The data base of the case-law of the Supreme Court is available for public reading in judicial portal
19 August, 2009
In the future any interested person will be able to get acquainted with the data base of the case-law of the Supreme Court in the judicial portal of the Ministry of Justice www.tiesas.lv. Previously it was available to public only in the home page of the Supreme Court, but to judges and employees of the Supreme Court – in Judicial information system.
Also in the future the Division of Case-law will prepare juridically the most significant and interesting decisions of the Senate to be published in the home page of the Supreme Court www.at.gov.lv and they will be available in the section Court information/Court decisions, dividend by the Departments of the Senate and years, when they had been made, starting from year 2002. In its turn, the data base of the case-law in judicial portal has broader possibilities of searching: there is possibility to filter decisions by types of cases, by sections and subsections of law and by law principles.
At present, in the data base of the case-law of the Senate there have been placed 667 decisions: 178 decisions of the Department of Civil Cases, 240 decisions of the Department of Criminal Cases and 249 decisions of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate. The Head of the Division of the Case-law Zigrida Mita marks that main criterion of selection of decisions is juridical interest that has been raised by the decision, and its usefulness in creation of the case-law. There have been selected decisions that replenish the case-law, reflect the tendency of understanding of law, position of the Senate in evaluation of facts and application of law. In the data base there have been placed decisions, which have been dedicated to some general law principle, interpretation of law standard, methodology of filling of law gap, and further creation of law. However, decisions of the Senate, which change constant case-law or solve point of contention of general nature, are also to be published.
In year 2008 in the data base of the case-law 12,3% of decisions of the Department of Civil Cases, 11,5% of decisions of the Department of Criminal Cases and 26,6% of the decisions of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate were placed. To be compared, Z. Mita mentions study that, for example, in France only 10% of decisions of Cassation Court were “educative and useful”. In rest cases there were only “simple procedural questions” or decisions that were “made and confirmed long time ago”, being repeated.
The creation of the data base of the case-law is responsible and very intensive work, Z. Mita stressed. The adviser of the Division of the Case-law together with the senator and the Chair of the department of the Senate decide, if conclusions, expressed in the decision of the Senate, have principal meaning and juridical weight or interest, then in decisions selected in form of theses and titles summarizes legally founded conclusions, used for argumentation of the sentence. Before being placed in the data base of the case-law, decisions have been anonymized according to procedure stated by Cabinet of Ministers, replacing data that would allow identifying private person with appropriate references.
Names of judges, prosecutors and sworn advocates have not been deleted in the decisions, thus improving quality of decisions and responsibility.
The creation of uniform case-law is one of the basic functions of the Supreme Court. According to parts 4 and 5 of Paragraph 28.6 of the law “About Judicial power”, the Supreme Court creates the data base of the case-law, but procedure of selection and processing of information included, after coordination with Ministry of Justice, has been stated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In the frame of judicial information system the data base of the case-law has been formed since 2005, but it became available for the society only now.
Information prepared by
Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece
E-mail: email@example.com, telephone: 67020396, 28652211