On October 24, the judge of the Chuvash Supreme Court Yelena Gorodniceva and the judge from the Rostov region Yelena Voronova visited the Supreme Court. They met with the judge of the Chamber of Criminal Cases Janis Tiltins and were interested in the experience of the Latvian courts in the legal proceedings regarding the juveniles.

In the Russian courts following the Canadian model the judges specialize in reviewing specific categories of cases both in the field of civil and criminal law. Each court has judges who have specialized in reviewing juvenile offences, and their work is not only to review the case, but also supervision of the rehabilitation programs for the convicted. These judges attend special training courses to work with the juveniles, attend consultations of psychologists and teachers.

The scope of responsibility of the judges who visited Latvia is legal proceedings in the juvenile cases therefore they were interested the application of the Latvian legislation regarding the juveniles, the cooperation of the courts with the Probation Service, the recommendations of the Supreme Court regarding the juvenile legal proceedings. The representatives from Russia noted that the Latvian model in this respect differs as in Latvia the judges only administer justice but they are not involved in the rehabilitation programs for the convicted. At the same time the judges admitted that the specialization of judges which exists in Russia but does not exist in Latvia in the field of criminal law proves to be purposeful.

The judge J. Tiltins outlined the statistical data regarding the juvenile proceedings. In Latvia out of the number of the convicted the juveniles constitute in average 13%. In the appellate instance this number is even less – among the cases with the involvement of the juveniles filed with the Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court it is 6-7%, this year the number was less.

Application of suspended sentences for the juveniles decreases: in 2000 a suspended sentence was imposed to 71% of the convicted juveniles, in 2007 – 60%, but this year – 55%. The majority of the crimes are committed by the juveniles in groups, but this figure also has a tendency to decrease – in 2000 75% of juvenile crimes were committed in groups, in 2007 – 67%, this year – 63%.

With the intention of exchange of experience and cooperation, the judge Yelena Voronova from the Rostov regional court (from the left) and the judge Yelena Gorodniceva from the Chuvash Supreme Court were invited to visit Latvia by the Latvian State Probation Service within the joint program with the Canadian Association of Universities and Colleges. The guests wished to visit the Latvian courts and to meet with the Latvian judges, as well.


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