The Supreme Court in cooperation with the Judicial Training Centre commences training of judges on the methodology of civil proceedings
7 December, 2020
On December 4, almost 50 judges and court employees participated in the remote training on the judge's working method for adjudicating a civil case on the merits, organized by the Senate and the Latvian Judicial Training Centre.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Aigars Strupiss, under whose guidance the training took place, points out that the responsibility for the successful course of court proceedings lies primarily with the judge as the “host” of the proceedings. In order to properly perform this responsible task and to justify the power entrusted by the society to a fair trial, a judge must not only be familiar with the legal framework and the method of its application, but also be able to conduct proceedings effectively. Lawyers do not acquire these skills at university, so it is all the more important to systematically provide such special training for current judges and for future judges. The first step in this direction has now been taken.
In the first part of the training, which took place on December 4, the judges had the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge, the application of which will help them to handle civil cases more efficiently (faster and of better quality). Judge assistants also took part in the training, as they play a significant role in organizing the proceedings and providing the necessary support to judges.
The participants learned both about the most common shortcomings of court rulings and about the ways to prevent these shortcomings and ensure an efficient and as fair as possible outcome. The training was structured according to the progress of the case in court and the issues faced by the judge at different stages of the proceedings. The participants took part in discussions with the lecturers on the procedural issues that arise during the examination of a case, starting from the moment when an application is received in court.
In addition to theoretical knowledge, the lecturers demonstrated a number of practical tools that judges can use to deal with the case file in order to make the proceedings smoother and also to avoid delays practiced by participants acting in bad faith.
In the second part of the training at the beginning of next year, participants will have to complete and submit their independent work to lecturers, but in the third part, scheduled for February next year, participants will discuss the submitted work, solve practical tasks and discuss practical issues of legal proceedings and solutions to such issues.
"Currently, it is basically a pilot project, which, in addition to providing information to judges, has another goal, namely, to provide feedback, identifying the judges' experience, attitudes and needs to date. By summarizing the first experience, the reaction of the judges and the questions asked, the training material will be improved,” points out Aigars Strupiss. As the first such training takes place in the context of national epidemiological restrictions, he also adds: “This training was originally intended to be a practical discussion for high-level professionals, complemented by practical tasks that are not possible in a remote format in full and within a reasonable time frame. At the same time, we plan to continue the implementation of the project as far as the situation allows."
The training was managed by Aigars Strupiss, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Rihards Gulbis, Legal Research Counsel of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court.
The information was prepared by Dr. iur. Rihards Gulbis, Legal Research Counsel of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court Senate