7 May, 2008
The Judicial Ethical Commission the first meeting of which was convened by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on April 7, elected Visvaldis Sprudzans, the judge of the Zemgales Regional Court, in the position of the Chairman of the newly establsihed body of the judicial self-management, and Dace Mita, the Senator of the Supreme Court – in the position of the Deputy Chairman.
The members of the Ethical Commission, getting mutually acquainted and outlining the further work of the Ethical Commission, acknowledged that they are aware of the great responsibility and hopes which the judges, as well as the society have in their work. However, here in Latvia, there is no experience how to organize the work of such commission, and at the present moment there is no clear concept in what way the commission will function. The members of the commission understand that the work they will deal with will be hard and public. However, Dace Mita, the Deputy Chairman of the Ethical Commission considers that the goal of the commission is not to show the society that the judges are doing something, it is more important that the judges in their work make use of the conclusions drawn by the commission. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Andris Gulans wished them to handle and cope with the problems which other judicial self-management bodies have not managed to solve. In his opinion, the judges expect assistance and support from the Ethical Commission, and the society – explanations regarding situations which cause perplexity. A. Gulans compared the members of the Ethical Commission with the pioneers who take up something new in Latvia. The authority of this institution will depend on how the newly elected Ethical Commission will manage to start its work.
The Judicial Ethical Commission was formed at the Latvian Judicial Conference on April 11, with the election of 10 members: the Chairman of the Bauskas District Court Iveta Andzane, the judge of the Riga City Centra District Court Dzintra Balta, the judge of the Tukuma District Court Adrija Kasakovska, the judges of the Riga Regional Court Inguna Amolina and Marika Senkane, the judge of the Zemgales Regional Court Visvaldis Sprudzans, the judge of the Riga Region Land Register Department Mara Balode and the judge of the Valmiera Land Register Department Lolita Marovska, and the Supreme Court Senators Dace Mita and Ilze Skultane.
The establishment of the Judicial Ethical Commission is stipulated by the amendments to the law “On Judicial Power” adopted in the Saeima (Parliament) on April 3. The Ethical Commission is a collegiate institution of the judicial self-management the main goal of which is to present conclusions on violations of ethical standards, as well as to explain and highlight the standards of judicial ethics. The Regulations of the Judicial Ethical Commission state that the commission will review possible ethical violations of concrete judges, as well as will prepare the explanation of the standards of the Ethical Code of the Latvian Judges. At least once in two years the commission will summarize and prepare for publication the conclusions of the commission and the explanation on interpretation and application of ethical standards. The work of the Judicial Ethical Commission is ensured by the Court Administration.
Information prepared by
Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece
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