6 July, 2022
The Disciplinary Court has upheld the decision of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee to recognize as disrespectful the action of senator Anda Briede, who failed to present a Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate during the state of emergency. A disciplinary penalty was imposed on the senator – reduction of salary for six months, withholding of 20% of her salary. The senator's complaint was rejected.
In two similar cases, the Disciplinary Court had already examined the issue of the judge's failure to follow the order of the Cabinet of Ministers and to present the Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate, and in this the Disciplinary Court case did not see a reason to depart from the findings already established.
The Disciplinary Court acknowledges that the obligation to present an interoperable Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate, as stipulated in the Cabinet of Ministers' order "On declaring a state of emergency", also applied to judges. Whereas, the Disciplinary Court did not consider the senator's objections regarding the competence of the Cabinet of Ministers to issue such an order, its legality and justification, stating that such an assessment lies within the competence of the administrative court and cannot be considered within the framework of a disciplinary case. The senator had the opportunity to challenge the legislation in question, but she did not do it.
The Disciplinary Court acknowledged that the Judicial Disciplinary Committee, taking into account the findings of the Judicial Ethics Commission, has properly justified its decision on the determination of a disciplinary violation (disrespectful behaviour) and the imposition of a disciplinary penalty.
The considerations expressed in the senator's complaint about the retroactive effect of the law, as well as the fact that the Judicial Disciplinary Committee had considered the case in an unlawful composition, were rejected as unfounded.
Furthermore, the Disciplinary Court has rejected the comparison of the present case with another disciplinary case, because there exists a different violation or a different action of a judge for which the penalty has been imposed.
The decision of the Disciplinary Court is not subject to appeal. It is published on the website of the Supreme Court – see here (in Latvian).
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
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