February 15, in the framework of the Shadow Day the Supreme Court was attended by ten pupils from Skriveri, Cesvaine, Islice, Smiltene, Ventspils and Riga. They learned about the daily work routine of a judge of the Supreme Court.

The day began with a brief presentation of the Latvian court system and structure and authority of the Supreme Court. Then “shadows” went to their “shadow givers” - judges of the Department of Civil Cases Marika Senkane and Valerijans Jonikans, judge of the Department of Criminal Cases Aija Branta, judge of the Department of Administrative Cases Rudite Vidusa, legal adviser to the Administration Ilze Leja. One of the pupils - Eliza from Riga Grammar School of Nordic Languages - had the opportunity to “shadow” both– the Chair of the Department of Criminal Cases Peteris Dzalbe and scientific advisor of the Department of Criminal Cases Janis Baumanis. As Eliza in her cover letter mentioned her Research work which she developed on the topic of forms of prevention of corruption in Latvia, the conversation with the judge and scientific advisor was particularly valuable in continuing ongoing research.

Pupils highly appreciated discussions with   their “shadow givers” and acknowledged that experience gained during the day strengthened the interest in studying in the sphere of law.

During the day pupils met with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics. The Chief Justice, while speaking about legal profession, told that during his studies in secondary school he had to choose among professions of lawyer, historian or journalist, and the decision was made in favor of studies in the Faculty of Law. However, the Chief Justice never regretted it. Although the work of judge is hard in psychological meaning, as decisions made will always be unpleasant for somebody, 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 or conflicts between people.

At the end of the day the pupils watched a film about the history of the highest court instance “Latvian Senate 95 - yesterday and today”, they walked through the historic corridors of the Palace of Justice, visited courtrooms and the Supreme Court museum.

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

Tel.: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv