25 February, 2019
Out of 2817 rulings adopted by the Supreme Court last year, 1149 rulings are available in the Latvian courts’ portal, and since the beginning of 2018, not only judgments are being published but also decisions on ancillary complaints.
However, as Anita Zikmane, the Head of the Division of Case-law and Research, pointed out at the Annual Plenary Session for the report of the Court’s performance in 2018, the most outstanding issue is the supplementation of the case-law on the website of the Supreme Court. It has always been a valuable source of information for law-appliers.
In 2018, 124 rulings of the Department of Administrative Cases, 104 rulings of the Department of Civil Cases and 65 rulings of the Department of Criminal Cases were published in the archives of case-law rulings on the website of the Supreme Court.
Decisions of the Department of Criminal Cases that are not included in the Court Information System are also published in these archives. Similarly, the publication of judgments adopted in closed hearings continues, provided that the findings contained therein are essential for the uniform application of the legal provisions. Last year, three such rulings of the Department of Civil Cases and four rulings of the Department of Criminal Cases were published.
Part of rulings are published only with titles, thus extending the range of those rulings that are interesting from the point of view of the application of law, however such rulings do not contain a separate court finding to be formulated as a thesis. In 2018, such rulings with the title only were 41% of the rulings added to case-law archives.
The Supreme Court has begun co-operation with the Latvian website of legal provisions likumi.lv, in order to include in it references to essential findings of the Senate. The results of the project should already be available in March.
The second part of the work of the Division of Case-law and Research is related to the study of legal issues and the issues of case-law. In 2018, seven summaries of case-law were prepared: on the issues of application of the Land Register Law, on insolvency cases, on hate speech and freedom of expression, on general principles of tax law, on civil protection of honour and dignity. Two more summaries of the Supreme Court case-law are in the making – on claims subject to jurisdiction of administrative courts and on competition cases.
In 2019, in the area of administrative law, it is planned to update the summary of the case-law of the Supreme Court on claims subject to jurisdiction of administrative courts, to prepare summaries on cases regarding the Financial and Capital Market Commission, on issues of application of value added tax and on issues of access to information. In the field of civil law, it is planned to prepare a summary of the main findings of case-law in matters of rent of shared ownership and issues of guarantee rights. In the area of criminal law, it is planned to finalize the summary on the application of penalties, as well as to prepare an overview of the case-law issues regarding the Moneyval report. The issue of compensation for damage related to unpaid taxes has also been raised and work on the findings of the Senate and the European Court of Human Rights regarding the admissibility of evidence will be continued, extending it to the standard of proof.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
E-mail: email@example.com, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211