It has been envisaged that number of cases against Latvia heard in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will increase this year and in next several years, - admitted Kristine Lice, Representative of the Cabinet of Ministers before International Human Rights Institutions, when meeting judges of the Supreme Court. However, the representative indicated that it was related not with jump of number of applications received from Latvia, but with increase of Latvian lawyers in staff of the ECHR, and it will allow preparing cases faster and will promote faster turnover of those. 

At present, 150 cases from Latvia are “active” or in proceedings in the ECHR, in which the Bureau of the Representative prepares responses and opinion of Latvian government. Capacity of the bureau has become insufficient as well, so the government is asked to provide financing for additional staff units so that the bureau could work in adequate rate and quality.  

Analysing cases received in the bureau, K.Lice indicated that those are not “repeated”, but each case is so called “new” case, solving legal problem, which was not solved previously in relation with Latvia, and there is no some particular category of cases that would draw systemic negative trend in work of Latvian courts.   

Of course, problem of terms of proceedings is still topical, but, as K.Lice indicated, it would be correct to speak about reasonable terms rather than about necessity of speedy proceedings. The ECHR, when hearing cases about terms of proceedings, assesses, if courts did the best of those to provide adjudication of cases in reasonable terms – if steps were taken to discipline parties, if court hearings were appointed without incommensurate breaks, etc.  It is important so that mechanism prohibiting incommensurate delay of proceedings and mechanism of compensations to people injured as a result of incommensurate terms would be provided in the state.

In discussion with judges of the Supreme Court, representative of the government discussed compliance of Latvian legal regulations with the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, use of judicature of the ECHR in case-law, as well as cases related with work of Latvian courts, which are in communication of the ECHR with Latvian government at present.

Meeting with Kristine Lice, of the 25th of March, took place by an invitation of the Supreme Court, and it was concluded in the meeting, that it would be useful to organise such professional discussions between judges of the Supreme Court and the representative of the Cabinet of Ministers before international human rights institutions regularly. Discussion on narrow subject – investigative actions in aspect of human rights – is planned to take place in April.

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211