28 May, 2004
On May 20, in Bucharest, Romania, at the twelfth annual judicial conference entitled "Balancing Judicial Independence and Accountability" a presentation was given by Chief Justice Andris Gulans.
Mr. Gulans spoke at the panel discussion on transparency of judicial appointment process and stressed the need for clear criteria in the selection of judicial candidates. The panel discussion was lead by Romanian Constitutional Court President, Nicolae Popa, and attended by representatives from Russia, Norway, Ecuador, and Republic of South Africa. Mr. Gulans also analyzed the problems with Latvian legislation with regard to judicial appointments and made suggestions on how to improve the situation. He suggested that for the process to become clear and transparent the committee for selection of judicial candidates should prepare a list of highly qualified judicial candidates; the list should be made accessible to the public; and the body charged with the appointment of a judicial candidate should consider only those candidates who have been included in the list.
Ninety-seven participants attended the conference that was held at the palace of the Romanian Parliament. Financial support for the conference was provided by the American Center for Democracy in corporation with The Furth Family Foundation and the Council of Europe. Latvia was represented by Andris Gulans, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Romans Apsitis, Deputy Chef Justice of the Constitutional Court.