On August 30, the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court repeatedly elected Pavels Gruzins for the post of the Chair of the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate and Gunars Aigars – for the post of the Chair of the Chamber of Civil Cases for the term of five years. 29 of 36 present judges voted for the candidacy of Pavels Gruzins, and 30 – for Gunars Aigars.

Valerians Jonikans was dismissed from the post of the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate of his own free will because of the state of health. By votes of 28 judges the senator Zigmants Gencs was elected for this post.

Senators of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate didn’t participate in the voting, as they requested secret ballot, but this suggestion didn’t meet enough votes.

While outlining problems to be solved during the next five years, Pavels Gruzins indicated that it would be necessary to evaluate, if judges of the Supreme Court have to deal with sanctioning of operational activities. Participation in different work groups on workouts of laws also needs time; actually work of officials of the Ministry of Justice has been done. P. Gruzins thinks that judges don’t have to do that, as later they have to think about correct application of laws. The Chair of the Department stressed the necessity to find more means in the budget of the Supreme Court for research of the case-law.

General Prosecutor Eriks Kalnmeiers, participating in the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court, opposed P. Gruzins about sanctioning of operational activities. The General Prosecutor indicated that control of the court upon these activities is also a demand of Europe, so it is impossible to resign from it. E. Kalnmeiers also expressed an opinion that the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate should apply less nails to check rule of law of resolution in cassation proceedings; in its turn, more cases are to be reviewed in oral proceedings. In order to reach this goal, number of senators in the Department should be increased.

In his turn, the Chair of the Chamber of Civil Cases Gunars Aigars indicated that the greatest problem is a number of cases pending in the Chamber. In order to reduce it, the Chamber needs three judges more and it would be necessary to make amendments to the Civil Procedural Law, which would provide more opportunities to review cases in written proceedings and increase of responsibility of participants for abuse of rights to be listened to.

The new Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate Zigmants Gencs admitted that proposal to hold this office came unexpectedly, so he hadn’t thought about plan on further activities. The ex-Chair of the Department Valerians Jonikans guided work in a way that no revolutionary changes are needed in the Department. But it is necessary to analyse, why there is so great number of cases pending in the department, and look for solutions of this problem. One of the solutions might be amendments to the laws that would remove the function of submission of supervision protests off the Chair of the Department.

Pavels Gruzins has led the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate since the day of its foundation in 1995. The same is about Gunars Aigars in the Chamber of Civil Cases. In years 2000 and 2005 they were repeatedly elected for the posts of the Chair of the Department and the Chamber.

Zigmants Gencs has worked as a judge of the Supreme Court since 1978. Since the moment of creation of the Senate in 1995 he has been a senator of the Department of Civil Cases and since 1999 – the member of Judicial Qualifications Committee.

According to the law “On Judicial Power”, Chairs of Departments of the Senate and Chambers have been elected by the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court for the term of 5 years.



Information prepared by

Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece

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