In order to keep the testimony of 21 years long history, during which the Chambers of the Supreme Court operated as an appellate court, the Supreme Court has issued a brochure "The Chamber of Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia 1995-2016". It is a sequel to the brochure issued two years ago about the Chamber of Criminal Cases. These two publications is a story about an important stage in the history of the Supreme Court and the whole judicial system of the Republic of Latvia.  

The book is published in small print-run. It serves as a memorial edition, which will be stored in the reading-room and museum of the Supreme Court.

Book opening ceremony took place on 15 December which was attended by existing and former judges of the Supreme Court, as well as judges’ assistants and Chancery employees. The ceremony was both – conversations about the conclusion of work of the Chamber of Civil Cases and a sincere meeting with the judges who have already fulfilled their judicial duties, and court staff that currently is employed elsewhere.

The book summarizes the chronicle of major events and statistics of the Chamber of Civil Cases. It shows that during time period of 21 years - there is about 24,000 cases adjudicated in the Chamber of Civil Cases.

The book also tells stories about people who had worked in the Chamber of Civil Cases. The Chamber has had three Chairpersons – Gunārs Aigars for 19 years, later Raimonds Grāvelsiņš and Ineta Ozola. 33 judges, 31 judges’ assistants, 90 Chancery employees had worked in the Chamber of Civil Cases.

The value of the book lies in the memories of judges and staff of the Chamber of Civil Cases about the time they worked in the mentioned Court’s structural unit. The book tells stories about colleagues, assessing contribution of work of each employee and, in particular, stressing the Court's long-time Chairperson’s Gunārs Aigars role in teambuilding and maintenance of group creativity. It also tells about steady but humane management style of Uljana Gončarova, Head of office of the Chamber of Civil Cases.

The contribution of the Chamber of Civil Cases to the Latvian court system was not just thousands of adjudicated cases and establishment of appellate case-law, the Chamber of Civil Cases had also been a school for judges and court staff. 17 judges of the Chamber of Civil Cases now have become judges in the cassation instance (the Department of Civil Cases), but three former judges' assistants have become judges - Māris Vigants currently is a Chair of the Administrative Regional Court, Inese Ušakova and Inese Rubīna – judges of the Riga City Latgale Suburb Court. With regard to the role of the Chamber of Civil Cases in life of its employees and other colleagues, Māris Vīgants emphasized that the foundations built while working in the Chamber had been the starting point for further work progress, and that is why the Chamber would not be lost with the official dissolution. As long as there are people who have worked in the Chamber of Civil Cases, it will continue to exist.

Chambers of the Supreme Court were established in 1995 and were appellate courts for adjudication of cases, which were initially heard in the Regional Court. By implementation of the Latvian Judicial Reform and shift towards ‘clean’ three-instance judicial system, the Chamber of Criminal Cases terminated its work on 31 December 2014 and the Chamber of Civil Cases – 31 December 2016. Hereinafter the Supreme Court will only be the cassation instance.

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211