On 21 April, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia organized an International conference. During the conference the role of Divisions of Research of the Supreme Courts were discussed, as well as the cooperation of Courts with higher education institutions. The discussion was led by the Director of Center of Continuing Legal Education and Professional Development of the University of Latvia, Prof. Dr. iur. Kristine Strada-Rozenberga

Dr.iur. Ginta Sniedzite, Lecturer of the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia reported on case-law as important source of law. She stressed that, given that the case-law is significant source of law, it is necessary to develop in-depth analysis and processing of the case-law in Latvia, and that the Divisions of Case-law should be established also in courts of lower instance.  Head of the Division of Case-law and Research of the Supreme Court of Latvia, Anita Zikmane informed the participants of the conference about the Division’s experience in informing the public, in forming case-law and in ensuring the accessibility to the case-law, as well as in providing support for judges when adjudicating the cases. A. Zikmane emphasized the importance of case-law search tool that is easy to use, as well as analyzed a variety of functioning models of Divisions of Research. In turn, Judge and Technical Cabinet Coordinator of the Supreme Court of Spain, José María Blanco Saralegui introduced participants with the work of the Research and Documentation Unit of the Supreme Court of Spain, emphasizing its importance in ensuring the legal protection, coordination of judgements and selection of appeals on grounds of cassation interest.

Prof. Kristine Strada-Rozenberga expressed satisfaction that the cooperation with higher education institutions is analyzed within the project implemented by the Supreme Court. In her opinion, in Latvia this cooperation is being developed at a good level. In turn, the Adviser to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, Aurimas Brazdeikis told about the experience of the Supreme Court of Lithuania in collaboration with universities. He said that one third of judges of the Supreme Court of Lithuania has doctorate degree and they are also working at the universities; they carry out research and publish scientific articles and books, thus providing judgments that have academic quality.

The conference, which was organized by the Supreme Court of Latvia within the project "Supreme Courts as guarantee for effectiveness of judicial systems in the European Union", was attended by more than 300 participants - judges and employees of all court instances, attorneys and other lawyers, university staff and students from Latvia, as well as judges and employees of the Supreme Courts, legal scholars from Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Hungary, France, Slovenia, Sweden, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic and Belgium. Project "Supreme Courts as guarantee for effectiveness of judicial systems in the European Union" was managed by the Supreme Court of Latvia and implemented since June 2016. The project is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice with participation of the Supreme Courts of Lithuania, Spain, and Hungary and the University of Antwerp and the University of Ljubljana. The project aims to increase the administrative capacity of the Supreme Courts, to improve work organization, to enhance the transparency of judicial work and public confidence in the work of the courts.

The working session “General organization of judicial work and role of Scientific and Research Divisions” can be streamed here.


Information prepared by Janis Supe, Project Manager