18 February, 2014
Changes in procedure of fixing of course of a court hearing, which according to amendments to the Civil Procedure Law, are implemented in civil cases since January 4, have not made life of judges and court employees easier, but contrary – made it more time-consuming, incomprehensible and unsafe. Such conclusion was expressed both judges during video conference organised by the Court Administration and members of the Board of Justice, having listened to information of the Ministry of Justice on implementation of new procedure in courts.
According to new procedure, course of a court hearing shall be fixed fully using technical means, making only limited remarks regarding this action in minutes of the court hearing. Participants of a case shall not be given right to submit written annotations to the minutes anymore. Material obtained as a result of use of audio record or other technical means shall be annexed to the case and stored in the Court Information System.
Beside legal consequences regarding quality of audio record of a court hearing, other problems were identified as well, for example, uncertain action, if particular procedural actions are performed in foreign language, and action in situation, when course of a court hearing is not fixed in audio record fully or partly due to some reasons.
The Board of Justice asked the Ministry of Justice and the Court Administration to continue to analyse use of technical devices in courts, usefulness thereof and possible legal consequences in situations, when technical problems occur. The Court Administration is asked to ensure courts with appropriate qualitative equipment, training of personnel on the site in courts, and operational support to solve technical problems. In its turn, the Ministry of Justice is asked to develop guidelines, how courts should act in problematic situations, and, having analysed situation, to advance amendments to procedural laws, changing existing procedure, if necessary.
The Board of Justice will keep up with this issue also in future.
The issue was reviewed in the sitting of the Board of Justice on February, 17
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 67020396, 28652211