On February 6, 2004, by a secret ballot at the Supreme Court’s plenary session, Aija Branta, the current Justice to the Supreme Court Chamber of Criminal Cases, was recommended to the Saeima (Parliament) to be confirmed to the Satversme (Constitutional) Court. The plenary session voted for her candidacy out of a pool of three candidates suggested to the post by the Latvian judiciary. The other two candidates were Uldis Kinis, Chief Judge of the Kuldiga District Court, and Andrejs Grube, a Judge at the Kurzeme Regional Court.

Justice Branta will be able to meet with the Saeima’s (Parliament) Judiciary Committee only after March 1, 2004 because this week she is leaving for training in Italy. Last year, she applied for a two-week training seminar on international criminal law at the University of Florence, Italy, and recently learned that she has been awarded a stipend to attend the seminar.

Aija Branta joined the judicial system in 1975 as a court reporter at the Riga City Kirova Borough People’s Court. From 1984 to 1992, she worked as a judge at the Tukums District Court. In 1992, the Saeima (Parliament) confirmed Ms. Branta to the Supreme Court.

Justice Branta received her law degree from the University of Latvia in 1983. In 2000, she received a master’s degree in law, with a specialization in social sciences.

Justice Branta is fluent in Russian and English. She has served as an expert on the Council of Europe’s panel of experts that developed recommendation on the new methods and the role of the courts in prevention of juvenile crime. Justice Branta was also a member in the working group on the ratification of by-laws of the International Criminal Court.