The Senate is interested in qualitative cassation complaints; therefore, it may be necessary to start thinking about the usefulness of the introduction of the system of advocates of the Supreme Court – as indicated by Aigars Strupiss, Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, in his address to the general meeting of sworn advocates of Latvia on April 12.

 “Although partial advocate proceedings have already for some years been functioning in the cassation court, they have not reached their goal, namely, the situation with the quality of cassation complaints has not significantly improved. There is no doubt that most part of cassation complaints are written professionally, but there is still too much of a poor quality,” stated the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases.

Considering the extent of the problem and the fact that a comprehensive improvement of advocates’ qualifications in these matters is not possible within a reasonable timescale, Aigars Strupiss believes that the introduction of the Supreme Court advocates' system should take place concurrently with an implementation of “pure” advocate proceedings, as is the case in several Western European countries. Proceedings before a cassation court are sufficiently different from the proceedings in which a case is heard on its merits and require special qualifications.

When addressing sworn advocates, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases also drew attention to the fact that advocates belong to the judicial system, which in turn is an essential part of the national legal system. Therefore, as Aigars Strupiss pointed out, the bar association is not a private business in which profits are in the first place, but the rest is subordinated. “Belonging to the judicial system is not an empty phrase. It grants rights and imposes obligations, both legal and ethical,” marked Aigars Strupiss.

It is not uncommon for a person who has an objective truth to lose a case because of a poor-quality claim, appeal or cassation complaint or due to lack of qualitative legal aid, etc. There are cases where the court can help in such situations, but these are limited cases, because the court must act within the limits of the claim. The Chair of the Department encouraged lawyers to cooperate in solving the issues of the judicial system. In order to increase public confidence in the judiciary, the solution must be complex, involving all parties – the Senate, regional courts, first instance courts, the bar association.

 

Information prepared by

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

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211