About notable events
14th of March, 2009
Year 2008 was usual for the Supreme Court– the wheel of reviewing of court cases span quickly –
4445 cases were received, 3941 cases were reviewed, the number of cases pending in the end of the year was 2108.
The situation is serious, but it is similar as in other countries of Europe – the tendency of increase of number
of court cases has been observed everywhere.
The last year differed from other years with changes in a management of the court and in court of judges –
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was replaced, five judges finished their work in the court, and six new
judges had begun to work in the Supreme Court. The Head of the Administration has changed also, but fluidity of
employees of the court has decreased.
The last year differed also in means of financing – already in the end of the last year after two decreases
of the budget the Supreme Court had been forced to pass, to a certain extent, to emergency regime. If it will be
necessary to fulfil the requirement of the new government to reduce the budget for 20% more, the Supreme Court
will not be able to carry out all functions provided to it by the law.
This was the result of the report of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics during annual plenum,
which has taken place on March, 13. The Chairman of the court thanked all body of the court for good work and urged to
keep good fellowship also in dramatic financial situation of this year, to understand the situation and to repose trust
in a management and financial experts of the court who, probably, would be forced to accept decisions, that would be
heavy and painful for judges and workers of the court.
12th of March, 2009
On Friday, March, 13, at 10.00 o’clock the Plenum of the Supreme Court will
be called, and during this session judges will analyse and evaluate work of the Supreme Court in year 2008.
The statistical data which is already available in a homepage www.at.gov.lv in section of "Statistics",
show that in year 2008 quantity of cases arrived in the Supreme Court has continued to grow and the number of
cases pending in the end of the year has increased. The overload has been especially felt in reviewing of civil cases:
in the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, in comparison with previous year, the number of cases pending has almost
doubled, and in the Chamber of Civil Cases there were more than 1000 cases were left pending in the end of the year.
In plenum results of work of the court will be analysed and solutions on optimisation of work will be offered.
Heads of departaments of the Senate Valerijans Jonikans, Pavels Gruzins and Veronika Krumina and Chairs of Chambers
Gunars Aigars and Ervins Kuskis will take the floor with reports.
The Head of the Department of judiciary practice Zigrida Mita and the Head of the Department of complaints Rolands Krauze
will also inform on work done in the last year. The report on administrative work will be presented by the Head of Administration Sandra Lapina.
After hearing of reports of all structural units the generalized report about the work of the Supreme Court
in year 2008 will be presented by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics.
10th of March, 2009
“I have admired my father most of all because of his firm position. What he considered to be true and correct, he did not recede from it, even if it was unprofitable, it was necessary to go against the stream and could be very dangerous”, so about the father, the son of the first president of Latvia Janis Cakste, the senator of the Department of the Civil Cassation of the Senate of Latvia Mintauts Cakste speaks his daughter Aija Cakste. Aija Cakste couldn’t arrive to the solemn action devoted to 90-year-old anniversary of the Senate, so therefore she visited the Supreme Court this week, while having arrived to Latvia from Sweden for a couple of days. Aija Cakste has met the Chairman of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics in a friendly conversation, has visited the court museum, and has expressed her gratitude for the brochure published by the Supreme Court «Senators. The senate of Latvia 1918-1940», and also has presented the written memoirs on her father. In memoirs Aija Cakste describes some examples which testify to a firm position of senator Mintauts Cakste and all family of the president in protection of statehood and democracy of Latvia. “When Russian army in severe year came into Latvia, so called “circus elections” had been organised, in which Latvians asked “to adopt them in the Soviet family”. In passports seals about participation in elections had been set. No one of sons of Janis Cakste went to elections. It seems to me, it was under the offer of the father. Their passports were without the seals, that was very dangerous», tells Aija Cakste.
Also from memoirs of the daughter we learn about the attitude of Mintauts Cakste to overturn of May, 15th, 1934, which was a hard blow for him as for the expert in jurisprudence.
The facts about the attitude of Latvian expatrians to Saeima, to the Constitution of Latvia and to „how it would be possible to put Latvian case in a free world” were less known. Aija Cakste does not hide that in emigration in Sweden conditions were unpleasant, because poets, journalists and others discredited these things and the big hatred was kindled against her father and his adherents, and it has gone harmful for Latvia.
5th of March, 2009
Yesterday and today senators of the Supreme Court Jautrite Briede, Janis Neimanis and Andris Gulans put themselves in teachers’ shoes, and in a judicial hall not court sessions took place, but school lessons. In unusual lessons this week pupils of Selpils basic school, Balvu vocational secondary school, Valmiera high school of a name of Viesturs and the Riga Commercial secondary school participated. In general, in March and April lessons conducted by senators of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate, will be visited by almost 600 pupils from 25 schools of Latvia.
Senators tell pupils about legal and judicial system of Latvia, about process of judicature and about work and career of judges and representatives of other legal professions. As well, pupils hear also practical recommendations of how to learn and exercise rights, how to create legally correct and reliable relations, and also how to prepare for study in sphere of jurisprudence more successfully, and what skills and qualities are necessary in work of the judge. Senators speak also about trust to courts and about reputation of judges. “The reputation has been created for a long time, but it can fail very quickly, even in one day, if the judge acts illegally or unethically”, senator Janis Neimanis admits. Also senator Jautrite Briede underlines: «It is not necessary to sell the conscience, as there are no values which would be stronger than that I was fair».
