It is a big loss for the Supreme Court and the Latvian court system as such. The Chairman of the Department of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court Senate, one of the leading specialists of the Latvian civil law Martins Dudelis has passed away.

Martins Dudelis was born on October 30, 1939, in the village Ergeme of the Valka region. After the military service, he started to work as a simple worker in the Valmiera region and the Riga radio factory. Parallel to his work, he fulfilled his dream – he acquired the speciality of a lawyer in the University of Latvia, and in 1968 he started to work as a judge in the Liepāja town people’s court.

The professionalism of Martins Dudelis, his subtle mind and purposefulness were approved, and in 1976 he was confirmed in the position of the Supreme Court judge. For six years – from 1989 till 1995 – M. Dudelis held also the position of the Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but since the restoration of the Senate in the Supreme Court of the independent Republic of Latvia in 1995 – the position of the Chairman of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate. The Supreme Court judges by their voting in the general meeting entrusted this duty to him.


The Supreme Court Senate in the restored Latvia was established completely anew, and not only the organization matters had to be settled, a court practice had to be developed applying the restored Civil Law and other new law standards which regulated the significant processes of denationalization, land reform and other processes in the country. It was especially hard time for the courts. The organizing abilities of M. Dudelis, his authority and excellent knowledge of law at that time was of a special value in his work as the head of the highest court instance – the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate. M. Dudelis was a high-level professional in civil law, he had gained authority and respect among the Latvian judges. He skillfully applied his great work experience and excellent knowledge also in his work as a judge. M. Dudelis made a significant contribution in the development of the court practice and legal thinking. He was the author of numerous publications, he shared his knowledge and experience in the seminars organized by the Supreme Court, and in the training programs of the Latvian Judicial Training Center. His good abilities of a law analyst and his experience were used in various groups working out draft laws.

Martins Dudelis will remain in our memories as a friendly, sympathetic, warmhearted and just man with a great sense of humour. He was a big optimist also in the last years of his life not surrendering to the thoughts of the health problems. The death of M. Dudelis is a serious loss to the Supreme Court and the whole family of the Latvian judges. We express our condolences to the relatives, and grieve with them.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday, July 3, at 13.00 from the Riga Crematory.

Martins Dudelis will be buried in the Koceni cemetery, Valmiera region.


Information prepared by Division of Communications of the Supreme Court

Author: Rasma Zvejniece, Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court

E-mail:, telephone: 7020396, 28652211