Arnis Sauka, the associate professor of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and the Director of Centre for Sustainable Business, presented to the Council for the Judiciary the study on businessmen’s assessment on Latvian court system, which is carried out by the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.  

The goal of the study was to specify the main aspects affecting the assessment by businessmen. Those are quality of court judgements, length of adjudication of civil cases, services provided by courts and marks of corruption in work of courts.

From among all elements, which affect quality of the court system, Latvian businessmen, in accordance with study data, gave comparatively the highest assessment to services provided by courts, inter alia, work of chanceries, attitude by the court personnel and the equipment of   rooms of court hearings. At the same time, the Council for the Judiciary recognised that it was necessary to study and to analyse aspects, which establish perception of corruption, in detail, because approximately 16 per cent from among questioned businessmen recognised that, when acting as parties to a case, they came in touch with marks of corruption in the court.

In general, businessmen assess the quality of Latvian system of justice indifferently – average assessment is 2.57 in 5-point system. It shows a potential for the development of quality of Latvia system of justice, or improvement of communication with businessmen, when explaining operation and development of Latvian system of justice.  

The Council for the Judiciary also listened to assessment of the court system and rule of law in Latvia, provided by the Foreign Investor’s Council, in broader sense. Girts Greiskalns, the Executive Director of the Foreign Investors’ Council, and Maris Vainovskis, the Head of the Court System Efficiency/Investment Protection work group, were also invited to participate in conversation. They pointed out that problems being discussed by foreign investors do not differ from those the local businessmen deal with: availability of labour force, system of education and rule of law on the merits. If five years ago investors saw inefficiency of Latvian court system as the main problem, then currently foreign investors express their concerns regarding the rule of law in broader sense – as the force, including also other institutions belonging to the court system, and institutions, which do not belong to the court system, but refer to supervision over law, for example, the State Revenue Service. 

Having listened to and discussed opinions expressed, the Council for the Judiciary pointed out that it would be important to separate issues of responsibility of the court system from responsibility of other institutions and the state regarding the strengthening of rule of law in the state in general.  By reducing all negative aspects to the court system only, the society has been misled and judicial authority has been affected negatively, and that, in its turn, does not facilitate trust of businessmen and investors to Latvian court system.

The Council for the Judiciary reviewed an issue in the sitting of 25 April. 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