On May 9, the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court nominated the Chairman of the Chamber of Criminal Cases Ivars Bickovics as the candidate to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the confirmation in the Saeima (Parliament). In the secret ballot, he received 28 out of 44 votes of the Supreme Court judges. 16 judges who took part in the Plenary Session, voted against.

The judges could submit their propositions regarding the possible candidates to the specially established work group already before the Plenary Session. The work group received propositions about four judges, but three of the possible candidates withdrew their candidacies already prior to the Plenary Session. However, during the Plenary Session all the applicants sustained their proposals and nominated the Chairman of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate Valerijans Jonikans, the Chairman of the Chamber of Criminal Cases Ivars Bickovics, the present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Andris Gulans and the Chairman of the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate Pavels Gruzins to the position of the Chief Justice. Three of them, as previously, withdrew their candidacies, Ivars Bickovics agreed to his nomination. He stressed that he has applied to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court not for a competition but because the present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has announced that with the expiry of the term in the position he does not wish to continue the work in this position, thus the court needs a leader and there is a vacancy.

Outlining the vision of development of the Supreme Court for the next seven years, I. Bickovics promised to retain the succession and grounded on the goals stated in the strategy of the Supreme Court: professional and fair administering of justice, development of a uniform court practice in Latvia, promotion of understanding of the judicial power in the public, and good management in the administration of the institution. The ways and style to achieve these goals could be different. I. Bickovics stressed that the management of the institution will make more use of the principle of good fellowship and listen to the viewpoints. Besides, the policy of development of the image of the Supreme Court should be different. It would be significant to take a determined and uniform position of the Supreme Court regarding the possible reorganization of the court which is stipulated by the coming draft law “On Judiciary”. One of the first tasks will be to look for a new Head of the Administration as the present Head of the Administration has announced that she will leave the position with the expiry of the term of the position of A. Gulans.

I. Bickovics holds the position of the Supreme Court judge since 1922. In 1996, the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court elected him in the position of the Chairman of the Chamber of Criminal Cases, repeatedly – in 2002 and 2007. The Saeima has confirmed I. Bickovics in the position of the Supreme Court judge without term limitations. He is conferred the first qualification grade. I. Bickovics is the President of the Association of Judges and a member of the Judicial Qualification Commission, a lecturer in the Judicial training Center.

I. Bickovics was born in 1962 in Plavinas. He is married, has a son. In 1985, he graduated from the University of Latvia with the specialty of a lawyer. After the military service, for five years he worked as a judge in the Aizkraukles District Court, afterwards he was invited to the Supreme Court.

Under the law “On Judicial Power” the work of the Supreme Court is led by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who from among the appointed judges upon a proposition of the Plenary Session is confirmed in the position by the Saeima for the term of seven years. Andris Gulans was confirmed in the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1994, repeatedly – in 2001. His term of office expires on June 13 this year.


Information prepared by

Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 7020396, 28652211