The compilation of court decisions in cases on enforcement of criminal punishments imposed in foreign countries in Latvia is discussed at the general meeting of judges of the Department of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court and admitted for publication.

The purpose of the study is to analyse Latvian case-law concerning recognition and enforcement of punishment imposed in criminal proceedings carried out abroad in Latvia, and to establish problems of practical application of international legal instruments and  the Criminal Procedure Law, and to offer possible solutions to avoid them. It would facilitate and, at the same time, would ensure as qualitative application of international legal provisions to recognition and enforcement of punishments imposed in criminal proceedings carried out abroad in Latvia, as possible.  

Latvian legal regulation concerning principle of mutual recognition in criminal cases is the new one – only by amendments of 24 May 2012 to the Criminal Procedure Law the European Council Framework Decision, which envisage equal legal regulation in all Member States regarding enforcement of punishments imposed in other EU Member State, was implemented in Latvia.  Moreover, due to gross migration, number of conviction of residents of Latvia abroad increases, and therefore, number of requests for enforcement of imposed punishments in Latvia, which have been filed by foreign competent authorities, has also increased significantly. Namely, if there were 79 requests for recognition and enforcement in Latvia of judgements, by which criminal punishment was imposed, received from abroad, inter alia, from the EU Member States, in 2014 there were 161 such requests.

Authors of the compilation analysed 213 cases examined in Latvian courts between January 2012 and June 2015. The most of them are cases on recognition and enforcement in Latvia of rulings adopted in the EU Member States regarding pecuniary recovery – competent authorities have sent 180 such requests for enforcement to Latvia. Responding to requests on enforcement of deprivation of liberty in Latvia, domestic courts have initiated and examined 26 cases; moreover, courts also examined four requests regarding enforcement of alternative sanctions in Latvia and three requests of foreign countries to recognise and enforce rulings on confiscation of property in Latvia.  

Authors remind that legal regulation in field of cooperation in criminal matters, which exists in the European Union, has been applied only among the EU Member States. It was established in the study that in several cases Latvian judges did not see difference between  foreign international legal regulation and EU legal regulation, and they still continue to apply international legal provisions in respect of judicial cooperation within the EU, and vice versa – they apply legal provisions effective in the European Union, when deciding on requests of competent authorities of non-EU countries regarding recognition and enforcement in Latvia of punishments imposed by judgements in criminal cases.  

The compilation “Case-law of Latvian courts in cases on enforcement in Latvia of criminal punishment stipulated abroad” was carried out by Mag. iur. Julija Muraru-Klucica and Kaspars Kukmilks, the student at the Business University “Turiba” in cooperation with the Division of Case-law of the Supreme Court.

The study is available on the web site of the Supreme Court www.at.gov.lvin Section Judicature/ Compilations of court decisions/ Criminal law.

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

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