The print version

Judges of the Supreme Court in September 2020
First row from the left: Arturs Freibergs, Vesma Kakste, Jautrite Briede, Veronika Krumina, Aigars Strupiss, Anita Polakova, Normunds Salenieks, Inara Garda, Zane Petersone; Second row: Andris Gulans, Anda Briede, Sandra Kaija, Inese Laura Zemite, Marika Senkane, Inguna Radzevica, Aija Branta, Rudite Vidusa, Anita Kovalevska, Lubova Kusnire, Diana Makarova, Livija Slica, Valerijs Maksimovs; Third row: Peteris Opincans, Ivars Bickovics, Anita Cernavska, Inta Lauka, Dzintra Balta, Ieva Viskere, Aivars Uminskis, Kaspars Balodis, Intars Bisters, Aivars Keiss


The judges or senators of the Senate ensure the basic function of the Senate – the hearing of civil, criminal and administrative cases at the highest instance.

The total number of Senate's senators is set by the Saeima, upon recommendation of the Council for the Judiciary, and the number of senators in departments is set by the Council for the Judiciary, upon proposal of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

As from 2017, the number of the senators approved by the Saeima is 36.  The decision of the Council for the Judiciary stipulates that there shall be 16 senators in the Department of Civil Cases, 9 senators in the Department of Criminal Cases, and 10 senators in the Department of Administrative Cases. 

Only Latvian citizens, reputable lawyers may work as judges. A person may become a judge of the Supreme Court after reaching the age of 40. The candidates for the judge’s office are selected in an open competition.

A candidate for the office of a judge of the Senate may be:

  • a judge of a district (city) court or a judge of regional court judge with at least 10 years of total service in the office of judge;
  • a tenured judge of a district (city) court or a regional court, who holds a master’s or a doctor’s degree;
  • a person with at least 15 years of service as a faculty member of a higher educational establishment in law, as a sworn advocate or in the office of prosecutor;
  • a former Justice of the Constitutional Court, a judge of an international or supranational court.

A Supreme Court judge is confirmed in the office by the Saeima, upon proposal of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, for an unlimited term. 

If a person being already a judge approved by the Saeima in a lower court is nominated for the position of a judge of the Supreme Court, the decision shall be adopted by the Council for the Judiciary. If a person who is not a judge is nominated for the position of a Supreme Court judge, he/she shall be approved by the Saeima without setting a time limit for the term of office.

The maximum age for serving as a judge is 70 years.

The judge has the civil rights and freedoms defined in the Constitution and other laws of the Republic of Latvia, which the judge exercises so as not to hurt the respect and honour of the court and the judge, judicial impartiality and independence. judges may unite in organisations that safeguard their independence, promote development of their professional qualification, protect their rights and interests; however, the office of judge is incompatible with membership in political parties and political organisations. The judge is prohibited to go on strike.

Obligations of a judge

  • In administering justice, a Judge shall comply exactly with the requirements of the law, shall ensure safeguarding of human rights, freedoms, dignity and respect, shall be fair and humane; 
  • A Judge has no right to disclose the secret of judges’ deliberation and classified information obtained at closed court hearings;
  • Outside court a Judge shall avoid anything that could impair the authority of court judgement and the judge’s dignity, or could give rise to doubts about his impartiality and fairness; 
  • A Judge must ensure that a ruling, which has been laid out as a single procedural document,  is processed and put in the Court Information System;
  • A judge may not participate in the adjudication of a caseif he or she is personally, directly or indirectly, interested in the outcome of the matter, or if there are other circumstances which cause doubtsregarding his or her impartiality, as well as in the cases provided for in the Law On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials. In these cases, a judge must recuse himself or herself;
  • A Judge shall constantly expand his knowledge for the whole duration of judge’s career. To promote continuous professional growth of a Judge during the whole his or her career, the Judicial Qualification Committee provides regular assessment of professional activity of a Judge once in five years. Extracurricular assessment is performed, when deciding on transfer or substitution of a Judge.