10 May, 2022
On Monday, May 9, Aigars Strupišs, Chair of the Judicial Council, and Dzintra Balta, Deputy Chair of the Judicial Council, met with the judges of Latgale Regional Court to discuss topical issues of the work of the courts and of the Judicial Council.
The Chair of the Judicial Council Aigars Strupišs informed the judges of Latgale Regional Court about the strategy of the Judicial Council for 2021–2025 and the objectives of the Judicial Council for 2022. "The strategy of the Judicial Council is aimed at strengthening the independence of the judiciary and developing the guarantee of independence. Therefore, this year the independence of the judiciary in the interests of a democratic society will be discussed at the Conference of Latvian Judges on May 20,” pointed out Aigars Strupišs. The judges of Latgale Regional Court expressed support for the strategic lines of action of the Judicial Council, as well as for strengthening the judiciary's independence of the executive.
During the meeting, the Deputy Chair of the Judicial Council Dzintra Balta informed about the current events in the judicial self-government institutions and called upon the judges to actively express their opinion on the improvement of work of such institutions. "We ourselves are responsible of who enters the court system and how professional they are, so every opinion and suggestion on how we can improve the work of judicial self-government institutions is essential," said Dzintra Balta. Issues related to the selection of candidates for the position of a regional court judge, as well as the need to attract potential judicial candidates for the work at district (city) courts were also discussed. As a result of the discussion, judges drew attention to the fact that more training should also be provided for judge assistants, as judge assistants are potential candidates for the position of judge.
Discussing the work of the courts during the spread of Covid-19, the judges noted that the courts had demonstrated their ability to adapt expeditiously to emergency circumstances in order to guarantee the fundamental rights of individuals, including the right to a fair trial. Furthermore, the judges emphasized that the issue of retaining possibility to hear cases of certain categories in a written procedure, in particular in an appellate court, should be debated in the Judicial Council. The judges also pointed out that technical improvements to the electronic case management system would still be needed, as well as regular practical training in the use of the e-case platform.
At the conclusion of the discussion, Alla Šilova, Chair of the Latgale Regional Court, praised the maintenance of the direct dialogue of the Judicial Council with the representatives of the judicial system, as well as the members of the Judicial Council agreed with the judges on the best ways to keep judges informed on topicalities of the Judicial Council.
The next regional visit of the members of the Judicial Council is planned on May 23, 2022, meeting with the judges of Zemgale Regional Court, and on May 30 – with the judges of Vidzeme Regional Court.
Lana Mauliņa, Adviser to the Secretariat of the Judicial Council on communication matters
E-mail: Lana.Maulina@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020711