Conversation series with Andris Guļāns: about life, the work of a judge and his time as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
29 July, 2022
In order to record and preserve the professional and life experience of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Andris Guļāns, the Supreme Court has created a series of video interviews – three conversations with Andris Guļāns sharing his experience as a judge, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and as a human being – as personality.
His former assistant Jānis Geks talks to Andris Guļāns about his judicial career, Dina Gailīte, editor-in-chief of "Jurista Vārds" magazine discusses his time in the office if the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Aivars Pastalnieks, editor-in-chief of "Klubs" interviews him as a personality. A short film about Andris Guļāns was also created combining these conversations.
Andris Guļāns was the second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after the restoration of Latvia’s independence. He headed the Supreme Court and was the first person of the Latvian judicial system for 14 years – from 1994 to 2008. During this time, the judicial system underwent a significant transformation from the Soviet system to the Western legal system, Latvia joined the European Union, and the Latvian judicial system was also integrated into the European legal space. In the Supreme Court, the instance of cassation (the Senate) was restored, and the Department of Administrative Cases was re-established. As the Administration of the Supreme Court was established, the administration of justice was separated from the administration of the Court. The availability of case law expanded.
Andris Guļāns is asked about the ability of judges to change, about assigning of Supreme Court judges for work in the Senate and the Court Chambers, about the selection of judges coming "not from the court" to work in the Department of Administrative Cases, etc.
In conversations, Andris Guļāns is open – he talks about both the successes and failures of his life and work. As well as about public scandals, the loudest of which was the publication of the book "Tiesāšanās kā ķēķis" (Litigation Kitchen), and about internal disagreements in the Supreme Court.
Andris Guļāns served Themis for 43 years, and 41 of them he was a judge. This is his life's work. The interviews include questions about the judge's oath, the age "bar" for a new judge, and his work in the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate.
Whereas, in a conversation with Andris Guļāns as a personality, we learn that he probably chose the path of jurisprudence because of his mother's sense of justice, but he began to feel his belonging to Selonia region while working at the Supreme Court. He is honest when speaking about life's trials and open when talking about the motives of his actions.
Both the short film and the talks are available:
• On the website of the Supreme Court in the section About the Supreme Court/ Informative materials/ Video materials (in Latvian)
• On the YouTube channel of the Supreme Court (in Latvian)
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211