26 January, 2022
Respectfulness and fairness towards a person – these principles were always observed in the judgments of Senator Dace Mita. Unfairness – this is the verdict of fate, ending her life at such an early age.
The Supreme Court has lost a capable judge and a wonderful colleague – one with a broad mind and a deep heart. The judiciary has lost a person who could inspire and assure, who had high ethical standards. This is an indescribable loss for the whole Latvian state.
Dace Mita graduated from the University of Latvia in 1995 with a master's degree in human rights and democratization from the University of Padua in Italy. These fields of study became the core values of her professional activity. Human rights and democracy were not just formal terms for Dace, but the deepest life values.
From 1997 to 2003, Dace Mita worked as a consultant to the Legal Commission of the Saeima (parliament) and as a consultant to its Legal Bureau. One of the most historically significant laws, in the development of which Dace (then Āboliņa) participated, was the Administrative Procedure Law.
Administrative law became the work of Dace’s life, and, when forming a new branch of the Latvian court system - the administrative courts, in 2004, she became the first judge of the Administrative Regional Court. Two years later, at the age of 32, Dace Mita was already a senator in the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate.
At the Latvian Judges' Conference in 2008, Dace Mita encouraged the colleagues to form the Judicial Ethics Commission and was elected Deputy Chair of the Commission. The first composition of the Commission laid a solid foundation for the new institution of judicial self-government. Dace took part in a working group that developed a communication strategy for the Latvian judicial system and participated in the compilation of the findings of the Judicial Ethics Commission. In 2020, she was re-elected to the Judicial Ethics Commission. She was trusted, she inspired.
Last year, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Administrative Procedure Law, in a video interview with lawmakers, Dace Mita said the words that had always been with her and will remain in our memory as the senator's highest working principle, "A state cannot be legal or democratic if it forgets about the feelings of its people. The state cannot be democratic and legal without bearing in mind that everything is based on human dignity. That human is not just a column in an excel spreadsheet against which you robotically make a decision. We are indeed talking about human lives, and we must remember that [...]. Legal provisions can be applied in different ways – more grammatically, more teleologically, more systemically. It is very important to remember what is behind the letters, behind the numbers, behind what is formally written [...]. As soon as we begin to forget about core values, other things are no longer that important.”
Dace Mitas' contribution to the establishment and strengthening of public administration, human rights and the administrative procedure is enduring in the history of the Latvian judicial system. Colleagues remember Dace as a balanced, responsible, creative, very bright, sincere and deeply humane person.
The Supreme Court expresses its deepest condolences to Dace's husband, European Court of Human Rights Judge Mārtiņš Mits, son Edvards and daughters Beāte and Maija.