In Latvia there has been created a new institution of judicial system – the Board of Justice. Today amendments in the law “On Judicial Power”, accepted by Saeima on June 3, came into force, and they establish creation of such collegiate institution that takes part in work out of policy and strategy of judicial system, and also in improvement of organization of work of judicial system.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will be also the Chair of the Board of Justice. The Chair of the Constitutional court, the Minister of Justice, the Chair of Juridical Committee of Saeima, General prosecutor, the Chair of the Board of Sworn Advocates, the Chair of the Board of Sworn Notaries and the Chair of the Board of Sworn Bailiffs will be constant members of the Board of Justice. Among members of the Board of Justice there is a judge elected by the Plenum of the Supreme Court and six judges, elected by the Conference of Judges.

On August 30, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court calls the Plenum of the Supreme Court to elect the member of the Board of Justice among judges of the Supreme Court. In its turn, the Conference of judges will take place on September 3, and one member of the Board of Justice among judges of departments of land books, three members – among judges of district (city) courts and two members – among judges of regional courts will be elected. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has to call the first session of the Board of Justice not later than in one month after election of all members of the Board of Justice.

By amendments in the law “On Judicial Power” there have been reduced rights of the Minister of Justice and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court themselves to make decisions, related to judicial system or career of a single judge. Further, the decision of such decision has been given to the Board of Justice or it has been established that the Board of Justice is to be involved in making decisions. The law defines issues of judicial system, solution of which takes place by suggestion of the Board of Justice, and also cases, when it is necessary to coordinate the decision with the Board of Justice or listen to the opinion of the Board of Justice.

The Board of Justice will be involved in solution of questions about career of judges, will evaluate candidates for the post of General Prosecutor, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chair of the Constitutional Court, and also make decisions about different organisation issues of judicial system. In addition, the legislator gave the Board of Justice right to contest conformity of legal deeds to Satversme in the Constitutional Court, if they touch upon questions of judicial power.

In the law there has been provided that work of the Board of Justice has been provided by the Administration of the Supreme Court, but additional financing for operation of a new instance was not given.

The creation of the Board of Justice was planned in a new Law on Judicial System, but the workout of this law stopped in 2002. Subcommission of Saeima for the work upon the Law on Judicial System decided to include the Board of Justice to the system of existing law “On Judicial Power” and prepared appropriate amendments.
 

Information prepared by

Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211