25 November, 2014
The Ministry of Justice informed the Council for the Judiciary on how the question about ensuring of security in court rooms has been solved.
To discuss measures, which, having observed judgements rendered by the European Court of Human Rights, are to be taken to avoid violations of human rights, the Ministry of Justice organised discussion with participation of representatives of courts, the Court Administration and Bureau of the representative of Government before international human rights institutions. Taking into account that placing of a person behind a metal bar is a question of practice rather than of a law, which is related to guarding procedures and security guarantee measures, the issue was discussed separately at the meeting of Secretaries of the State of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior.
It is concluded in result of negotiations that alternative solution to guarantee security of judges and participants of proceedings must be found and metal bars in court rooms are to be dismounted. The possibility to implement more modern security measures, for example, cabins made of organic glass, instead of metal bars should be assessed. However, it is related to necessity for additional financing. That is why now the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior ask judges to use videoconferencing in criminal proceedings more extensively; the Ministry of Justice would be ready to elaborate coefficient amendments to laws.
Hearing information of the Ministry of Justice, judges represented in the Council for the Judiciary expressed opinion that videoconference should be an exceptional form of a court hearing rather than a fundamental form, because it still restricts one of fundamental principles – right to direct participation in a court hearing. The Council for the Judiciary asked the ministry to continue to study experience and to solve issue regarding equipping of at least single court rooms with more modern means of security.
Decision was adopted by the Council for the Judiciary in the sitting of 24 November. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 67020396, 28652211