Increase of role of sworn advocates, by giving them exclusive rights to represent individuals in civil proceedings, would become one of methods how to speed up civil proceedings, - Zigmants Gencs, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, at the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court.

The Chair of the Department believes that implementation of an institution of the sworn advocate would be one of methods to make litigation proceedings more professional and thus – more effective.

Number of cases in the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, in which initiation of cassation proceedings was rejected, has almost doubled. In 2012, initiation of cassation proceedings was rejected in 724 cases, which is for 360 cases more than in previous year. It makes 63 per cent of total number of cases received in the department.

“Rejection to initiate cassation proceedings was not an end in itself to review cases faster and to write less substantiated rulings. Initiation of cassation proceedings is mainly rejected in cases, when stable case-law is developed already or there are no doubts about rule of law of judgment rendered by the court of the appellate instance and case being reviewed has no importance in development of case-law”, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate has indicated.  

Z.Gencs believes that “sieve” for acceptance of cassation complaints in assignments sittings could be enforced even more, so that the Senate would review cases of real importance in development of case-law. For example, if 151 judgements are left unaltered among 413 cases, in which cassation proceedings were initiated, one might think that maybe initiation of cassation proceedings was unnecessary in at least part of them.

The sworn advocate would be responsible to know the case-law of the Senate and not to mislead a client, having submitted a cassation complaint, which doesn’t have reason to be accepted.

Z.Gencs reminded that discussion about implementation of an institution of a sworn advocate aroused approximately ten years ago already, but legal aid disburse by the state was not provided to individuals, who couldn’t afford it, that time. Now the situation has changed, the state provides legal aid of an advocate in civil cases to persons, who can’t afford it objectively due financial conditions.   

The chair of the department also mentioned experience of other countries, where representation of an advocate is compulsory, as well as judgement of the European Court of Human Rights admitting that request to be represented by an advocate is not in conflict with the European Convention for Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, if a system providing aid of an advocate exists in the state.

An advocate proceedings should be implemented in nearest future already at least in the court of cassation instance, Z.Gencs stressed.

Gunars Aigars, the Chair of the Chamber of Civil Cases, paid attention to necessity to increase responsibility of advocates, established in the law, for timely performance of procedural actions and non-delay of court proceedings.

In her turn, Veronika Krumina, the Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate, was surprised about activities of particular advocates, when writing applications and asking to review decisions of the Senate. “If it is written in the law that decisions of the Senate are not reversible, then – what such action of a lawyer, an advocate, is indicative of – of incompetence or attempt to receive a fee from a customer in deceptive way?” the senator asked a rhetorical question.

Pavels Gruzins, the Head of the Division of Case-law, mentioned funny cases, when particular persons, some of them even representing legal entity, addressed the Division of Case-law asking to modify or to improve case-law conclusions or theses, which are being published on the home page of the Supreme Court together with decision of the Senate. They explain that those are necessary in their direct work, and it would be great, if thesis of the Senate sounded as they recommend it to be.

On the 22nd of February, the Plenary Session or the general meeting of judges of the Supreme Court took place, in which analysis of work of the Supreme Court performed last year was performed and prospects of further operation were indicated.

  

You may read more about the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court here:

Work overload of the court is pointed out at the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court: amendments to the laws, which were not discussed, doesn’t accomplish a purpose and causes problems in application 

The Supreme Court calls for mutual tolerance of authorities

The Department of Criminal Cases of the Senate: formulation of charges in tax cases and in determination of substantial harm causes problems to guides of proceedings

 

 

Information prepared by

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

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