In accordance with recommendations given by the Council’s of Europe Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) and amendments to the law “On Judicial Power”, the condition of implementation of standard of terms of adjudication of cases in courts has been implemented since 2014. Chairs of courts must plan and annually determine work goals regarding the average terms of adjudication of cases in the court and observe actual execution of these terms. The Council for the Judiciary, in its turn, in accordance with the law, has approved Guidelines for determination of standard of terms of adjudication of cases in courts. 

To ascertain implementation of standards in praxis, the Council for the Judiciary surveyed Chairs of courts on benefits, improvements and efficiency brought to courts by the standards.

The conclusions of the survey point out that implementation of standards do not prove right, if they have been implemented apart from joint system, only on the basis of recommendations of international organizations.  In general, Latvian Chairs of courts assess previous implementation of standards reservedly, not seeing contribution thereof to the improvement of the system. 64 per cent of Chairs of courts recognise that standards do not affect terms of adjudication of cases; however, in 36 percent of courts control over observation of standards is carried out on the basis of different criteria. Planning of terms of adjudication of cases has become particularly unpredictable after introduction of mechanism of transfer of cases to the Civil Procedure Law, when cases may be transferred from one court to another for faster examination. As members of the Council for the judiciary point out – those may be even approximately 20-25 per cent of cases, which have been transferred in accordance with the law.  

Having recognised that standard of adjudication of cases still may be useful work tool in work of both Chairs of courts, when following terms of adjudication of cases, and policy-makers in process of taking decisions, the Council for the Judiciary considered it necessary to improve Guidelines for determination of standard of terms of adjudication of cases in courts, observing the previous experience and urgencies of Latvian court system.

The Council for the Judiciary adopted the decision at the sitting of 21 March. See information about all issues reviewed at 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