicial system. Judges will exchange opinions on ability of judicial system to operate and a wholesome carrying out judicial functions in the conditions of the limited budget of an economic crisis.
Besides this central theme of conference, the judges should solve some questions in connection with institutions of judicial self-government.
One year ago at judicial conference the new institution of judicial self-government – the Committee on Judicial ethics had been created. Its Chair Visvaldis Sprudzans will present the report on work within the first year, problems and conclusions. The Committee on Judicial ethics has drawn a conclusion that in its regulations accurately is not specified, under whose initiative and how the commission carries out one of the functions, provided by law article 912 «On Judicial Power», namely, discussion of infringements of norms of ethics. The Committee has prepared adjuncts to regulations of the Committee on Judicial ethics, which are to be affirmed at the conference.
At conference it will be necessary to discuss and affirm also regulations of Board of Judicial Qualification. Before that, as the basis of activity of the board served the regulations confirmed by it, but with amendments in the law «On Judicial Power» from April 3, 2008 it has been defined that the Board of Judicial Qualification operates according to regulations which have been affirmed at Judicial conference. It is necessary to re-elect also one of members of the Board of Judicial Qualification as the former representative of the Chamber of criminal cases of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics is at present the Chairman of the Supreme Court.