On the 10th of May, the Constitutional Court announced its judgement, case No 2012-16-01 “On Compliance of the Paragraph Three Section 86 of the law “On Judicial Power” with the Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia” and considered legal standard, which prohibits the judge to act in political parties, to be corresponding with the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court admitted that restriction is stated by the law and it has legitimate aim – protection of democratic state order and rights of other individuals, namely, standard contested aids to provide operation of fair, independent and objective judiciary.

The Constitutional Court admitted that standard contested serves for strengthening of authority of judiciary and existence of restriction stated in that is an advantage for a society, so the standard contested complies with commensurability principle.  

At the same time, the Constitutional Court indicated that the legislator has to follow, if legal standards execute their task really effectively, and to consider, if legal regulation is still effective, appropriate and needed and if it should be improved in some way.  Although standard contested complies with principle of commensurability, the legislator in future may assess further necessity of restriction stated in that in democratic society.

The judgement is final and irreversible; it becomes effective at the moment of proclamation.

The case was initiated in the Constitutional Court upon application of Janis Neimanis, the senator of the Department o Administrative Cases of the Senate of the Supreme Court, who believes that standard of the law “On Judicial Power”, which has been contested, restricts judge’s fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia to unite in political parties incommensurately.  Submitter of the constitutional complaint had indicated that he wanted so that his opinion about processes taking place in society would be represented and expressed adequately, but an individual can’t influence political processes in the state effectively, being in status of voter only, thus he would like to act in political party.   

However, the Board of Justice and the Supreme Court and the Latvian Association of Judges, which were invited persons in the case, expressed an opinion that prohibition to join the post of the judge with affiliation in political parties and other political organisation should be preserved.  

 

You can read more about judgement of the Constitutional Court here

Text of the judgement is available on the home page of the Constitutional Court, see here

 

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