On Wednesday, the 13th of February, on the Shadow Day, ten pupils of secondary schools from Riga, Daugavpils, Valmiera, Cesis, Cesvaine, Karsava and Iecava visited the Supreme Court, getting acquainted daily routine of the court and work of a judge of the Supreme Court.   

For pupils, day began with brief introduction about Latvian court system and structure of the Supreme Court. The shadows visited the court hearing in the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate. Before the hearing, the senator Rudite Vidusa spoke about review of cases in cassation instance, about diversity of complaints being submitted upon state and municipal decisions, for example, complaint about decision adopted by municipality not to arrange purchase tender for provision of passengers’ transport, or claim to quash decision, which allowed construction of elevated ramp near some building. The senator also spoke about case to be heard. Having listened to proceedings, pupils admitted that it was very short, as representatives of an applicant and respondent only explained arguments mentioned in cassation complaints and they answered to questions of the court briefly as well. According to the Administartive Procedure Law, the Senate announced in the court hearing that the ruling will be available in the case on the 15th of March.

Later “shadows” joined numerous group of pupils from the 9th and the 12th grades of Riga Sampetera secondary school, which came to the lesson of law led by Veronika Krumina, the Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate.   Pupils asked questions very actively, so they learned not only about work of the court and procedure of reviewing cases, but also looked for solutions in issues they were interested in. thus, for example, pupils were very surprised that the Civil Law contains section stating children’s duties and that the children have to assist parents in housework, not asking for remuneration for it. Pupils also asked about points of contention in administrative misdemeanours faced by pupils themselves or their acquaintances.

Then “shadows” went to their “shadow givers” – senators Peteris Dzalbe, Valerijans Jonikans, Inara Garda, Inguna Radzevica, Edite Vernusa and Skaidrite Lodzina. Pupils considered conversations with their “shadow givers” to be very useful, admitting that time was needed to arrange all information in their minds.  Pupils were also surprised that their “shadow givers” were very sunny, as previously, having looked on their photos on home page, they seemed to be cross and very serious.   

Later pupils went on excursion to the museum and in the Palace of Justice, and at the end of the day they met Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice, when speaking about profession of a lawyer, told that when he was the pupil of the secondary school, choosing among profession of lawyer, historian and journalist, he decided to study at the Faculty of Law and he hasn’t regretted it even for a moment. The Chief Justice spoke about his career, how he became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Pupils were interested in how to become a judge, what education and work experience is needed.

Moreover, another “shadows” visited the Supreme Court, beside those of the Court. Thus, the Parliamentarian Gaidis Berzins brought his “shadows” for a guided tour in the Palace of Justice. G.Berzins had five “shadows”, and all of them were from Talsi.

 

Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court  

E-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211