Having got acquainted with draft law “Amendments to the Investigatory Operations Law” prepared by the Ministry of Interior and discussions regarding this issue, the Council for the Judiciary agreed to regulation planned that the court is a responsible institution which accepts obtaining of data to be stored from electronic communications merchants.

At the meeting of State Secretaries, when reviewing prepared draft law, the question whether the court or the prosecutor’s office should be responsible institution for accepting of obtaining of such data remained uncoordinated. Discussions on this issue arouse also in the sitting of the Council for the Judiciary.

When elaborating the draft law, it was established that processing of data to be stored stipulated in the Electronic Communications Law, which is performed by law enforcement bodies, may significantly injure individual’s right to respect for private life. Thus, proposal to amend Paragraph Three Section 7 and Paragraph Five Section 9 of the Investigatory Operations Law was included in the draft law to ensure prior prosecutor’s review regarding request of data to be stored, similarly as it is envisaged in Paragraph One Section 192 of the Criminal Procedure Law. However, the Prosecutor’s General Office objected against such amendments, pointing out that respective prior judicial review should be given to the competence of the court.

The Council for the Judiciary, having conceptually agreed with involvement of courts as independent institutions in this regulation, turned attention to the fact that with current number of judges and financing it is impossible to provide prior review within the Investigatory Operations Law operatively, not harming to execution of functions stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Law. Delegating of additional functions to courts may cause threat to ensuring of the right to termination of criminal proceedings in reasonable term, which is guaranteed to persons, and it would endanger reforms implemented previously, which were directed to efficiency of proceedings, in particular, in respect of civil cases. 

Thus, determination of courts as responsible institutions to accept actions stipulated in the Investigatory Operations Law is supported with the condition that necessary additional financing should be provided in the state budget for this purpose.  

The decision was adopted by the Council for the Judiciary in the sitting of 1 December. See information on all issues reviewed in the sitting here

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211