In the sitting of 9 March, having heard information regarding decisions of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court by Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Council for the Judiciary decided to support them, namely, to re-distribute judges’ offices among departments of the Supreme Court, and to re-examine issue regarding expansion of authority of the Disciplinary Court. 

When analysing last-year performance of the Supreme Court, the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court on 6 March decided to ask the Council for the Judiciary to re-distribute two vacant judges’ offices from the Department of Criminal Cases to the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court. The Plenary Session found this re-distribution to be necessary, observing indicators of work of the court. The largest accumulation of cases pending has been preserved in the Department of Civil Cases for a long time. In 2014, the department was able to review only 40 per cent of cases processed and accumulation reached 2085 cases pending by the end of the year. To compare with other departments – number of cases pending was 505 cases in the Department of Administrative Cases and 107 cases – in the Department of Criminal Cases. The average length of proceedings in the Department of Criminal Cases is 1.3 months, in the Department of Administrative Cases – 3.1 months, and in the Department of Civil Cases – 17.2 months. 

The Council for the Judiciary agreed to proposal of the Supreme Court to change number of judges in departments and stated that there will be following number of judges: 9 judges in the Department of Administrative Cases, 8 judges in the Department of Criminal Cases, and 17 judges – in the Department of Civil Cases.

The second decision of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court was to urge the Council for the Judiciary to re-examine issue regarding reform of disciplinary liability of court system, which envisages united appellate instance in disciplinary cases of all officials related to court system. The Supreme Court does not support the fact that this function is imposed to the Disciplinary Court, which was established only to appeal against decisions adopted in disciplinary cases of judges.  

Previously, the Council for the Judiciary expressed conceptual support to determination of the Disciplinary Court as united appellate instance for all officials related to court system. However, the Council for the Judiciary recognised the decision of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court as an argument to be observed to come back to discussion on this issue and to re-examine it in one or other of following sittings of the Council for the Judiciary.

 

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