About events

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About events

30 April, 2008

Three of the four nominees to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court refuse to candidate at the present moment

The work group established to lead the procedure of nomination of a candidate to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has received proposals regarding four judges who could be nominated as the possible candidates at the Plenary Session or the general meeting of the judges on May 9. Three of the four candidates have written applications stating that they do not agree to be nominated to this position and revoke their candidacy and withdraw from the number of nominees to the position. However, according to the head of the group Gunars Aigars, the process taking place till the Plenary Session is only of an informative nature and raising discussions, but it is not binding for the judges during the Plenary Session. In the course of the Session, the same or other candidates may be nominated, and the candidates may, as well, take their decision to accept the nomination or revoke their candidacy during the Plenary Session.
28 April, 2008

Lavins appointed in the position of the Senator of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate

On April 28, the former Chairman of the Administrative Regional Court Aldis Lavins was appointed in the position of the Supreme Court Judge. Under the order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court he was appointed in the position in the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate. Approval to advance Lavins to the position of the Supreme Court Judge was given by the Judicial Qualification Panel and the Judicial Commission of the Saeima (Parliament). The Saeima passed the decision on confirmation of Aldis Lavins in the position of the Supreme Court Judge on April 17.
25 April, 2008

Guidelines of the policy of application of criminal punishment under development at the conference

On Friday, April 25, about 200 judges, prosecutors and law specialists participated at the conference “Punishment application policy” organized by the Supreme Court in which the Supreme Court presented extensive study prepared in cooperation with the law specialists on punitive policy implemented by the regional courts as the first instance courts and the Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court as the appellate instance. The law experts Andrejs Judins and Valentina Liholaja note that in the last years the practice of application of punishments in the Latvian courts has improved, however, there are still many judgments which vary and are unclear. The goal of the conference was to ensure uniformity in the application of law standards through the discussion of current issues of interpretation of the law standards. The judges working in work groups “General principles for the determination of punishment”, “Lawfulness and justice in the determination of punishment” and “Determination of punishment after several criminal offences and several judgments” analyzed and discussed the recommendations included in the study. At the closing each of the work groups gave the opinion regarding these suggestions and prepared proposals for further actions. Two of the work groups expressed also proposals for amendments to the legislation.
24 April, 2008

The conference will analyze the study and work out the guidelines for the policy of application of criminal punishment

On Friday, April 25, the Supreme Court organizes the conference “Application of punitive policy” where the conclusions of the study on the court practice and the recommendations suggested in the course of it will be discussed and the guidelines of policy of application of criminal punishment will be further developed. The goal of the conference – to ensure uniformity in the application of law standards through discussions of current issues of interpretation of the law standards. The Supreme Court in cooperation with the specialists in criminal law has completed the most extensive summary of the court practice regarding the punitive policy to date implemented both by the first instance courts and the Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court as the appellate instance.
21 April, 2008

Discussion on application of plea bargaining in USA and Latvia

On April 21, three US lawyers from New Jersey – regional court judge Stanley Richard Chesler, defense attorney Richard Coughlin and the prosecutor Marc D. Larkins visited the Supreme Court to discuss the application of plea bargaining in the pre-trial process. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Andris Gulans when telling his colleagues from America about the standards of the Latvian Criminal Procedure Law and the latest legislation initiatives stressed that, in his opinion, Latvia also needs a more extensive application of plea bargaining. The guests told that in USA plea bargaining during the pre-trial process is applied for about sixty years already, and a prosecutor is rather free in his actions. The judge Chesler pointed out that on the federal level and in separate states there are different models. For example, in federal courts if the accused admits his guilt, the plea bargaining is settled between the attorney and the prosecutor, it is recommending for the court, however, the judges are free to decide upon the punishment. And, in some states there is a practice that the plea bargaining is settled jointly by the attorney, the prosecutor and the judge, but in other states a judge may decline plea bargaining, as well. When asked which model is more effective the guests noted that each of them is effective in the specific environment because both the local peculiarities and the court work load is taken into account.
17 April, 2008

Decisions guilty – not guilty or not guilty – guilty are analyzed

The Division of Case-law of the Supreme Court has published analysis of the court practice prepared in cooperation with the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate regarding criminal cases in which verdicts of guilty have been passed instead of reversed verdicts of not guilty, and verdicts of not guilty – instead of reversed verdicts of guilty. The main conclusion: when dealing with issues of qualification of criminal offences, the initiators of the proceedings have to use more widely the cognitions included in the case-law which contain indication to a correct settlement of the mentioned issues. During the research 208 court rulings in criminal cases were analyzed which were heard in 34 Latvian courts in the first instance, which became effective in the period from 2004 till 2007, as well as the court rulings of the appellate instance and cassation instance in these criminal cases. The mentioned court rulings relate to 257 persons regarding who a verdict of not guilty was passed in one of the court instances.
17 April, 2008

Saeima confirms Aldis Lavins in the position of the Supreme Court judge

On April 17, with 75 votes for, 0 – against and 4 persons – abstained, Aldis Lavins, the Chairman of the Administrative Regional Court was confirmed in the position of the Supreme Court judge. Aldis Lavins was born in 1973, in 1996 he graduated from the Latvian Academy of Police with the diploma of a lawyer, afterwards he received his master’s degree in law. He worked in the Economic Police, in the Department of Civil Law of the Latvian Academy of Police and the Legal Department of the State Treasury.
15 April, 2008

Administrative judges visit the Court of the European Communities

The Supreme Court Senators Dace Mita and Rudite Vidusa visited the Court of the European Communities in Luxemburg on April 8 – 9. The group consisted of 20 people, basically the administrative judges from the Administrative District Court, the Administrative Regional Court and the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate, as well as several representatives from the Ministry of Justice. As it was noted by the judges of the Court of the European Communities Egils Levits, this was the biggest group of judges from Latvia which has ever visited the Court.
15 April, 2008

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court meets with the State President

The State President Valdis Zatlers when meeting with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Andris Gulans in the Riga Castle on April 15 was interested in four most current issues: the work and problems of the Supreme Court, the establishment of the Judicial Ethical Commission, the intended amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law and the procedure of nomination of a candidate of the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court informed about the results of the work of the Supreme Court in 2007 and the mounting problem – the increase of the number of pending cases. It is connected with the insufficient number of judges which cannot be increased due to the lack of premises in the Supreme Court. A. Gulans informed the president also about the conference on the punitive policy which is organized by the Supreme Court on April 25. The State President was interested in the Judicial Ethical Commission which was established in the judicial conference on April 11. Due to his busy working schedule V. Zatlers could not participate in the conference himself.
14 April, 2008

The Judicial Disciplinary Panel applies punishment not in every case

The Judicial Qualification Panel has managed to dispel the view that it is a punitive institution the only goal of which is to punish – it was stressed in the report of the Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel Andris Gulans at the conference on April 11. Out of seventeen disciplinary cases brought in 2007, in eight cases the Panel applied punishment – reprimand, in four cases – a warning. For the first time in one of the cases an unusual measure of punishment was imposed – decrease of the amount of salary for 20% for a period of one year. However, three disciplinary cases were just heard at the meeting, and in one event the disciplinary case was terminated.