On July 2, Jean-Philippe Rageade, Director of the European Academy of Law, Jaroslav Opravil, Course Director and Coordinator for Cooperation with Latvia, and Anna Skrjabina, Manager of the European Social Fund Projects of the Court Administration, visited the Supreme Court of Latvia. They were met by Dzintra Balta, Deputy Chairperson of the Judicial Council, and Solvita Harbacevica, Adviser to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on matters of the Judicial Council.

The Director of the Academy of European Law (ERA) introduced the Latvian colleagues with the new 7-year development strategy, as well as with the activities carried out during the COVID crisis – the ERA shifts to the provision of online training courses. In this way, in 2020 it has been possible to provide course attendance for about 5,000 participants. The Director of the ERA predicted that the online format would continue to be widely used after the end of the COVID crisis. In terms of content, the areas of anti-discrimination, gender equality, competition and environmental protection were highlighted as priorities.

Dzintra Balta and Solvita Harbacevica informed the ERA representatives about the operational strategy of the Judicial Council for 2021–2025, as well as about developments in the procedure for selection of judges and in the organization of judicial training. The Director of the ERA highly appreciated the cooperation with the Latvian Judicial Training Centre and praised the professionalism of the staff of the Centre.

During the meeting, the participants also discussed the methodologies used by the ERA in organizing the training for judges and lecturers, as well as spoke about the training offer in the areas of EU law principles and EU case-law in matters of the rule of law.

During the day, the guests also met with Anita Zikmane, Head of the Division of Case-law and Research, and discussed the practical seminars, current challenges and future solutions, in order to make use of existing experience to improve the availability of seminars without losing quality. The need to develop digital skills in the use of resources, such as for the use of various databases, possibly by making it as part of a daily training course program, was also discussed.

The Academy of European Law is the leading educational institution in Europe providing training in the European Union law for the legal professions. Since the end of 2016, Latvia is one of the 28 member states of the European Union, which is represented in the ERA Management Board.

The ERA is one of the most active cooperation partners of the Court Administration and the Latvian Judicial Training Centre. Cooperation with the ERA has provided a wide range of education on topical issues to judges, court staff, prosecutors and investigators.


Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court
Tel.: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv