21 November, 2011
Budget request of courts is supported
In its session on the 21st of November, the Board of Justice supported budget request of the Supreme Court and budget request of regional courts and district (city) courts, summarised by the Ministry of Justice, for year 2012.
The amount of budget request of regional courts and district (city) courts for year 2012 is planned to be 28 301 144 Latvian lats, which is for 284 486 lats less than the budget of year 2011. Financing for remuneration is reduced for 170 486 lats, as it was single compensation paid to judges related to inclusion in united wages’ system. When implementing system of electronic summons, prognosis for incomes from delivery and issue of subpoenas and other court documentation is reduced for 130 000 lats and expenditures for these services are reduced respectively.
The amount of budget request of the Supreme Court for year 2012 is planned to be 2 931 358 lats, which is for 30 951 lats less than in year 2011. Decrease of the budget of the Supreme Court is also related to single compensation allocated to judges in 2011, when judicial wages were included in united remuneration system.
Budget request of courts supported by the Board of Justice will be advanced to the government for approval of the state budget for year 2012.
Plan of territories of operation of courts and court houses is supported
The Board of Justice supported project of regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers about territories of operation of courts and court houses. Regulations are to be adopted in new wording, as departments of land books have been annexed to district (city) courts as from the 1st of January, 2012, and it is necessary to determine territories of operation of those.
Territory of operation of departments of land books annexed to district (city) courts will correspond to territory of operation of district (city) courts; however, several exceptions are planned. Riga city Vidzeme Suburb court will include department of land books, and its territory of operation will include the entire Riga city. Riga district court will include the department of land books, and territory of its operation will correspond to territory of operation of Riga district court and Sigulda city court. Daugavpils city court will include the department of land books, and territory of its operation will correspond to territory of operation of Daugavpils city court and Kraslava district court.
Amendments to Judicial Disciplinary Liability Law are not supported
The Board of Justice hasn’t supported amendments to the Judicial Disciplinary Liability Law, advanced by the Ministry of Justice, which provide to change composition of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee.
Amendments to the law provide to reduce representation of judges of the Supreme Court in the Judicial Disciplinary Committee, including the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General as permanent members of the Committee. Moreover, it has been planned that the Ombudsman, the representative of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, representatives of judicial associations and, in particular cases – the representative of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, may participate in sessions of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee with deliberate functions.
The Board of Justice believes that creation of the Disciplinary Court in the Senate, in which it is possible to appeal against decisions of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee, reduces risk of influence of corporate relations, when reviewing disciplinary cases.
Representatives of regional courts and district courts expressed their support to previous representation of judges of the Supreme Court in the Judicial Disciplinary Committee. Extending the Judicial Disciplinary Committee with representatives of executive power, other institutions of judiciary or society would not promote independent and objective review of disciplinary cases of judges. At present, the Minister of Justice is authorised to initiate disciplinary cases about judges of all instances, so he should participate in review of disciplinary cases initiated by him. However, including the Prosecutor general in composition of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee, situations can occur, when the Prosecutor General participates in deciding upon delivery of materials of disciplinary case to him/her to decide on possible criminal responsibility of a judge.
Proposal was declared in the Board of Justice to extend the opportunity to appeal against decisions of the Judicial Disciplinary Committee, providing such opportunity also to a person, who initiated the disciplinary case. It was proposed to think about creation of united disciplinary committee of judiciary.
Courts are determined for execution of duties of a judge
The Board of Justice stated that Liene Mikulane, appointed in the post of a judge of a district (city) court by the decision of the Saeima of the 3rd of November, will execute judicial duties in Riga city Latgale Suburb court.
In its turn, on the 3rd of November already, adopting the decision in written proceedings, the Council of Justice instructed Inese Belicka, the judge of Aizkraukle district court, to execute duties of a judge in Zemgale regional court in the period of a vacancy of a judge.
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