31 March, 2011
The Board of Justice listens to report of the Court Administration about work in 2010, problematic questions and priorities
The Board of Justice in the session of the 30th of March listened to report of Edvins Balsevics, the director of the Court Administration, about results of work in 2010.
The director stressed the most topical problematic issues in provision of work of the court. Firstly, it is security in court instances. The State Police refused to execute its function established in the law “On Judicial Power” to provide officers in court, grounding it with lack of resources. Security in courts is threatened, but court finances are not enough to sign agreements with private security companies or hire its own employees.
The second greatest problem is low salaries of court employees. Average employee wages is LVL 351.61, and it doesn’t comply with volume of work, its requirements and specificity. Court employees expressed dissatisfaction with evaluation of their work and remuneration, warning about possible strike in open letter.
Keeping court archives is also a problem. The state archive refuses to take court case files free of charge, but courts do not have rooms to keep cases reviewed. The director of the Court Administration considered provision of courts with rooms suitable to be topical. Repair works in 33 court instances are planned in 2011, and there is a hope that question of complying rooms for Administrative district court will also be solved. However, it is not enough to satisfy all court needs.
The main task of the Court Administration in 2001 will be provision of work of court institutions according to the law “On state budget for year 2011”. E. Balsevics pointed out that state financing has endowed court work only in the basic level for three years already.
Implementation of system of evaluation of employees of courts and departments of Land books, improvement and modernisation of functionality of State unified computerised land book, equipment of court hearing rooms with videoconference and sound recording hardware, improvement and modernisation of Court Information System (CIS), implementation of Register of Executive Cases and improvement of IT infrastructure in courts will be priorities in 2011.
The Court Administration is direct government institution under subordination of the Ministry of Justice that organises and ensures administrative work of 34 district (city) courts, 6 regional courts and Administrative district court with 4 court houses and 28 departments of land books.
Suggestion is made to give the title of the Honorary Judge to Pavels Gruzins
The Board of Justice will give to the Saeima the proposal to give the title of the Honorary Judge to Pavels Gruzins, who finishes his work in the Supreme Court on the 1st of April.
The Board of Justice made such decision according to proposal of Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Pavels Gruzins has worked as the judge for 32 years, inter alia 24 – in the Supreme Court. Since 1990, when the Supreme Court of the independent Republic of Latvia was restored, he has been the deputy of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for more than 20 years, and since the creation of the Senate in 1995 he has been the Chair of the Department of Criminal Cases. He had worked in Judicial Disciplinary Committee for a long time, and since 2010 he has been its Chair. P. Gruzins was awarded with the Order of Three Stars and the Mark of Honour of Judicial System of I tier.
The Article 66 of the Law “On Judicial Power” states that the Saeima according to proposal of the Board of Justice may give the title of the Honorary Judge to the judge that had worked in good faith and has ended his career.
The judge of the department of Land books is instructed to replace the judge of the court of Aizkraukles district
The Board of Justice instructed Iveta Silicka, the judge of the Department of Land books of Aizkraukle to execute duties of judge in the court of Aizkraukles district in a period of temporary absence of the judge.
The Board of Justice discusses the procedure of extra remuneration of judges
The Board of Justice in its session on the 30th of March, having listened to opinions of heads of Latvian Association of Judges and Latvian Association of Administrative Judges discussed, but didn’t confirm Procedure of establishment of extra remuneration of judges and events related to extra remuneration.
According to the Part 91 of the Article 8911 of the law “On Judicial Power” the Board of Justice has to establish procedure, how judges are given extra remuneration according to the Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of Public and Municipal Institutions.
Samples of judicial robes and insignia and procedure of their use
The Board of Justice in its session on the 30th of March approved regulation on samples of judicial robes and insignia of judges of the Supreme Court, regional courts and district (city) courts, sample of insignia of the judge of the Land book department and also procedure of use, issue and disposal of judicial robes and insignias.
In the future judges will have robes of the same colours as previously: the judges of the Supreme Court will have carmine robes, judges of regional courts will have maroon robes and judges of district (city) courts will have black robes.
In contrast to previous practice the judge, while replacing the judge of the court of higher instance, will use the judicial robe of the judge of the court of conforming instance in the future. However, the judge of the Department of Land books, while executing duties of judge of district (city) court, will use robe of the judge of district (city) court together with his insignia.
Judges of the Supreme Court, regional courts and district (city) courts will have insignias also in the future. Insignia is a chain that consists of 24 hammered small coats of arms of the Republic of Latvia and central plate – the big hammered coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia. Insignia of judges of the department of Land book is a brooch that looks like coat of arms with title “The judge of the Department of Land books”.
Judges wear robe together with insignia in court hearings, in Plenary Session of the Supreme Court and in festive ceremonies, and judges of the departments of Land books wear robe and insignia while executing work duties, in judicial conferences and festive ceremonies.
The President gives an insignia to the judge, when the judge has given a vow, but the robe is given by the Administration of the Supreme Court or the Court Administration.
If the judge is removed from the post, he has to give the robe and insignia back, but, if he leaves the post on his own free will, he has rights to keep insignia and robe in his/her possession.
The identification card of the judge and procedure of its issue is also approved. Judges will receive new ID cards until the 1st of September.
Information prepared by
Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 7020396, 28652211