The museum of the Supreme Court has received valuable gift from Gvido Zemribo, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of restored Republic of Latvia – the manuscript of his speech presented in the United States of America in January 1991.

In January 1991, upon invitation of the Committee of Human Rights of American Bar Association, Gvido Zemribo, at that time - the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, went to international conference dedicated to human rights, which was held in New York. He arrived to United States on 18 January, and on 20 January barricades began in Riga to defend the State of Latvia.  Zemribo learned about it from American newspapers. On 24 January, he had to speak on legal issues at the Columbus University, but the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court understood that it is his duty to tell the world about events in Latvia as much and loudly, as possible. Gvido Zemribo spoke about Latvian history, occupation, fight for independence and barricades. “It was like bomb explosion,” Zemribo remembered. After the presentation, he was surrounded by journalists, invited to television, and he presented this speech once more in the New York International Relations Committee.  

Gvido Zemribo composed the speech, which was his “barricades”, and which possibly kindled also some supporting fire to Latvia in the United States, in the late evening in the hotel, in English language. Time was short, but the responsibility was huge. G.Zemribo kept the manuscript with all crossed-out phrases, markings and other emphases as great value for more than 20 years. Now, when the historical speech presented in America, is published in book about Gvido Zemribo, he wished to give valuable manuscript to the museum of the Supreme Court.  

Along with manuscript of the speech, Gvido Zemrībo also gave to the Supreme Court the book “Work makes a Man” composed by him and Lia Gulevska, writing in its beginning: “To the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia – the court, to which I dedicated more than 30 years of my life”.

In the book, which is evidence of rich life of Gvido Zemribo, important part is dedicated to work in the Supreme Court.  Zemribo had been the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for thirty years, and he was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, when Latvia restored its national independence, and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the independent Republic of Latvia. The law “On Judicial Power” was composed under his guidance.  


The speech presented by Gvido Zemribo in the US in January 1991 is available here


Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication

E-mail:, telephone 28652211