Basis of authority and functions

The print version

An independent judicial authority exists in the Republic of Latvia alongside legislative and executive authority.

In the three-instance court system of Latvia, the Supreme Court or the Senate is the third, or the highest level court, which adjudicates cases at the cassation instance. 

The basis of Supreme Court authority is laid down in the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia. Articles included in Chapter 6 of the Constitution entitled “Courts” state that in Latvia, court cases shall be heard by district (city) courts, regional courts and the Supreme Court; judges shall be independent and subject only to the law; judges shall be confirmed in the office by the Saeima (the Parliament) and they shall be irremovable.

The establishment, structure and competence of the Supreme Court is set out in the law “On Judicial Power”. The Law stipulates that the Supreme Court may also be called the Senate, which is a historical name of the cassation instance in Latvia.

The procedural laws – Civil Procedure Law, Criminal Procedure Law and Administrative Procedure Law – define the procedure for hearing cases under the cassation procedure.

Basic functions of the Supreme Court

  • Administration of justice at cassation instance
  • Review of cases in the Disciplinary Court
  • Creation of uniform case-law and development of legal thought
  • Approving special investigational activities  and the requests for disclosing confidential information at the disposal of credit institutions

Additional functions of the Supreme Court

  • Ensuring the operation of the Council for the Judiciary
  • Informing and legal educating of society

Institutions functioning under the auspices of the Supreme Court

  • Chapter 13.1 of the law “On Judicial Power” stipulates that the work of the Council for the Judiciary shall be led by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and its work shall be ensured by the Secretariat of the Council for the Judiciary which is a structural unit of the Supreme Court.