The statistics of the Supreme Court in 2018 show that there is a stable positive situation regarding the adjudication of civil cases. The accumulation of administrative cases has increased. Likewise, the accumulation of cases in the Department of Criminal Cases has increased, since, according to the decision of the Constitutional Court, it takes more time for a collegial decision-making on the admissibility of cases in comparison to decision adopted by one judge as it was previously.

On average, administrative cases are examined in less than a year, civil cases within 7 months, and criminal cases in less than three months.

For the third year in a row, there has been decrease in backlog of cases in the Department of Civil Cases, as well as decrease in the average length of proceedings. It is important to note that the issue of initiating cassation proceedings has been decided in the Supreme Court on average within three months from the time of the receipt of a civil case in Court.

In total, 2920 cases were received in the Supreme Court last year, which is 7% less than a year before. 2817 cases were examined. The total backlog of cases at the end of the year was 1811, which is 103 cases more than in the previous year.

One judge of the Supreme Court examined on average of 84 – 90 cases.

In 2018, statistical indicators were influenced by the necessity to change the procedure for examination of cases in the Department of Criminal Cases, in order to ensure collegial decision-making as indicted by the Constitutional Court. The results were also influenced by long term absences of judges, namely, in the Department of Administrative Cases, only 8 judges out of 10 judges were working for sufficiently continuous periods of time.

At the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court's Annual Report, the chairs of departments also mentioned other circumstances that created additional workload for senators and reduced time for fulfilment of direct duties. For example, two senators of the Department of Civil Cases, as experts in the working group set up by the Council for the Judiciary, carried out extensive research on insolvency cases for seven months in addition to their direct duties, thus examining 44 cases and 118 rulings, altogether 162 cases. In the Department of Criminal Cases on average 60 working days a year each judge performs duties arising from special laws.

Chairs of departments also pointed out significant issues – poor-quality court decisions and poor-quality cassation complaints affecting the work of the cassation instance.

On 22 February, the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court was held, in which the work of the Supreme Court in 2018 was evaluated and the priorities for the year 2019 were determined.

 

 

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