Division of Case Law of the Supreme Court in cooperation with specialists in law has accomplished a research on connection of structural elements of rulings and methods of their development with the legal quality of rulings. The research was done on basis of analysis of rulings adopted by the Department of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court, and is intended for the Department of Criminal Cases. In the joint session of September 25, the senators of the Department learned and analyzed the conclusions of the research.
The general goal of the research was to summarize the basic principles for preparing the rulings of the Department of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court, to analyze the contents, especially the applied methods of argumentation and argumentation technique, as well as to sum up the problematic issues on how to make the rulings more complete and thus to increase their legal quality.
The research was accomplished with analysis of more that 200 rulings passed by the Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate in 2004 – 2005, when the contents of rulings of the cassation instance court was stipulated by Article 462 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as well as selected rulings adopted in 2006. With the Criminal Procedure Law coming into effect the requirements for preparing the rulings and contents of the rulings have not changed essentially, therefore the topicality of research conclusions remains. At the same time, as noted the Chairman of the Department of Criminal Cases Pāvels Gruziņš, quality of rulings has already considerably improved, argumentation in the motivation part of rulings has improved especially. Besides, several suggestions given in the conclusions of the research regarding the form of rulings have already been implemented, and their style has become more uniform.
Several conclusions and suggestions of the research raised discussions among the senators. For example, should a ruling of the cassation instance court comply with the same principles which have to be followed when preparing and adopting a ruling of the first instance court, should detailed information regarding the accused be included in the rulings. It was discussed whether the descriptive part of a ruling should contain also conclusions of the court which had passed the appealed and protested rulings, whether to substantiate the rulings both “for” and “against” arguments should be used mandatory, as well as application of court practice as a method of argumentation.

September 26, 2007
Information prepared by Division of Communications of the Supreme Court
Author: Rasma Zvejniece, Manager of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court
E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 7020396, 28652211