Pupils also have a possibility see the Museum of the Supreme Court and rooms of the Judicial Palace.
26th of February, 2009
In the Plenum of the Supreme Court, today, February 26, Ervins Kuskis was elected as the Chair of the Chamber of Criminal Cases. He has executed duties of the Chair of the Chamber since JUne 16, 2008, when ex-Chair of the Chamber of Criminal Cases Ivars Bickovics entered upon duties of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Candidature of Ervins Kuskis for the position of the Chair of the Chamber was raised by judges of the Chamber of Criminal Cases. His candidature was the only one, and in open election it got solid vote.
Ervins Kuskis was born in 1969 in Valmiera. In 1993 he graduated Faculty of Law of University of Latvia. From 1991 till 1995 he has worked as public prosecutor of places of imprisonment, from 1995 till 2001 – judge of Vidzeme regional court. Since 2001 he has worked as judge of the Supreme court in the Chamber of Criminal Cases. Ervins Kuskis has got first class of judicila qualification.
The Term of Office of the Chair of the Chamber of Criminal Cases is five years.
26th of February, 2009
As secretary of the plenum of the Supreme Court today general meeting of judges elected senator of the department of Civil Cases Inara Garda.
The secretary of the Plenum, according to regulations of the plenum, works out projects of work order of the plenum, prepares projects of resolutions of the plenum, summarizes changes and complements of projects of resolutions of plenum, executes count in open selection, signs resolutions of the plenum and executes other duties.
According to regulations of the plenum of the Supreme Court, the secretary has been elected for three years. Since 1999 due to re-selection duties of the secretary of the plenum had been executed by the senator of the Department of criminal Cases of the Senate Valda Eilande.
25th of February, 2009
Tomorrow, February 26, Plenum of the Supreme Court will take place, and judges will elect Chair of the Judicial panel of Criminal Cases. Term of office of the Chair of the Judicial panel is five years.
Ex-Chair of the Judicial panel of Criminal Cases Ivars Bickovics as from June 16, 2008 is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so Judicial panel needs new Chairman. At present duties of the Chair of the Judicial panel of Criminal Cases are executed by judge Ervins Kuskis.
Also during the plenum of the Supreme Court tomorrow it will be necessary to elect secretary of the plenum, because term of office of the secretary is coming to an end, as according to regulations of the plenum, it lasts for three years.
Since year 1999, due to re-selection’, duties of the secretary of the plenum have been executed by the senator of the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate, Valda Eilande.
Plenum is a general meeting of judges of Judicial panels and the Senate of the Supreme Court, that takes decisions on questions foreseen in a Law „On Judiciary” and regulations of the plenum, as well as discusses topical questions on work of the court.
20th of February, 2009
Today in Riga Castle the President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers met the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics. As the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court told, this was information meeting, in order to discuss results of work of year 2008 and priorities of work for current year.
During the meeting I. Bickovics informed the President of the State about work of the Supreme Court, that had been done during last year and about work that has been planned for the current year. Last year number of cases that entered and had been reviewed, increased, but remainder of cases, that were not reviewed also increased. The President of the State listened to opinion of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court about changes of legislation to be made in order to make reviewing of cases faster and easier.
Rhythm of work of the Supreme Court in circumstances of limited budget was also discussed. I. Bickovics drew attention of the President to the fact that the Supreme Court was forced to go over priorities of activity and reduce volume of activities that have been planned, however, the Chief Justice expressed hope that budget, given to the Supreme Court, will be such, so that the Supreme Court could fulfill its functions that are stated in legislation.
13th of February, 2009
On Febuary 12, European Court of Justice announced first verdict (case C-93/08) in prejudicial question asked by Latvian court about interpretation of rights of European Community. Paragraph 234 of agreement of foundation of European Community states rights of courts of memberstates to ask ECJ questions about interpretation of such legal standards of European Community, application of which seems unclear for them..
Question to ECJ was asked by the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate of the Supreme Court of Republic of Latvia, while reviewing controversion between custom broker „Schenker” Ltd. and State Income Service (SIS). Representatives of parliaments of Latvia, Czech Republic, Greece and Finland, and representatives of the Commission of EU also expressed their considerations in this case.
In the base of the case there is resolution of SIS about imposing of administrative penalty on custom broker for applying custom procedures for goods that breach intellectual property rights, it is, counterfeit goods, synchronously destroying these goods on a basis of agreement between trademark holder „Nokia Corporation” and consignee of goods „Rovens” Ltd.
11th of February, 2009
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics and Minister of Justice Gaidis Berzins arranged to convoke Latvian Judicial Conference on April 17, 2009.
It will be announced of place, time and order of the day of the conference after making it more exact.
Latvian judges are invited to inform Court Administration about questions, that should be necessary to include in order of the day of the Conference till March, 2.
Judicial Conference is institution of judicial self-government, and all judges of Latvia participate in its work. According to Paragraph 92 of the Law „On Judiciary” Judicial Conference reviews topical questions of jurisprudence, discusses material and social warranties and other essential questions of judicial work; elects institutions of judicial self-government – Qualification Committee, Disciplinary Committee and Conduct Committee, approves standards of Judicial Code of ethics and gives suggestions on questions of interpretation of law standards.