Authority of the Chief Justice

The print version

The work of the Supreme Court is managed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, nominated by the Plenary Session from among Judges in office and appointed by the Saeima (the Parliament) for five years. The one and the same person may hold the office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for not more than two terms in turn.

Section 50 and 501 of the law "On Judicial Power" defines the competence of the Chief Justice, which is related to organisation of work at the Court. The Chief Justice:

  • is entitled to participate in adjudication of cases in the Senate;
  • convenes and participates as a voting member in sittings of the Chairs of the Senate's Departments to decide on questions submitted by a judge or a court about case jurisdiction;
  • convenes general meetings of senators of departments to discuss topical legal issues;
  • determines standard of terms of review of cases and supervises actual terms of review of cases in the Senate.

Authority regarding issues upon the composition of the Supreme Court judges corps. The Chief Justice:

  • submits to the Council for the Judiciary recommendations on the total number of judges in the Departments of the Senate;
  • nominates candidates for the office of the Supreme Court judge for approval by the Saeima and determines the department of the Senate, in which a judge shall serve;
  • according to a proposal of the general meeting of senators of corresponding department appoints a judge of one department to the office of a judge of the another department; 
  • submits recommendations to the Saeima on dismissal of a judge of the Supreme Court from office by his/her own will, due to being elected or appointed to another position or because of reaching the maximum age for holding the office as set in the law, as well as in cases stipulated by the law, dismisses a judge from office;
  • submits recommendations to the Council for the Judiciary on a judge of regional court to be instructed to substitute a judge of the Supreme Court in case of vacant position or absence.

The law “On Judicial Power” stipulates the competence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court with regard to the entire judicial system of Latvia. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:

  • chairs the Council for the Judiciary
  • defines procedure for selection and processing of information to be included in case-law database  
  • may submit request to the Judicial Ethics Commission on  interpretation and violation of ethical standards
  • participates with advisory rights in the sittings of Judicial Qualification Committee.

 Competence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is also defined in other laws.

  • The Law on Disciplinary Liability of Judges defines right of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to initiate disciplinary proceedings in all cases envisaged in the law with regard to judges of all courts
  • submits a recommendation to the Saeima on the appointment to office of the Prosecutor General and fulfils other mandates defined in the Law on Prosecutor’s Office, related to the appointment, release or dismissal of the Prosecutor General
  • in accordance with the Advocacy LawLaw on Bailiffs and the Notariate Law, accepts the oath of attorneys, bailiffs and notaries upon their coming into office
  • The Investigatory Operations Law states that the Chief Justice or Judge of the Supreme Court, especially authorised by him/her, gives accept to measures of operational activity performed in a special way – the control of correspondence, reception of the information from technical means, confidential interception of non-public conversations and operational penetration.