The approval of the strategy of the Judicial Council was postponed again on 26 February, as the Minister of Justice, whose presence was considered necessary by the majority of the members of the Council to discuss the strategy, did not participate in the meeting of the Council. The approval of the strategy was postponed for the first time at the Judicial Council meeting of January 29 to allow time for the Minister of Justice to prepare written proposals.

However, outside the approval of the strategy, the Judicial Council generally decided that the strategic goal of the Council was to take over the training of judges from the executive.

At present, the training of district (city) and regional court judges lie within the competence of the Court Administration, which is an institution subordinate to the Minister of Justice. Although the recipient of the training service is the judiciary, all organizational and financial issues are dealt with by the Court Administration under the Ministry’s authority, which makes the system non-transparent and inefficient. In turn, the training of senators is the responsibility of the Supreme Court.

It would be much more effective to create a single, flexible training system for judges, which would be under the direct responsibility of the judiciary (e.g., the Judicial Council) and without executive intermediaries. This would ensure not only the efficiency of the training centre, but also its compliance with the judicial training strategy and the annual training plan approved by the Judicial Council. It would also be easier to liaise with the judiciary's self-governing bodies, the Judicial Qualification Committee, the Judicial Disciplinary Committee and the Judicial Ethics Commission, whose information is important in the development of training programmes.

At present, the Judicial Council is not involved in the any stage of the planning and monitoring process. The Council considers that the judiciary should have greater authority in matters relating to the training of judges, including the design and content of training, the planning, request and use of funding, and the overall supervision of the judicial training institution.

 

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