27 February, 2007
Last week the members of the Judicial Disciplinary Panel gathered in a meeting to discuss the proposed amendments to the Regulations of the Panel. During the discussion of the proposals, the Disciplinary Panel concluded that amendments to the law “On Judicial Disciplinary Responsibility” are necessary, as well. However, as the draft law on judiciary, which will regulate also functioning of the Judicial Disciplinary Panel, already is in the Saeima (Parliament) for the 2nd reading, and after the adoption of it the Law on Judicial Disciplinary Responsibility loses effect, the participants of the meeting agreed that it is more purposeful not to prepare amendments to the old law, but to submit suggestions for the coming one.
In the meeting where beside the members of the Panel the representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Association of Judges and the Supreme Court took part, five topical issues were discussed: whether the meetings of the Disciplinary Panel are open or closed, whether the materials of disciplinary cases are information of general or restricted accessibility, whether a member of the Panel may participate in adoption of the decision if he/she has initiated a disciplinary case; how to ensure timely preparation of decisions, how to fix the course of the meeting of the Panel.
After several hours of discussions the Disciplinary Panel agreed to state in the Regulations that a person who has initiated a disciplinary case does not take part in adoption of a decision. As the Chairman of the Administrative Regional Court A. Lavins noted, a member of the Panel when deciding on initiation of a disciplinary case or proposal on lifting disciplinary sanctions has already expressed his/her opinion regarding a respective judge.
It is expected that in the next meeting of the Judicial Disciplinary Panel on February 28, the amendments to the Regulations will be adopted, but the work on proposals regarding the draft law will continue.
The Judicial Disciplinary Panel is a self-management institution of judges which hears disciplinary cases on disciplinary and administrative violations allowed by judges of district (town) courts, land registers, regional courts and the Supreme Court. The work of the Disciplinary Panel is regulated by the law “On disciplinary responsibility of judges” and the Regulations of the Judicial Disciplinary Panel. Judicial Conference elects ten members to the Disciplinary Panel who represent all the levels of courts. According to the law, the Panel is led and its work is ensured by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Information prepared by Anita Kehre, Head of the Administration of the Supreme Court
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