While recognizing that specialized judges are necessary for a high-quality proceedings, the Council for the Judiciary does not give consent to the creation of a separate specialized economic court. The Council for the Judiciary acknowledged that the establishment of such a court is currently lacking sufficient arguments and justification, as well as an assessment of the consequences.

The members of the Council for the Judiciary pointed out that if the aim of setting up a new court is the specialization of judges, then such specialization already exists in the current justice system. In recent years, three major reforms of the judiciary aimed at improving the quality of judicial work have been carried out: transition to “clean” three-tier justice system, integration of land registry judges in general courts, as well as territorial reform of courts by merging district courts precisely with an aim to ensure specialization of judges. The benefits of the reforms implemented have not been assessed, but a new reform has already been proposed. It does not contribute to the stability and systemic development of the justice system.

Whereas, if the purpose of formation of specialized court is faster examination of cases, the concept does not include the evaluation of current causes for lengthy proceedings, such as shortcomings of procedural laws, issues in prosecution, investigation or in directing of court proceedings. The members of the Council for the Judiciary pointed to procedure for hearing cases laid down by procedural laws, which, for example, requires witnesses to be heard five times. The creation of a new court without amending the procedural laws will not have the expected effect.

In addition, the Council for the Judiciary noted that the establishment of a specialized court could increase corruption risks, create an uneven workload for judges, and make access to courts more difficult if there was just one specialized court in the whole country.

The Ministry of Justice was invited to seek other solutions for the use of financial and human resources in order to make the work of courts more effective.

 

 

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