While visiting Latvia in a private visit, Ilana Diamond Rovner, the judge of the United States Court of Appeals visited the Supreme Court on the 17th of October.

Meeting Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Pavels Gruzins, the Head of the Division of Case-Law, the judge Rovner asked questions about court system in Latvia, procedure of selection and appointment of judges and work load of judges and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Comparing to the USA, where 9 judges work in the Supreme Court, and approximately 170 judges work in Federal Courts of Appeal, number of judges in Latvia is quite bigger. However, as American colleague verified, number of cases reviewed by Latvian judges is not less. To unload courts, mediation is widely used in America, and settlement departments work in courts of the first instance and courts of appeal. Moreover, each judge has several employees – for example, the judge Rovner has four assistants and one secretary.

In the museum of the Supreme Court the judge had looked into history of court system of Latvia. With cordiality she reviewed data about Faculty of Economics and Law graduated by her father. The judge transformed her father’s university emblem into a ring. The ring was on her hand during her visit to Latvia.

This was not the first meeting with Ivars Bickovics and Pavels Gruzins for Ilana Rovner. In 2002 delegation of Latvian judges visited the United States Court of Appeals in Chicago, where the judge works. Pavels Gruzins remembered that they were interested in American jury institution that time, but now, as he told the guest, Latvia followed other direction and now there are no laymen anymore.

Visiting Riga, the judge read a lecture about her life and work experience and the USA court system at the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia.

Ilana Rovner was born in 1938 in Riga. However, she spent all her life in the United States. Her parents immigrated to the America to escape holocaust. She got legal education there and received several awards for excellent achievements in professional work. In 2008 Ilana Rovner received American Inns of Court's Professionalism Award. Competition for students and young lawyers about proceedings of court of appeal is also named by the judge Rovner.

In 1984 Ilana Rovner was appointed for the post of the judge of United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, but in 1992 the president G. H. W. Bush nominated her as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals. She was the first judge-woman in the Seventh District of the court.


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