Seven candidates for the office of district (city) judges, who applied and had been nominated to the office of a judge in Dobele district court, Riga district court, Riga city Zemgale suburb court, Latgale suburb court and Vidzeme suburb court, have been doing fieldwork in the Supreme Court for the second week already. 

In June and July, another five candidates to the office of a judge of district (city) courts, who pretend to the office of a judge in Tukums district court, Riga district court, Riga city Kurzeme district court and Zemgale suburb court, will have in-service training for four weeks in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court participates in in-service training of district (city) judges for the first time. Fieldwork has been performed for two weeks in the Department of Civil Cases and for two weeks – in the Department of Criminal Cases. Trainees get acquainted with work of the department and examination of cases at cassation instance.  

In the Department of Criminal Cases the trainees have been given individual tasks to study concrete legal problems from the point of view of both case-law and theory and in relation to cases being examined in the department. Every trainee discusses material prepared with his or her personal judge, who is in-service training supervisor. At the end of fieldwork, the task of trainees will also be to try to prepare drafts of decisions in cases and then results of in-service training will be discussed jointly.  

In the Department of Civil Cases, each trainee also has his or her own in-service training supervisor. The task of trainees is to get acquainted with cases being examined in the department and, upon order of a judge, to prepare drafts of decisions, which later have been discussed and analysed jointly with the judge.  

Both Peteris Dzalbe, the Chair of the Department of Criminal Cases, and Edite Vernusa, the discharger of duties of the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases, recognise that it has been great additional work load for judges of departments.  There are few opportunities to vary fieldwork, as the majority of cases have been reviewed at cassation instance in written proceedings, not in the oral hearing.

However, as Peteris Dzalbe pointed out, - judges of the Department of Criminal Cases supported initiative of the Supreme Court to engage in procedure of training of new judges, as they hoped that concept of examination of cases at cassation instance obtained in the Supreme Court would be useful in work of new judges.

The Supreme Court has been only one stage in training of prospective judges. Candidates to the office of a judge consolidate their theoretical and practical knowledge also in correspondent district (city) court, regional court, the Ministry of Justice and the Court Administration. Having done in-service training, candidates to the office of a judge shall pass qualification exam. After successful passing of examination by a trainee, the Minister of Justice will submit a proposal to the Saeima (the Parliament) regarding appointment of a candidate to the office of a judge of district (city) court for the term of three years.

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211