Memories of the creators of the Administrative Procedure Law recorded in video interviews and a film
20 December, 2021
On December 17, the film “Person, State, Judge. Administrative Court”, which is created from conversations with the drafters of this year's anniversary hero – the Administrative Procedure Law.
"This is a film about memories, about the ideas that were in the minds and hearts of the people who drafted the Administrative Procedure Law more than 20 years ago," said Veronika Krūmiņa, Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate, before the film was delivered to viewers. She said the idea of capturing working group’s memories has been in the minds of many people for a long time already. At the time when planning the events of the centenary of Administrative Justice and the 20-year anniversary law of the Administrative Procedure, several circumstances miraculously coincided, which allowed to implement this idea.
In order to preserve the history of the drafting of the Administrative Procedure Law, eight video interviews have been carried out with the drafters of the Law - Egils Levits, Arvīds Dravnieks, Jautrīte Briede, Veronika Krūmiņa, Gunta Višņakova, Dace Mita, Normunds Salenieks, and Uldis Pētersons. The video film “Person, State, Judge. Administrative Court” has been created on the basis of these interviews.
The project manager of the film, Jānis Geks, a legal research counsel in the Department of Administrative Cases, admits that it has been a great challenge to make a 20-minute film from almost nine hours of interviews. When creating the content, it was decided to focus on the administrative court, where a person, the state and a judge meet. The composition of the film is based on the past-present-future perspective. Firstly, there is looking back on the drafting of the law, on the necessity of the law, on what the administrative court was intended to be, and on what the judges should be. There is also an insight into the administrative court as it is today. Finally, there is a view to the future - the well wishes of the drafters of the Law to the administrative court.
Jānis Geks was not only the film project manager, but also an interviewer and a conversation facilitator. Before the film premiere, he disclosed the most important lessons he had learned from working on this project. First, it is a precise and clear understanding of why the Law was created exactly as it is and why a separate administrative court was created. The Law actually contains a ‘textbook’ on the legal principles, which was the most effective way to change legal and public thinking at that time and to focus on a different way of thinking – thinking in values. With the creation of new courts, the goal was easier to achieve.
Another finding from interviews with lawmakers is how not to get burned out and not to fall into a routine that is relevant to any job – including that of a judge and a judge assistant. The third gain is "an opportunity to get to know the speakers better, whose personalities inspired me and motivated me to work on this project as passionately as they did 25 years ago," said Jānis Geks. He compares the film to a dowry chest full of treasures – a source of strength and inspiration.
In 2021, administrative courts celebrated two anniversaries. The Law on Administrative Courts was adopted 100 years ago, which laid the foundation for administrative justice in Latvia, and a new, modern Administrative Procedure Law was adopted 20 years ago. The events of centenary of administrative justice were dedicated to the celebration of these two events, including the recording and preservation of the memories of the creators of the Administrative Procedure Law.
- The film “Person, State, Judge. Administrative Court” can be viewed on the website of the Supreme Court, as well as on the Youtube channel of the Supreme Court, see here (in Latvian).
- Full interviews with the drafters of the Administrative Procedure Law can also be viewed there.
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 286522