Three of the four nominees to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court refuse to candidate at the present moment
30 April, 2008
The work group established to lead the procedure of nomination of a candidate to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has received proposals regarding four judges who could be nominated as the possible candidates at the Plenary Session or the general meeting of the judges on May 9. Three of the four candidates have written applications stating that they do not agree to be nominated to this position and revoke their candidacy and withdraw from the number of nominees to the position.
However, according to the head of the group Gunars Aigars, the process taking place till the Plenary Session is only of an informative nature and raising discussions, but it is not binding for the judges during the Plenary Session. In the course of the Session, the same or other candidates may be nominated, and the candidates may, as well, take their decision to accept the nomination or revoke their candidacy during the Plenary Session.
The names of the judges who are nominated as the possible candidates to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall not be disclosed by the work group till the Plenary Session of May 9. The general meeting itself will decide whether the Plenary Session will be open or closed.
In June, the term of office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Andris Gulans expires. On May 9 the Plenary Session is convened to nominate the candidate to the position of the next Chief Justice which afterwards has to be confirmed in the Saeima (Parliament). The procedure under which the nomination of the candidates is done has not been set anywhere thus it is unclear who and in what way may nominate candidates. Therefore, in the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court on March 14, the judges agreed to establish a work group the task of which would be to work out the procedure for nomination of candidates to the position and to lead it till the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court.
Under the law “On Judicial Power” the work of the Supreme Court is led by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who from among the appointed judges, upon the proposal of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court is confirmed by the Saeima for the term of seven years. Andris Gulans was confirmed in the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1994, and repeatedly – in 2001.
Information prepared by
Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece
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