In Latvian society, courts have been mainly perceived as an instrument of resolution of conflicts. Judges also usually see the court as an arbitrator of the conflict. The monograph “Importance of the Dialogue in Administering of Justice” written by Dr.iur. Gatis Bardins is the first scientific work in Latvia, which points out the much more important role of the court, namely, the role of arbitrator of the conflict, when understanding is reached between participants to proceedings.

The monograph was written on the basis of Doctoral thesis defended in 2015, which was elaborated under the supervision of the professor Dr.iur. Sanita Osipova. The elaboration of thesis almost completely coincided with the time, when Gatis Bardins worked as the assistant to the senator in the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court. In the introduction to the book, the author indicates that the cornerstone of the Doctoral thesis, the purpose of which was to research the role of the dialogue in administering of justice, was the judgement of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate of 9 October 2007, which pointed out that the judgement of the court had been formed as the dialogue among the court, participants to proceedings and society.

Veronika Krumina, the Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court, in her turn, points out in the introduction to the book that several conclusions described in the monograph were implemented in praxis during this period. Therefore, the monograph is valuable, because it is based not only on theoretical considerations, but also on real experience of practical work.

Former colleagues from the Supreme Court were the first ones familiarised with the book by Gatis Bardins, and quite a large number of interested persons from the Department of Administrative Cases, the Division of Case-law and Research, colleagues from the Administrative regional court and others attended the meeting with the author on 1 April.  The conversation, in accordance with the subject of the book, also was in form of the dialogue, sharing thoughts and experience on administering of justice from the point of view of the dialogue.  

The monograph outlines several problematic issues the Latvian court system deals with, including trust to courts, quality of adjudication of cases and court rulings, and terms of adjudication of cases.   As the author points out, the dialogue plays a decisive role in qualitative administering of justice, inter alia, reasoning of the result of the case. The dialogue must burst even prior to proceedings, using mediation as much as possible. When adjudicating the case, the judge, in his turn, must develop the dialogue with both participants to the case and the public. During the discussion, the idea was expressed that the court, when developing more complete and qualitative dialogue, should reject from the tradition not to disclose its position during adjudication of the case. The quality of administering of justice would benefit, if the court expressed its opinion more openly.

The important question, which is analysed in the monograph, is how to reach balance between quality and quantity of work of the court. Opportunities for the dialogue decrease, as the courts even more often use written proceedings, refuse to accept cases for adjudication and decrease number of instances to appeal the case. Conclusions on specification of important circumstances of the case, reasoning in accordance with dialogue method, and point of expression will be useful for practitioners. Veronika Krumina stresses: “The Monograph is an essential contribution to development of legal thought in Latvia. There are not many works in legal literature dedicated to legal methods. Therefore, the monograph is a significant benefit for students and those, who deal with application of law in their daily work. Quality of administering of justice would benefit, if all Latvian judges familiarised with this monograph”.

The book is published by the Court House Agency.

 

Information prepared by

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

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