In parallel with the reform of Latvian judicial system of January 1 the structure of the Supreme Court has changed. The appellate instance – the Chamber of Civil Cases – has ceased its activity and henceforth the Supreme Court will only be the cassation instance and cases will be heard by three departments – the Department of Civil Cases, the Department of Criminal Cases and the Department of Administrative Cases.

Judges of regional courts Mairita Skendere, Sandra Krumina, Gunta Freimane, Inese Grauda and Marianna Terjuhana, who temporarily executed the duties of judges of the Chamber of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court, have returned to Riga Regional Court and Zemgale Regional Court.

Former judges of the Chamber of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court who are not appointed as judges of departments of the Supreme Court Ineta Ozola, Mara Katlapa, Dace Jansone and Arnis Dundurs will execute duties of judges of Riga Regional Court starting from 1 January. According to the law "On Judicial Power", they keep the status of judges of the Supreme Court.

With the termination of work of Chamber of Civil Cases, the Secretariat of the Chamber of Civil Cases is liquidated. Subsequently, the Court now has one Chancery.

According to Section 88 of Transitional Provisions of the Civil Procedure Law, when terminating the work of the Chamber of Civil Cases, 21 pending cases that are not adjudicated until 31 January 2016, including cases where a decision on stay of proceedings is made, will be reviewed in regional court as the court of appeal by new composition of panel of judges.

Chambers that operated in the Supreme Court since 1995, functioned as the court of appeal for hearing cases that were initially heard by regional courts as courts of first instance. On 13 June 2013 the Saeima (Parliament) adopted amendments to the Law "On Judicial Power", envisaging the transition to a three-level judicial system and stating that District (city) Courts shall be first instance courts for all cases, Regional Courts shall be appellate courts, but the Supreme Court shall exclusively be cassation instance. Transitional provisions provided that the Chamber of Criminal Cases would operate in the Supreme Court until 31 December 2014, but the Chamber of Civil Cases - until 31 December 2016.

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211