29 February, 2016
The Supreme Court finished the year 2015 with several positive indices related to adjudication of cases.
Number of cases received has decreased. Number of cases receivedin the Supreme Court has decreased per nearly one-third. In2015, 3562 were received in the court, which is per 1374 cases less than in previous year.
Number of examined cases has increased.If in 2014, the Supreme Court reviewed 54 per cent of cases being adjudicated, then last year those were 60 per cent.
Accumulation of cases has decreased. Accumulation of cases,comparing to previous year, has decreased per 25 per cent. In the beginning of 2015, there were 3943 cases pending at the Supreme Court, and 2955 cases – at the end of the year.
The Department of Civil Cases examined 500 cases more than in 2014, and received 174 cases less than previous year – therefore, the department has adjudicated 53 per cent of cases being processed and was able to decrease accumulation of cases per 21 per cent.
The Department of Criminal Cases has still examined the largest number of cases, by percentage –85 per cent of cases being adjudicated. However, it is 92 cases less than in previous year, and, although number of cases received was 20 cases less than previous year, accumulation of cases in the department has increased per 20 per cent.
The Department of Administrative Cases has the largest increase of accumulation of cases – per 25 per cent. Although the department reviewed 84 cases more than in previous year and, in general, those are 61 pr cent of cases being adjudicated, accumulation of cases increases, because in 2015 the department received 63 cases more than in previous year.
The Chamber of Civil Cases adjudicated 825 cases last year, and transferred 68 cases to another court. At the beginning of the year, there were 507 cases being adjudicated by the chamber.
At the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court, having analysed trends of litigation proceedings of the last year, Edite Vernusa, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases, pointed out that, comparing to previous year, number of ancillary complaints to be examined by the department almost doubled, and number of applications on initiation of the case due to newly discovered circumstances increased 3.4 times. Proposal: amendments to the law, stipulating that examination of ancillary complaint may be refused in the assignment sitting, if the appealed decision is correct; determination of the state fee for the application on newly discovered circumstances and deciding on these applications in the appellate instance.
Peteris Dzalbe, the Chair of the Department of Criminal Cases, pointed out that after liquidation of the Chamber of Criminal Cases the department overtook cases on admissibility of extradition, and additional duties, which follow from the special laws. By sense of time discharge of these duties, in total, took approximately three months from judges’ work. Proposal: amendments to the special and procedural laws, revising this additional function imposed to the cassation instance.
The Department of Administrative Cases explains that number of received cases increased due to increase of number of judges in the regional court, and, consequently – faster circulation of cases in the appellate instance; amendments to the procedural law, stipulating that decision on progress of cassation complaints and ancillary complaints is taken by the department of Administrative Cases, instead of lower courts, as it had been previously. Veronika Krumina, the Chair of the Department, pointed out that work load of the department is increased also because of procedural issues and due to the fact that particular categories of cases have not been appealed in the appellate instance, but straight under cassation procedure. Proposal: not to stipulate exceptions from three-level court system and improvement of quality of reasoning of rulings and organisation of work of courts of lower instances.
The Plenary Session of the Supreme Court, where the performance of 2015 was analysed, was held on 26 February.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
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