On Wednesday, November 22, the Supreme Court was visited by Huang Yong, Ambassador of China to Latvia. The Ambassador met with Ivars Bickovics, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Cooperation between Latvia and China already takes place both in the sphere of education and culture, and the Embassy of China has an interest in expanding mutual cooperation – including also the sphere of justice.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court introduced the Ambassador to reforms of the judicial system of Latvia – the transition to a "pure" three instance judicial system and the territorial reform of the courts. The Ambassador also learned about changes to the structure of the Supreme Court, the liquidation of the Court chambers and the creation of new division – the Division of Case-law and Research – and its role in the development of a uniform case-law, by applying also international law.

The Chief Justice spoke about the international associations of judicial system and the participation of Latvia in them, for example, in the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union. As well as he told about the functions of the Council for the Judiciary, its structure and participation in the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary. There was a discussion about the exchange programs for judges implemented by both the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union and the Latvian Judicial Training Centre.

Ambassador was interested in issue regarding the initiation and formation of judicial cooperation between the two countries; determining the contact persons for such cooperation. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court referred to the Supreme Court as the primary choice for such cooperation. It would be important to organize seminars, presentations on topicalities, for example, applications of information technologies, as it would be interesting and useful to explore the model of China. It would be binding to understand how such a large country as China ensures the creation of uniform case-law. Issues regarding qualification and training of judges would also be of interest.

Already in May 2016, during the Conference of Presidents of Supreme Courts of China and Central and Eastern European Countries, in which also the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Latvia participated, current issues of judicial systems were discussed: reforms, transparency of the work of the judiciary, the use of technologies in the courts, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, development of uniform case-law.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Huang Yong visited the Great Courtroom and the Supreme Court Museum, gaining a brief insight into the history and activity of the judicial system.

 

Information prepared by
Iveta Jaudzema, International Cooperation Specialist of the Supreme Court
E-mail: iveta.jaudzema@at.gov.lv; telephone: +371 67020396