On October 24, a delegation of Supreme Court visited the Administrative Regional Court, Riga District Court in Jurmala and Zemgale District Court in Tukums to exchange experience, learn about the work of first and second instance courts, and discuss opportunities for the mutual cooperation. Seven staff members from all divisions of the Supreme Court – the Senate’s departments, Division of Case-law and research, Administration and Chancery – took part in the exchange visit.

In the Regional Administrative Court, the Supreme Court's staff met with Maris Vigants, Chair of the Court, Sanita Kanenberga, Deputy-chair of the Court, Judge Lauma Paeglkalna, and assistants to judges and employees of the Chancery. In the course of the meeting it was compared how the cooperation between judges and assistants is organized and what are the procedures for drafting of decisions in both courts. The employees of the District Administrative Court emphasized that the use of electronic signatures makes the work much easier. Maris Vigants, the Chair of the Court, noted that the Administrative Regional Court is a great place for employee growth and development, as many Administrative Regional Court employees are successful in competitions for positions in the Supreme Court.

There was a lively discussion with the employees of Riga District Court in Jurmala about various practical matters – preparation of court cases for archiving, work with electronic documents, specifics of the work of assistants to judges, methods of keeping track of observation of procedural deadlines. Supreme Court employees received valuable suggestions from colleagues on how to improve technical handling of cases in order to facilitate the work of first instance court staff when cases are returned from the Supreme Court to first instance courts. It was interesting to observe the progress on pilot project of the Riga District Court, namely, a survey of the clients of the court regarding the quality of services provided. The staff of the Riga District Court in Jurmala emphasized the importance of work with clients both in explaining the details of the proceedings to parties to proceedings and in serving the visitors who come to present documents or to get acquainted with case files.

At the Zemgale District Court in Tukums, the Supreme Court staff had the opportunity to visit at newly renovated courthouse and learn about working conditions in the new extension to the courthouse. The delegation of the Supreme Court together with Adrija Kasakovska, the Deputy-chair of the Zemgale District Court, and the court staff discussed such issues as management of the procedural deadlines, cooperation with the journalists, details of the work of the courts’ chanceries. Employees of the Zemgale District Court acknowledged that recent court reform has broadened their vision and they positively evaluate the cooperation between district courts. Supreme Court staff shared their experience on easiest ways to find necessary case-law and urged colleagues of the Zemgale District Court to communicate with colleagues in the Supreme Court if any questions arise.

This year, the Supreme Court organizes staff exchange visits to courts in regions of Latvia to better understand the work of lower courts and promote cooperation. The first visit took place in May to Jelgava courts. The judicial dialogue necessary for the unity and development of the judicial system consists of cooperation and exchange of experience not only between judges but also between judicial staff.


Information prepared by

Jānis Supe, Project Manager of the Supreme Court

E-mail: janis.supe@at.gov.lv; telephone +371 67020388