25 November, 2021
On November 17, with the opening of next year's calendar at the Independence Day event, the Supreme Court has marked the beginning of one of its projects for next year called “Senate on the Constitution”, dedicated to the centenary of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia.
In 2022, 100 years will pass since the adoption and entry into force of the fundamental law of the State of Latvia – the Satversme (Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia. The events by various institutions will be dedicated to this occasion, and the Supreme Court will also emphasize the contribution of the Senate to strengthening the fundamental values of the Constitution, such as democracy and the rule of law - and to ensuring the fundamental rights of the individual. The project “Senate on the Constitution” will study and analyse how the Senate reads and interprets the values contained in the articles and principles of the Constitution. In the findings of the Senate, we may find both the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution and the guidelines for their application. The findings of the Senate are an important source of law.
The first stage of work has already begun – the compilation and systematization of Senate’s findings, which pertain to the interpretation of certain provisions of the Constitution and the concretization of general legal principles. The study covers both the praxis of the Latvian Senate (1918–1940) and that of the modern Senate of the Supreme Court in translating the provisions of the Constitution.
It is planned that the summaries of Senate’s findings will be published in printed form and will be available on the website of the Supreme Court. Next year, both discussions of legal scholars and senators and a conference on the role of the Senate in ensuring the fundamental values of the Constitution are planned.
The cover of next year's calendar of the Supreme Court is decorated with case law findings in the Senate’s rulings. Of course, this is only a small part of the vast stock of values that is being identified, however they symbolically characterize the role of Senate’s rulings – to serve as the basis for the application of law. As Arveds Bergs, one of the authors of the Constitution, has emphasized - “our Constitution is what is written, besides it is how the Senate has interpreted it. Speaking of paradoxes, it could be said that the explanations provided by the Senate are an integral part of the Constitution.”
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
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