10 February, 2016
On Wednesday, 10 February, on the Job Shadow Day, pupils from several regions visited the Supreme Court. Thirteen pupils from Liepaja, Madona, Daugavpils, Nereta, Mersrags, Jurmala, Carnikava and Riga became Shadows of judges and employees of the court. Participants of the Job Shadow Day followed duties of a judge, a legal adviser and an assistant to the judge in the Supreme Court with true interest.
The day for the pupils began with becoming familiarised with Latvian court system and structure and functions of the Supreme Court. Pupils learned about adjudication of cases under cassation procedure; what cases are heard by the Department of Civil Cases and what cases are heard by the Department of Criminal Cases and the Department of Administrative Cases. Due to illness of the judge, Shadows could not participate in the court hearing, where the judgement regarding the claim against medical institution for compensation of harm caused to individual’s health should be pronounced; however, Inara Garda, the judge of the Department of Civil Cases, told about the particular case, which had to be heard, and answered to pupils’ questions. During the conversation, pupils were interested in different issues – whether, when hearing the case, electronic evidence are also given importance, what a secret of deliberation room is; what was the most interesting case in judge’s work.
Then shadows went to their shadow-givers – Aija Branta and Anita Polakova, judges of the Department of Criminal Cases; Rudite Vidusa and Dzintra Amerika, judges of the Department of Administrative Cases; Ilze Leja, the legal adviser to the Administration, and assistants to judges – Edite Turkopule and Dana Cipane, assistants to judges of the Department of Criminal Cases, and Inga Klesa and Eva Viksna – assistants to judges of the Department of Administrative Cases. Pupils considered conversation with their shadow-givers to be very valuable and recognised that work in the court is not easy, it is very voluminous, but it is very interesting as well.
At the end of the day pupils met Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice, when speaking about the profession of a lawyer, told that, being a pupil in the secondary school, when choosing among professions of a lawyer, historian and a journalist, decided to start studies at the Faculty of Law, and he never regretted it. The Chief Justice told about his career, how he got into the office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I.Bickovics wished pupils to find their vocation in life, and, if it is a judge’s office, to study and go for it, both using an opportunity to learn about judge’s work by coming to court hearings and accumulating experience during practice in courts or by working as a court secretary, secretary of a court hearing or an assistant to a judge, because this experience provides the best opportunity to understand correctness of own choice.
Within framework of the Job Shadow Day, the pupils watched the movie about history of the highest court instance “95 Years of the Senate of Latvia – Yesterday and Today”.
On the Job Shadow Day, Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, also met shadows of Dzintars Rasnacs, the Minister of Justice, and of the Ministry, telling pupils in a big court room about skills and acquirements, which are necessary in judge’s work; about experience and age necessary to become working as a judge, because one may start work as a judge at the first instance court as from 30 years, and in the Supreme Court – as from 40 years.
Observing the fact that, along with the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister, the State Chancery and the Ministry of Justice work daily in the historical Palace of Justice, all Shadows, who visited the Palace of Justice came together to take the joint photo with the Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, and went on the guided tour over premises of the Palace of Justice and the Cabinet of Ministers.
Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press secretary of the Supreme Court
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