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Senate about the Constitution (Satversme)

"Our Constitution is what is written, plus how the Senate interprets it. Speaking of paradoxes, it could be said that the explanations of the Senate are an integral part of the Constitution.”

Arveds Bergs, one of the authors of the Constitution

2022 is the 100th anniversary since the adoption and entry into force of the fundamental law of Latvian state – the Satversme (Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia. The events of many institutions will be dedicated to this event, and the Supreme Court will also emphasize the contribution of the Senate to strengthening the fundamental values ​​of the Constitution – democracy and the rule of law – and to ensuring the fundamental rights of the individual.

The Supreme Court will implement the project “Senate about the Constitution”, which will study and analyze how the Senate reads and interprets the values ​​set forth in the articles and principles of the Constitution. In the findings of the Senate we can find both the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution and the guidelines for their application. The findings of the Senate are an important source of law.

It is planned that the summary of the findings of the Senate will be published in printed form and will be available on the website of the Supreme Court. There will be discussions between senators and other lawyers, as well as a conference on the role of the Senate in ensuring the basic values ​​of the Constitution.

There will also be other activities dedicated to the centenary of the Constitution, which will be organized both by the Supreme Court itself and the Court will also be involved in joint events organized by other institutions and the judicial system.

Conference "The Role of the Supreme Court in Strengthening the Values ​​of the Constitution"

Judges of the Supreme Courts of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria and the Czech Republic participated in the international conference organized by the Supreme Court of Latvia. The first part of the conference was dedicated to challenges of applying constitutional norms today. The second part focused on the constitution as a source in the rulings of the Supreme Courts.

Exhibition “Senate to the Constitution”

The exhibition tells about the role of the Latvian Senate and senators in the development and implementation of the Constitution during the interwar period, as well as the contribution of the Supreme Court to restoring and strengthening the values ​​of the Constitution after the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Latvia.

Book “Senate reads the Constitution”

On May 27, 2022, the book " Senate reads the Constitution" was opened. The book tells about the Constitution in the Senate's rulings. The book contains two studies. The case law of the Latvian Senate during the interwar period on the application of the Constitution has been compiled by Jānis Pleps and Jānis Priekulis, doctors of law. The summary of the modern Senate's findings in court rulings has been prepared by the Division of Case-Law and Research of the Supreme Court.

Discussion “Constitution in the hands of a judge”

In the discussion, lawyers talk about the court as an intermediary between the Constitution and the person, about the judge as the interpreter of the Constitution. The discussion is chaired by Edvīns Danovskis, assistant professor of the Faculty of Law of Latvian University. Participants: Edīte Vernuša, former senator of the Department of Civil Cases, Ieva Višķere, senator of the Department of Administrative Cases, Jānis Pleps, associate professor of the Latvian University, and people who have studied law but work in other fields – actor Gints Andžāns and writer Māra Svīre.

  • Discussion (in Latvian, the Supreme Court Bulletin)

Messengers of the Constitution

Ten judges of the Supreme Court and three employees had agreed to serve as messengers of the Constitution in the educational campaign of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education and Science for students "Me, You and the Constitution". By giving guest lectures in Latvian schools, they introduced students to the Constitution, its values and importance in our everyday life.

Senators post tweets on the principles, values ​​and application of the Constitution

In order to stimulate reflection on how the principles and values ​​of the Constitution live in our daily lives, including in relation to court cases, a senator's opinion on the values, principles and application of the Constitution will be available every week in the Twitter account of the Supreme Court.

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  • Hashtags #Satversme100 and #SenatsparSatversmi  

Lawyers immortalize the Constitution in video readings

In anticipation of the centenary of the Constitution, the editorial board of journal “Jurista Vārds” is implementing an unprecedented video project – an article of the Constitution is read by a lawyer well-known in Latvia. Senators and employees of the Supreme Court have also taken part in video readings of the Constitution.

Participation of senators in discussions, conferences, publications dedicated to the Constitution

Discussion "Turning point: 10 years since the language referendum". Veronika Krūmiņa, Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate, speaks on the role of administrative courts in the protection of constitutional identity.

Special issue of journal “Jurista Vārds” - a collection of essays dedicated to the Constitution. Senator Jautrīte Briede: Family; Chief Justice Aigars Strupišs: A Fair Court; Senator Veronika Krūmiņa: Justice; Senator Anita Kovalevska: Socially responsible state; Senator Valerijans Jonikāns: Fairness

Yearly Calendar of the Supreme Court

The cover of the 2022 calendar of the Supreme Court is decorated with findings from Senate rulings. Of course, this is only a small part of the wide range of valuable findings ​​identified within the research. However, they symbolically characterize the role of Senate rulings, namely, to serve as the basis for the application of law.