On 22 April, the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court re-elected Peteris Dzalbe to the office of the Chairman of the Department of Criminal Cases, and Vesma Kakste, the judge of the Department of Administrative Cases, was elected to the Disciplinary Court.

Peteris Dzalbe has managed the Department of Criminal Cases since 2011.  In accordance with the law “On Judicial Power”, the term of office of the Chair of the department is five years. Candidacy of P.Dzalbe for re-appointment in the office of the Chair of the department was nominated by all judges of the Department of Criminal Cases, and the Plenary Session supported this proposal.   

As a significant direction of further work of the Department of Criminal Cases, Peteris Dzalbe stressed cooperation in legislative processes, promoting release of the cassation instance from discharge of functions, which are not typical thereto, which causes significant work load to the Department of Criminal Cases, and decreasing number of cases to be examined by the cassation instance by introducing the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law.  As the important challenge in the work of the department, the Chair also sees the understanding of international crimes, which had not occurred in previous praxis, and ability to adjudicate complicated criminal cases.  

Vesma Kakste, the judge of the Department of Administrative Cases, was also re-elected to the Disciplinary Court. The term of office of a member of the Disciplinary Court, as stipulated in the law, is also five years.

Vesma Kakste was repeatedly nominated to the office of a member of the Disciplinary Court by the Department of Administrative Cases, pointing out that the judge has successfully discharged duties since 2011, and proved her to be appropriate for this office. The Plenary Session supported the proposal.

Looking back to previous experience of work of the Disciplinary Court, Vesma Kakste pointed out that the most difficult was the establishing of work of the new institution, because the procedure of review of cases in the Disciplinary Court is not much described.  Work load of judges in the Disciplinary Court has changed depending on number of received cases.  The judge pointed out that the Disciplinary Court as a single appellate instance to review disciplinary cases of all court system would be a challenge – if this idea was implemented, the judge would not be able to combine work in the department and in the Disciplinary Court.  

Currently, the Disciplinary Court has been convened in the Supreme Court to assess lawfulness of appealed decisions of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee, verification of lawfulness of appealed negative opinions provided by the Judicial Qualification Committee in evaluation of professional activity of judges, and review of appealed decisions of the Prosecutor General regarding the imposition of disciplinary punishment. The Disciplinary Court is composed of six judges of the Supreme Court, by twos from each department.

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211