At the conference devoted to the 90th anniversary of the Latvian Association of Judges that took place on 5 April, Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chair of Council for the Judiciary, called on the Association of Judges to support judges by expanding the range of judges' interests and strengthening self-confidence. "It is necessary to make judges feel confident that they are unaffectable in their decisions as morally mature persons, thus strengthening public confidence in independent judiciary," said Ivars Bickovics.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court noted that the answer to the topic of the conference "Independence of the Judiciary: a goal of national importance or an end in itself" seems simple and self-evident. The independence of the judiciary is of national importance, since independent court and independent judges are needed by every person in the country – not merely by those whose lives are decided by the court, but also by those who have never come into contact with the court. The President recalled that the issue had been raised by the judges two years ago at the Judges’ Conference regarding the three levels of independence: external independence, the internal independence of the judiciary and the individual self-assessment of each judge's independence.

Speaking about the self-assessment of judges’ independence, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court called on judges to strengthen this independence in themselves by learning from the life experience of colleagues and other professional authorities. The Association of Judges, in turn, was encouraged to support the judges in this respect and the Chief Justice referred to the experience of the beginning of the Latvian judicial system, mentioning one of the initiatives of the Association of Judges of that time – organizing lecture cycles for judges on various, not only legal topics, aimed at expanding the range of judges' interests and strengthening self-confidence.

At the conference dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Latvian Association of Judges, Dzintra Balta, the acting-judge of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court, also gave a lecture on the relationship between the judicial communication and independence of judges.

The Latvian Association of Judges, the successor of the Association of Judges founded in 1929, currently unites more than 200 Latvian judges with the aim of promoting the protection of their mental, professional, social/material rights, strengthening the judiciary and its prestige in the country.

Part of judges of the Supreme Court have joined the Latvian Association of Judges.

The President of the Latvian Association of Judges is Juris Silins, Judge of Zemgale Regional Court, and Rudite Vidusa, Judge of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court, is one of the Vice-Presidents of the 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