In civil proceedings, individuals may conduct cases in court personally or through an advocate. Cases of legal persons have been conducted in court by officials, who act within the scope of authority conferred upon them pursuant to law, statutes or by-law, or through an advocate.

It has been stipulated by amendments to the Civil Procedure Law of 19 December, 2013, improving Section 82 on right to representation in the civil procedure. Amendments became effective on January 1, 2014.

Previously, in cassation instance, the same as in the first instance and appellate instance court, individuals might conduct cases in court personally or through authorised representatives, who might not be advocates. Cases of legal persons in cassation instance court might also be conducted by officials, who act within the scope of authority conferred upon them pursuant to law, statutes or by-law, or other authorised representatives of legal persons, who might not be advocates.

“It is half a step forward, thus, it has been definitely assessed positively” – thus Zigmants Gencs, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court, assesses amendments to the Civil Procedure Law of December 19.

The proposal of the Supreme Court was even more crucial – in order to ensure professional proceedings and to accelerate adjudication of cases, to conduct cases in the cassation instance court through sworn advocates only. The Chair of the Department of Civil Cases had already indicated at the last year’s Plenary Session of the Supreme Court that implementation of institute of sworn advocates might be one of ways, how to make litigation process more professional and thus – more effective. 

Provisional statistical data indicates that in 2013 initiation of cassation proceedings was rejected in more than 70 per cent of cases received in the Department of Civil Cases under cassation procedure, because stable case-law has already been established or there were no doubts about rule of law of a judgement of the appellate instance court and case to be reviewed is of no importance in development of judicature.  It would be responsibility of a sworn advocate to have a good knowledge of judicature of cassation instance and not to delude client, submitting cassation complaint, which has no reason to be accepted.

Amendments to the Civil Procedure Law of December 19 do not provide exclusive rights to sworn advocates to represent a person in civil proceedings, but those are step to more professional proceedings and there is a hope that cassation instance will have more opportunities to review only cases, which are important for development of case-law.

 

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