On April 21 during the conference organized by the Supreme Court of Latvia, the Chief Justices of Supreme Courts of all three Baltic States met.

During the meeting, the Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts discussed the differences in work organization of courts and shared best practices. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Latvia Ivars Bickovics stressed that the effectiveness of the judicial systems is topical issue in the whole Europe. Meeting of Chief Justices and employees of Supreme Courts of Baltic States during the conference provided an opportunity to discuss issues which are not often widely debated - questions about the organization of court work, activities of divisions of research, court communication, as well as involvement in solving issues of judicial system.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Estonia Priit Pikamäe in his speech pointed out that the scope of activity of Supreme Courts is generally firmly established in laws and regulations, however, the Supreme Courts have the opportunity to determine themselves their importance in ensuring the effectiveness of the justice system. This can be achieved mainly by raising the judicial performance. The conference was also attended by the Representative from the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary Alain Lacabarats who pointed out that the Supreme Court judges' role in ensuring the qualitative justice system is essential - the Supreme Court should set an example for judges of lower courts. A. Lacabarats also pointed out that states must ensure a sufficient funding for the judiciary in order to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

Both the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Estonia Priit Pikamäe and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania Court Rimvydas Norkus admitted that the project initiated and implemented by the Supreme Court of Latvia "Supreme Courts as guarantee for effectiveness of judicial systems in the European Union" has made a significant contribution to improvement of work organization at the Supreme Courts, allowing to draw and to take over the experience of colleagues from other countries.

Project "Supreme Courts as guarantee for effectiveness of judicial systems in the European Union" managed by the Supreme Court of Latvia has been implemented since June 2016. The project is funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice, with the participation of the Supreme Courts of Lithuania, Spain and Hungary and Universities of Antwerp and Ljubljana. The project aims to increase the administrative capacity of the Supreme Court, to improve its work organization, increase the transparency of the judicial work and public confidence in the judiciary.

Information prepared by Janis Supe, Project Manager