On the cover of the 15th issue of the Supreme Court Bulletin – photographs from the first event of the centenary anniversary of the Senate of Latvia – the planting of an oak in memory of Kristaps Valters, the first Chair of the Senate of Latvia. The pages of the Bulletin contain not only the most significant facts about the contribution of Kristaps Valters to the formation of the Latvian judicial system and the Senate and to strengthening of the principle of the independence of judges and foundation of administrative proceedings, but they also give an overview of the succession of case-law in civil cases examined at the cassation instance. The Supreme Court is the continuation of the work and traditions of the Senate of Latvia (1918-1940), therefore such a significant role is given to the history of the Senate.

After 99 years, the basic function of the cassation instance has not changed – to judge and develop case-law, however the amount of work and structure of the court, as well as scale and forms of the court as an institution have changed, the society has changed, therefore the issue of efficiency and better administration of the work of the Supreme Court is topicalized. This is evidenced by the international project "Supreme Courts as guarantee for effectiveness of judicial systems in European Union" managed by the Supreme Court, the final materials of which are published in this issue of the Bulletin.

In the section of opinions regarding the law issues, Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gives an opinion on the importance of legal science in ensuring a high-quality legal environment and shares Latvia's experience in evaluation of professional activity of judges. Materials such as speech by Veronika Krumina, Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases, given at the meeting of the Working Group on Environmental Law of the Association of European Administrative Judges, and opinion given at the conversation festival “Lampa” in discussion "Society and Court: To speak or to dissociate?", as well as the material based on the thesis from the speech given at the workshop on lobbying organized by the Commission for Legal Environment Improvement of the President of Latvia are published.

A report written by Anita Zikmane, Head of the Division of the Case-law and Research, on the role of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights in the work of the Supreme Court is published in the Bulletin. The report was given at the annual discussion on current issues regarding human rights organized by the Riga Graduate School of Law and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In turn, Janis Baumanis, Legal Research Counsel to the Department of Criminal Cases, provides an overview of the legal framework for international cooperation in the field of criminal justice.

The Bulletin also provides a comprehensive overview of the experience of the Supreme Court judges and employees gained during business trips, as well as other information of the Supreme Court and the Council for the Judiciary.

The "Supreme Court Bulletin" is issued twice a year. It is received by all Latvian courts and other institutions of the judicial system, it is also sent to libraries and faculties of law of higher educational institutions, as well as posted on the website of the Supreme Court www.at.gov.lv.


Supreme Court Bulletin, issue No 15


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