Being aware of the fact that the promotion and maintenance of high standards of judicial ethics is a matter of responsibility of each judge, Latvian judges have adopted the Code of Judicial Ethics and have undertaken to adhere to the principles enshrined therein, as pointed out in the preamble of the Code of Judicial Ethics adopted on February 2.

The Code of Judicial Ethics was approved at the Extramural Conference of Latvian Judges, which was attended by 484 out of 549 Latvian judges. 431 judges voted for approving the provisions of the new Code of Judicial Ethics.

The Code of Judicial Ethics consists of a preamble and five canons – independence, integrity and dignity, impartiality, competence, and compliance. Each canon contains the essence of the principle and its areas of application.

Independence: Judicial independence means both institutional independence, where the judge is independent of other branches of state power, and individual independence, where the judge is independent of the participants in the proceedings, of society as a whole and of other influences.

Integrity and Dignity: The integrity and dignity of a judge strengthens and increases public confidence in the judiciary.

Impartiality: The right to a fair trial includes the right to the impartiality of the court; this applies not only to the court decisions themselves, but also to the decision-making process.

Competence: The effective operation of a court is based on the professional skills and knowledge of a judge.

Compliance: The conduct of a judge in all his or her activities must be such as to strengthen the authority of the judiciary.

The Code of Judicial Ethics further explains the scope and principles of application of each canon.

The draft of Code of Judicial Ethics was developed by the Judicial Ethics Commission.

The previous Code of Judicial Ethics had been in force since 1995. When working with this Code, the Judicial Ethics Commission was increasingly confronted with its shortcomings, as several provisions of the Code did not correspond to modern situations, duplicated the prohibitions established by law, and some were no longer applicable.

Code of Judicial Ethics [in Latvian]


Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail:, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211