21 September, 2015
The Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court has sent a letter to the Head of the Government Laimdota Straujuma and to the Ministry of Justice, drawing the attention to some problematic aspects the administrative courts will inevitably deal with, when number of asylum seekers in the country will increase. It is necessary to solve these problems simultaneously with issue regarding opportunities to accept refugees – Veronika Krumina, the Chair of the Department, points out.
Cases of asylum seekers are reviewed by the Administrative district court as the only instance; moreover, such cases are reviewed out of turn, because the law stipulates review thereof in three months, or in five working days (depending on merits of the case), respectively. Along with increase of number of asylum seekers, it has been foreseen that load of a court related to appealed decisions of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in cases of asylum seekers will continue to increase, and it will affect general terms of review of cases in the administrative court.
The Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court urges, simultaneously with issue regarding acceptance of refugees, to consider issue on increase of capacity of the Administrative district court, namely, increase of number of judges and employees of the court, and development of special support personnel in the court. Observing specification of asylum and immigration cases, issue regarding additional training for judges and employees of the court in these categories of cases must also be solved.
Also, observing the fact that courts must perform study of voluminous information regarding situation in country of origin of a person, the Department of Administrative Cases asks, along with question on quotas for refugees, to solve an issue regarding exchange of necessary information among the Member States of the European Union within examination of cases.
By increasing number of cases in cases regarding asylum seekers and refugees, interpreter’s services paid from the state budget will also increase. Therefore, it is necessary to solve an issue regarding allocation of additional funds of the state budget for this purpose.
In accordance with information provided by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, last year the Department of Asylum Affairs of the Office had adopted 72 negative decisions regarding asylum seekers, and until 31 August of this year – 111 negative decisions already. In proportion, number of applications received in the Administrative district court on decisions of the Office has increased – in 2014, there were 37 applications, and 77 were already filed this year.
It follows, in turn, from the information provided by the State Border Service that number of illegal immigrants has increased three times during last two years. Cases regarding illegal immigrants are also reviewed by administrative courts. The Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court indicates that arguments on problematic issues in cases of asylum seekers may also be referred to immigration cases.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 67020396, 28652211