On February 13, 17 students from Cesis, Vecpiebalga, Liepaja, Dagda, Rezekne, Jelgava, Ogre, Babite, Valmiera, Daugmale and Riga visited the Supreme Court to get acquainted with the work of the Supreme Court and the work of a judge.

The day for students began with learning about the Latvian judicial system and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Then the “shadows” met with their “shadow givers” - senators of the Department of Civil Cases Marika Senkane, Inara Garda and Intars Bisters, senators of the Department of Criminal Cases Inguna Radzevica and Anita Polakova, legal research counsel Nora Magone, assistants to senators Santa Vigante, Renate Vernusa, Liene Ake and Santa Ratnika. Robert from the 7th grade of Riga State Gymnasium No 1 was a shadow to Chief Justice Ivars Bickovics.

Despite the fact that in daily work of the Supreme Court cases are mostly examined in written proceedings, today there were two hearings in Court and “shadows” as listeners could participate in administrative and civil proceedings. At the hearing, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate assessed the case regarding the decision of the Ministry of Defence to release the applicant from service in the National Guard. In the case under review by the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate it was necessary to decide an issue of recovery of losses due to the paid insurance indemnity.

Two students – Karina  and Eduards from the Rezekne Polish State Gymnasium – in their motivation letters regarding the opportunity to participate in the Shadow Day in the Supreme Court had mentioned the research work they were planning to carry out, therefore the conversation with senator Inara Garda was an additional impulse for implementation of the idea. Students considered conversations with their “shadow givers” to be very valuable and acknowledged that the experience gained during the day strengthened their interest in legal profession. Students were grateful for the experience gained, spending the day at the Supreme Court.

In the course of the day, the students met with Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice told the students about the three branches of the state power, the role of the Council for the Judiciary in deciding the issues important to the judicial system. The Chief Justice, while speaking about legal profession, told that during his studies in secondary school he had to choose among professions of a lawyer, historian and journalist, and the decision was made in favour of studies in the Faculty of Law. However, the Chief Justice has never regretted it. Although the work of judge is mentally demanding, as decisions can never satisfy everybody, it is a very interesting, creative work; the judges have to constantly improve themselves. Therefore, the work of a judge never becomes routine, and it is not monotonous and dull. This is the work with people and judges in their daily work must be both psychologists and educators in order to resolve situations and conflicts between people.

At the end of the day students walked the corridors of the historic Palace of Justice, looked into the courtrooms and visited the Supreme Court Museum.

"Shadow Day" – a world-wide student career development and educational event is annually organized by the Junior Achievement-Latvia. Its main task is to broaden students’ horizons and understanding of the knowledge and skills necessary for their future profession. 


Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court
Tel.: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv