“Questions of independence of courts in European Union countries are similar. Independence of judicial power has been declared in all countries and, in general, it has been implemented, but the topical question is how to improve, to strengthen and perfect practical mechanism of provision of this independence”, says the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics, after coming back from General Assembly of Chiefs Justice of Supreme Courts of the European Union countries.

General meeting of heads of the highest court instances on March 19 in Dublin, Ireland, was organised in two parts. First was the General Assembly of Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union, in which there had been discussed directions and forms of further cooperation.

In the second part, the colloquium named “Practical aspects of independence of the judicial system” three work sessions were organised in the framework of discussion, in which basic reports about protection of independence of judicial system, conditions of work of judges and relationship of judicial system with other institutions have been given, and also in discussions there have been analysed these aspects of provision of independence in concrete countries.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court I. Bickovics makes a conclusion that mechanism and conditions, how independence of judicial system has been provided in Latvia, are similar to those in other countries of the European Union. However, so important aspect, as remuneration of judges, places Latvia to one of the last places in Europe. If, for example, in Germany annual wages of the judge of the highest court instance is 95 000 euro, in Denmark - 197 500 euro, in Ireland - 257 872 euro, then in Latvia it makes only 33 411 euro per year. Smaller wages are only in Croatia and Slovakia.

The Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union was created in 2004. The aim of organisation is to promote exchange of opinions and experience regarding case-law, organisation and functions of work of highest courts, especially, regarding their operation related to application of legislation in law of European Communities. General meeting of members or General Assembly has been held once every two years.

Information prepared by

Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece

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