On Wednesday, 11 February, on the Job Shadow Day, pupils from several districts of Latvia visited the Supreme Court. 11 pupils from Kuldiga, Preili, Plavinas, Roja, Zvejniekciems and Riga became shadows of judges and employees of the court. Participants of the Shadow Day were truly interested in following job duties of a judge, assistant to a judge and employees of the Division of Communication in the Supreme Court.

For pupils, day began with short presentation of Latvian court system and structure of the Supreme Court. Then shadows went to the court hearing in the Department of Administrative Cases.  Before the court hearing, the judge Jautrite Briede told about review of cases under cassation procedure, about cases being heard by the Department of Civil Cases and the Department of Criminal Cases. The judge explained to pupils, what administrative cases are and how different complaints filed against decisions of state and municipal institutions may be. For example, like in the case to be reviewed in the court hearing – on open tender or public procurement announced by the municipality to select a merchant to provide high-level comfort public transport services in Riga. Although pupils could not see the hearing until its end, to dedicate more time to individual conversations with their judges-“shadow givers”, pupils admitted that it was interesting and participants to proceedings must be able to explain their opinion very well.

Then shadows went to their “shadow givers” – Inguna Radzevica and Anita POlakova, judges of the Department of Criminal Cases; Lubova Kusnire, the judge of the Department of Civil Cases; Dace Mita, the judge of the Department of Administrative Cases and Liva Skujina, the assistant to the judge of the Department of Administrative Cases. The shadow of the Division of Communication – the pupil from the 12th form of the State Secondary School of Plavinas – could feel herself as organizer of the Shadow Day, as the Division of Communication ensured successful course of this day. Pupils assessed conversations with their shadow givers as very valuable and considered that the work in the court is not easy, it is very voluminous, but it also is very interesting.

Then pupils went on guided tour to the museum and over the Palace of Justice. In the second part of the visit pupils watched the movie on history of the Senate “The Senate is 95 years – yesterday and today”. At the end of the day, pupils met Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice, when speaking on lawyer’s occupation, told that during his studies in the secondary school he had to choose from among professions of a lawyer, historian and journalist. He decided to become a lawyer and commenced studies at the Faculty of Law and he never regretted it. The Chief Justice told about his career, how he made a way to the office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Except for its own shadows, other shadows also visited the Suprme Court. For example, Dzintars Rasnacs, the Minister of Justice, brought his shadows to meet Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and pupils of the 9th form of Secondary School of Balozi in turn visited the Supreme Court to hear narration of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court about work of the court and visited the museum of the Supreme Court.  

Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press secretary of the Supreme Court
Telephone: 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv