On November 16 the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of Latvia began with a long-awaited event – the unveiling of inscription of a historical name of the Senate above the entrance to the Court. By the decision of the Saeima of 25 October the cassation instance regained its historical name – the Senate, and the State President proclaimed the law shortly before the national holiday. As emphasized by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ivars Bickovics, this moment is significant, since the name “Senate” will have equivalent effect to the name “Supreme Court”.

The opening of the Senate's name was a thrilling moment – when unveiling the lustrous name, the light that illuminates it was turned on by the judge of the Department of Civil Cases Marite Zagere, the only one from the first composition of senators of 1995 who is still working at the Supreme Court. With the song "Nevis slinkojot un pūstot" (Instead of lazing and rotting), the Supreme Court rejoiced over this historic event.

One hundred years ago, when forming the judicial system in Latvia, the Senate of Latvia was created as a highest court instance or cassation instance. It operated until November 1940 when it was liquidated as a result of Soviet occupation. In the restored Republic of Latvia, the Senate was reinstated in the composition of the Supreme Court, and its name for the cassation instance was preserved until December 31, 2013, when, with the amendments to the law "On Judicial Power", the name of the Senate was deleted from the name of the cassation instance.

Both the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court and the Council for the Judiciary have repeatedly called on the Saeima to re-evaluate the decision and return the cassation instance its historical name. With amendments to the law "On Judicial Power", which come into force on November 28, this is achieved. In the future, the Supreme Court may also be called the Senate and judges – the senators. The Senate consists of the Department of Administrative Cases, the Department of Civil Cases and the Department of Criminal Cases.

 

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 2865221