18 August, 2022
Marking the contribution of the Supreme Court (Senate) to the creation and application of the Constitution of Latvia (Satversme), the exhibition "Senate to the Constitution" was created in the Supreme Court. It is part of the project of Constitution’s centenary, within which the Supreme Court is organizing events throughout the year.
The exhibition tells about the role of the Latvian Senate and senators in the development and implementation of the Constitution during the interwar period, as well as the contribution of the Supreme Court to restoring and strengthening the values of the Constitution after the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Latvia.
At the meeting of the Constitutional Assembly of Latvia, which drafted the Constitution in 1920-1922, among its 150 members there were also senators Andrejs Sīmanis, Fridrihs Vesmanis and the Chief Prosecutor of the Senate Voldemārs Zāmuels, as well as Kārlis Puriņš, who became a senator in later years. The exhibition emphasizes both their personalities and the role of the Senate in the application of the Constitution and in the settlement of constitutional disputes, taking into account that there existed no separate Constitutional Court during the interwar period and the Senate had to carry out functions of the Constitutional Court.
The exhibition also includes testimonies about the senators' efforts in preserving Latvia's statehood after the occupation. The 1948 opinion of the exiled senators on the validity of the 1922 Constitution in the conditions of occupation is of special value. The first publication of this opinion can be viewed in the exhibition.
After the restoration of Latvia's independence, the contribution of senators to the Constitution manifests in both the participation in the development of scientific commentaries to the Constitution and in the Senate's applications to the Constitutional Court regarding the compliance of laws and regulations with the Constitution. The exhibition also highlights the cooperation between the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court – from judicial dialogue to jointly organized discussions at the LAMPA Conversation Festival. There can also be viewed an interesting collection of editions of the Constitution of Alla Spale, Head of the Secretariat of the Judicial Council, in which her edition of the Constitution which she used as a student in 1997 is included in small print on one page.
The exhibition features the robe of a Constitutional Court judge, which was donated to the Supreme Court Museum by Supreme Court Senator Ilze Skultāne, who was a judge of the first composition of the Constitutional Court.
A separate section of the exhibition tells about the centenary year of the Constitution in the Senate – there are exhibits including the calendar of the Supreme Court, conference and discussion materials, and pupils’ gifts to the messengers of the Constitution in Latvian schools. The book "The Senate reads the Constitution" published this year is of special value. Whereas the most interesting exhibit could be the senators' tweets – insights about the Constitution.
The exhibition at the Supreme Court will be on display throughout this year, which is the centenary year of the Constitution. Court visitors can freely view the exhibition in the court lobby. Other interested persons should apply and arrange the time of visit in the Communication Division.
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