On Friday, September 21, a delegation from Japan visited the Supreme Court. Visitors were Professors from Nagoya University Ichihashi Katsuya, Sato Humito and Yasuda Rie, and Professor Honda Takio from Ryukoku University (Kyoto) and Deputy Director of the Center for Public Law Studies Tsay Igor representing the University of World Diplomacy and Economy (Tashkent).

The guests met with Veronika Krumina, Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases, and Judge Ieva Viskere. The representatives of the Supreme Court introduced the visitors with the work of the Department, paying particular attention to the issues of interest – the development of administrative law after the restoration of Latvia's independence, application of the principle of reservation by the law and the principle of priority of the law, the methods of legal interpretation, giving examples of how these principles and methods are applied when examining court cases. The professors were particularly interested in issue regarding the margin of judicial appreciation in Latvia: "While studying post-Soviet countries' experience of transition to modern type rule of law or law-based state the Japanese scholars discovered that the genuine transition requires cardinal shift in application of law from legal formalism common to Soviet doctrine to legal interpretation which implies legitimate margin of appreciation reserved for the judiciary. In mature law-based states the judiciary is not strictly bound by the letter of law but enjoys rather high level of freedom to interpret the legislation." When discussing the issues raised and comparing the two judicial systems, the representatives of the delegation expressed appreciation for the progress made in Latvia regarding the development of the administrative proceedings and the judicial system.

At the end of the visit, guests also visited historical premises of the Palace of Justice, its museum, gaining insight into the creation of the Supreme Court and the development of the Latvian judicial system.


Information prepared by Iveta Jaudzema, International Cooperation Specialist of the Supreme Court
E-mail: iveta.jaudzema@at.gov.lv; telephone: +371 67020396