“The main function and routine of the Supreme Court is litigation in appellate and cassation instances. During fifteen years of operation approximately 50,000 cases were reviewed in the Supreme Court – 25,000 of them were reviewed in the Senate and as many cases – in Chambers. This performance should be evaluated not only as a great amount of work reviewed, but also as an essential contribution in interpretation of legal principles and legal standards and creation of judicature. In its turn, it has more or less provided a uniform case-law in all courts and understanding of justice in general society. This is the second function of the Supreme Court, and, in my opinion, it has been executed rather successfully”, said Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, on the 15th of October, while opening the international conference “the judicature of the Supreme Court and its role in development of legal thought in Latvia”, dedicated to 15th anniversary of operation of the Senate and Chambers of the Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court stressed that unexpectedly great interest about the conference attended by more than 500 visitors, is indicative of topicality of the issue not only among judges, but also for all lawyers and society. “I hope that your co-operation and attendance is acknowledgement of importance of work of the Supreme Court. It is like counterargument for those evaluators and optimisers of state functions, who evaluated the creation of uniform case-law and judicature as unnecessary function of the Supreme Court. We hope that new Parliament and government, while forming the budget of the next year, will not follow such incompetent evaluations”, stressed the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

 

Gratitude for creation of judicature and hope that work will recrudesce with “fresh breath”

The President and the Prime Minister, who were invited to the conference, couldn’t come because of forming new government and other work urgency. However, their legal advisors read greetings of higher state officials to the Supreme Court.

Valdis Zatlers, the Latvia’s President, is satisfied that the Supreme Court celebrates the 15th anniversary of operation of the Senate and Chambers by coming together to exchange opinions and new ideas in the international conference. Expressing his gratitude to the Senate and Chambers of the Supreme Court, the President indicated: “The constitutional principle of judicial independence that has been established in the Article 83 of Satversme (the Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia, stating that “judges shall be independent and subject only to the law” means not only responsibility of judges to follow wordy sense of laws, but also to administer justice according to law spirit and supreme command of law. In this by no means easy task the essential support for law applicator are conclusions on topical issues of case-law and theory, given in judicature of the Supreme Court”, stresses the President.

In his turn, Valdis Dombrovskis, the Prime Minister, points out that judicature creates association of what all of us would like to see most in our daily life, while getting into contact with the state: consistent, trustful activity; reliable, values-founded state. The Head of the government admits that judicature may not be reviewed separately from development of legal thought of the society. “As long as constitutional values implemented by daily routine of creators of judicature will not be clear and acceptable for every one, we will talk about nothing. There is a work for politicians here, creating thought of their electorate”, Valdis Dombrovskis points out in his greeting. The Head of government gave consolatory hopes that, looking to a further development, besides restoration of economic growth of the state, the work upon creation of judicature and spreading will recrudesce and get a new breath.

The Chair of Constitutional Court Gunars Kutris, General Prosecutor Eriks Kalnmeiers, the Chair of the Board of Sworn Notaries Ilze Pilsetniece and the Chair of the Board of Sworn Advocates Janis Grinbergs also greeted the Supreme Court on anniversary of its work. The Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia accented relationship of scientific and legal practice that has been acknowledged both by the fact that the conference was organised by the Supreme Court in cooperation with the Faculty of Law, and by the place and theme of the conference and scientific grades of lecturers, and relation in routine work. The Faculty of Law presented a symbolic gift to the Supreme Court – newest legal books written by teaching staff of the faculty.

 

Interest of visitors doesn’t lapse all day long

Topicality of themes of the conference and lecturers – legal authorities – ensured interest of audience all day long till the late Friday afternoon.

There were guests – Irmgard Griss, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Austria and the President of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Courts of the European Union, Märt Rask, the Chief Justice of Estonia’s Supreme Court and Gintaras Kryzevicius, the Chief Justice of Lithuania’s Supreme Court; representatives of Latvia in courts of Europe - Egils Levits, Ingrida Labucka and Ineta Ziemele. Doctors of law Kalvis Torgans, Jautrite Briede, Valentija Liholaja, Janis Rozenfelds, Daiga Rezevska, Kristine Strada-Rozenberga and doctoral students Janis Pleps and Maris Vainovskis took the stage with interesting reports.

Reports, their theses or presentations will be placed in the home page of the Supreme Court www.at.gov.lv in the section About the Supreme Court / Conferences.