On the Media Day on April 25, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and chairs of the departments informed the journalists about the topicalities of the Supreme Court and the judiciary, as well as about the most important rulings of the Senate, which established the case-law and could be useful and interesting in the work of journalists.

Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chair of the Council for the Judiciary, when looking back at the last year of the Supreme Court, emphasized the centenary events of the Senate of Latvia and the return of the Senate's name to the cassation court. Meanwhile, the assessment of insolvency proceedings, strengthening the independence of the judiciary, extending the competence of the Council, as well as changes in the composition of the Council were mentioned as main last year’s topicalities of the Council for the Judiciary.

Ivars Bickovics touched upon the integration of land register judges in district courts, the established new selection procedure of candidates for judicial office, the solving of issue regarding the specialization of courts, as well as the discussion on the administrative immunity of judges or, more precisely, the administrative responsibility.

In the course of the day, chairs of the departments introduced journalists to current issues in civil cases and administrative cases and to most notable rulings of the Senate, which outline not only the case-law, but can also serve as topics for research and educational journalism.

Aigars Strupiss, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, mentioned such rulings of the Department that solved issues of disproportionate contractual penalties and of limitation period regarding claims arising from a commercial transaction. At present, the issues of forced lease and management of land, as well as lifting of “corporate veil” in insolvency cases are topical. The Senate also develops case-law on abandoning excessive formalism to prevent hiding behind fictitious transactions.

Latvia's most recent branch of the judiciary – administrative courts – this year celebrate 15-year anniversary, and the key issue of the presentation by Veronika Krumina, the Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases, was: what administrative courts have given to the people of Latvia? Public administration has been improved – public officials’ understanding of human rights and their responsibilities towards society, institutional work culture, and the argumentation for administrative acts issued by public officials – this is the main contribution of administrative courts. Therefore, as emphasized by the Chair of the Department, it is not correct to compare the results of the administrative proceedings with the results of the civil proceedings, accusing the administrative courts of taking the side of the state administration.

Veronika Krumina also mentioned the most important cases of the Senate in such categories of cases as access to information, environmental rights, citizenship issues, spelling of personal names, disciplinary liability of state officials and issues of orphans’ courts.

It was already for the sixth year that the Supreme Court organized the informative-educational Media Day for journalists writing articles on issues regarding judicial field, thus creating constructive cooperation with the media. Fourteen journalists from specialized magazines and portals, national and regional newspapers took part in this year’s meeting.

 

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