25 years ago, on October 3, 1995, the cassation instance – the Senate of the Supreme Court – was reinstated in the Latvian court system. This was an important event both in the field of law, as a three-tier court system was established, and in the history of the country, as the court system that existed in Latvia before the occupation in 1940 was restored. The Supreme Court celebrates this occasion at festive event on Friday, October 2.

The basis of every institution, including the courts, is a human being. The basis of the Senate is a senator – a judge who administers justice in a court of cassation. Therefore, the central event of the celebration will be a discussion “Personality of the Senator”, in which part will be taken by all Chief Justices of the restored Supreme Court (Senate) of the Republic of Latvia – Gvido Zemribo, Andris Gulans, Ivars Bickovics and Aigars Strupiss.

In order to preserve the evidence of the Court's history for future generations of judges and court employees, a gallery of portraits of former Chief Justices will also be opened in the Supreme Court.


Historical facts

  • In 1918, when forming the court system of the newly founded Latvian state, the Senate of Latvia was established as the highest or cassation instance. It operated until November 1940, when it was abolished by the Soviet occupation authorities.
  • The fundamental law of the restored judicial system of the Republic of Latvia – the 1992 Law “On Judicial Power” – stipulated that the Senate as a cassation instance and the Court Chambers as an appellate instance should be established within the structure of the Supreme Court.
  • The new structure of the Supreme Court was established by the decision No 5 of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court of October 3, 1995 “On the Establishment of the Departments and Chambers of the Senate of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia”. There were two departments – the Department of Civil Cases and the Department of Criminal Cases. The Department of Administrative Cases commenced its work on April 6, 2004.
  • In 2013, the largest judicial reform was launched – the transition to a pure three-tier court system. The Chambers of the Supreme Court were liquidated and the name of the Senate was deprived of the cassation instance.
  • Since January 1, 2017, the Supreme Court has only been a cassation instance. In November 2018, the historical name of the Senate was returned to the Supreme Court.
  • October 3, 2020 was the 25th anniversary of the restored Senate of the Supreme Court.


Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211