28 November, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the Regional Administrative Court judgment dismissing the application of trade-union "LABA" on annulment of the decision of CPCB (Bureau for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption), thus imposing obligation on trade-union to provide information on the use of funds in organizing picket in support of the Chair of Riga City Council on 3 December 2013. The Supreme Court considered that Administrative Regional Court fairly recognized the Bureau’s request for information lawful.

The Supreme Court recognized applicant's argument unjustified that the request for information shall subject trade union to CPCB. Although information request imposes legal obligation to provide necessary information, the autonomy of trade-union activities is not affected. Independence of trade-union does not mean that the state is denied the right to verify trade-union’s or other persons’ conformity with the law. Judgment of the SC is not subject to appeal.

Responding to an application related to the use of Riga City taxpayers' money to finance political activities, CPCB on the basis of the Section 10, paragraph 1, clause 4 of the  Law on Bureau for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption  requested the applicant – trade-union  "LABA" – to provide information on whether this specific picket for the support of the Chair of Riga City Council was financed by trade-unions’ financial resources, as well as to submit to CPCB copies of all payment documents and invoices  related to the picket.

Considering that the request interfered with independence of trade unions (also in respect of financial flow), applicant submitted an application for annulment of administrative act.

Having heard the case on appeal, Regional Administrative Court rejected the application. The Court concluded that Section 4 of the Law "On Trade Unions" should be interpreted in conjunction with other provisions of this Law. Consequently trade unions could not resist implementation of decisions of public authorities. In turn, CPCB request was made in connection with inspection of activities of public officials and in accordance with the competence of the institution.

Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court

Tel.: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv